Several people throughout Colorado have experienced car accidents, and many agree that this is a stressful and difficult experience to live through. It’s normal for people to be unsure what they should do next. You and the other person involved may know to call the police, file a claim through insurance, and seek medical attention. However, in this scenario, exchanging information with the other party is essential in filing a claim and holding them liable. If you didn’t complete this step, you’ll need to know what happens if you don’t exchange information after a car accident in Colorado.
You may want to file a claim against the other party, yet don’t know who they are or what insurance they have. You also might have tried to get their information, but they left the scene. Or, in some rare cases, you might have caused the accident but didn’t get the other party’s information.
If you do not exchange information with the other driver after an accident, you may not be allowed to file an insurance claim. Insurance companies require you to submit specific information so they can process claims. The information you need to gather from the other driver includes:
If you don’t have this information when trying to file a claim, the insurance company won’t know who was responsible for the accident. This means they won’t file the claim at all, and you could be responsible for paying for your own injuries and damages. In some cases, this can be incredibly expensive, which is why this step is crucial in earning compensation down the road.
Even if you didn’t cause the accident, you could be considered liable if you didn’t exchange information with the other party. This is because it’s unclear to everyone else who caused the accident. If the other driver can bring in enough evidence that shows you were responsible, you may be held accountable. Also, if you don’t have the other driver’s information, you may end up paying for their damages as well.
Furthermore, if you are considered liable, your insurance rates can increase dramatically. Insurance rates can be determined based on your personal information, type of car, location, and car accident history. Neglecting to exchange information can result in you being held liable, and your insurance company could raise your rates.
When people exchange information after getting into an accident, they’re also able to gather crucial evidence that could help them in their case. For example, someone might take pictures of the scene that help prove that they were not responsible. However, if you forget to take pictures or gather other types of evidence, you at least have the other person’s information, which is better than nothing at all. It’s worth mentioning that if you forget to get contact information, you can try contacting the police so they can try to get you in touch. This isn’t always guaranteed, so if you’re looking to file a claim or reach out to the other driver, it’s essential you get their information written down.
A: According to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you have 60 days to report an accident. If you fail to create a report of the accident, you can face consequences such as fines or jail time. Even though some accidents might be solvable without police inclusion, it’s wise to let them know the accident has occurred in any case.
A: No, Colorado is not considered a no-fault state for car accidents. You have the right to sue the responsible party for injuries or property damage. This is what’s known as an “at-fault” state, which allows you to file a claim through the other driver’s insurance company. The person who is at fault must then pay for the plaintiff’s medical bills, property damage costs, and more.
A: Colorado’s statute of limitations is three years. This means a victim must bring their claim to you within three years from the date it occurred; otherwise, their claim could be rendered invalid. If someone attempts to sue you for a car accident after a five-year gap, for instance, you won’t be held liable for the incident, as there is no valid claim that can be brought up. However, if it’s within the statute of limitations, you may be held accountable.
A: Yes, it is illegal to flee the scene of the crime in Colorado. This is classified as a Class 1 traffic misdemeanor, which can consist of up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. People who find themselves in auto accidents should remain at the scene until all relevant information is gathered and everyone is safe. Leaving the scene without following proper precautions is considered illegal.
Car accidents can be a legal, emotional, and financial nightmare, but you have options available to prevent this from becoming debilitating. By remaining calm and gathering as much information about the incident and the other driver as possible, you improve the chances of filing a claim and having it succeed. It’s crucial you don’t skip this step, as you may struggle to prove the other driver should be held liable.
In any car accident case, it’s recommended to speak with an attorney at your earliest convenience. Their goal is to build a strong case for you so you can potentially seek compensation and hold negligent people accountable. Our team at Cheney Galluzzi & Howard represents people all across Colorado, and we’re prepared to assist you when you call us. Contact us today to set up a consultation.