Car accidents are traumatic events. However, in some cases, the actual collision is not the hardest part. The aftermath of a car accident can be complicated and frustrating, especially when insurance companies are involved. Although the state of Colorado does everything it can to protect drivers from long insurance processes, the companies do have rights.
If you are a Colorado driver, it is important for you to understand the rules that affect you while you are driving. Our team at Cheney Galluzzi & Howard is committed to providing education and resources for drivers to stay safe on the road. We can help you make informed decisions if an accident should occur.
Each state has its own laws about car insurance, and most states are either fault- or no-fault-system states. Knowing the distinction can help you prepare for the claims process.
In a fault state, the insurance companies must determine who is responsible for the accident. The responsible party’s insurance will then pay for the damage to both vehicles. This can cause delays, as neither insurance company wants to pay. They will argue at length to avoid being financially responsible for the collision. However, it does help the non-responsible driver’s premiums to remain low after an accident that was not their fault.
In a no-fault state, including Colorado, each driver’s insurance pays for their client’s damages, regardless of who was responsible for the collision. Although this puts drivers at risk for rising premiums, it does minimize the amount of time it takes to achieve an insurance payout. This is because the companies do not need to negotiate responsibility.
When you make an insurance claim in Colorado, the insurance company has 14 days to acknowledge that they have received your claim. This does not mean that you will have your money during this time. However, it does mean that you should have some confirmation that your insurance company is looking into your collision.
Insurance companies need proof of damages to process a claim. In other words, the companies need photos and other pieces of proof to show that damage has actually occurred. It also shows that you are not filing a fraudulent claim. Once they have proof, the company has 90 days to decide whether to accept or deny the claim.
Please note that choosing whether to accept or deny a claim is different than determining fault. Even in a no-fault state, the insurance company has the right to deny a claim if they believe it to be outside of their responsibility. They can make this determination according to the nature of the damage and your insurance policy.
Although your insurance company should settle your case within 90 days, you may also be eligible for a personal injury claim. These claims allow a driver to press charges against another driver if the latter’s negligence led to the accident.
For example, if you get into a car accident because another driver was under the influence of alcohol and hit you, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against them. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving is considered negligent. You can hold the person accountable for their actions if you get hurt as a result.
Personal injury claims do not follow the same timeline as insurance coverage. These cases can take months or even years in some scenarios. If you believe that you may be eligible for a personal injury claim after a car accident, you need an attorney to help you. Our team at Cheney Galluzzi & Howard is here to help.
Colorado is a no-fault state for car insurance. This means that your insurance is responsible for your damages, while the other driver’s insurance is responsible for theirs. Because no negotiation has to occur about who is at fault, the insurance companies have 14 days to acknowledge your claim. They then have 90 days after receiving proof to settle the claim. Having an attorney help you with your claim can expedite the process in some scenarios.
Car accident settlements vary depending on the circumstances of your case. Minor damages will result in lower compensation, while significant damage will result in more. If you are filing a personal injury claim, you can receive more compensation than you would just from your insurance company. Your settlement may also depend on the type of insurance coverage that you have.
Whiplash claims can take between 6 months and a year, depending on your scenario. If you are filing a personal injury case, it will take longer than if you are collecting insurance from a car accident that resulted in whiplash. If you believe that you are suffering from whiplash after an accident, contact an attorney right away.
The average Colorado pain and suffering settlement is between $650,000 and $1,000,000. However, many cases are not eligible for pain and suffering compensation. Most personal injury claims do not result in pain and suffering compensation unless the offense was particularly gruesome, egregious, or terrible. In standard car accidents, the court often does not award pain and suffering compensation to victims.
If you are facing the aftermath of a collision, it is important to hire legal representation. Even the most seemingly straightforward claims can turn into difficult legal battles that require an attorney’s attention. When you hire a lawyer right away, you gain the benefit of comprehensive support throughout the entirety of your case. This can result in higher compensation and better support while you heal.
Our team at Cheney Galluzzi & Howard is highly trained in personal injury law. We are here to represent you. For more information about our firm and services, contact Cheney Galluzzi & Howard.