Car accidents happen every day in Colorado, usually without much warning to those involved. Experiencing any car accident can be traumatic, but knowing your recent accident happened because of someone else’s negligence can add frustration to the strong mix of emotions you’re experiencing in the aftermath of the incident. It’s essential to know what to do after a car accident that was not your fault in Denver, CO. The first steps you take after the accident have a tremendous influence on your recovery and the subsequent legal proceedings that are likely to follow.
You’re likely to feel dazed and unsteady immediately following a car accident. If the accident injured you severely, you may have no choice but to wait for first responders to arrive and provide emergency medical care. If you are able to move around safely, stop your vehicle as soon as the collision ends and check yourself and your passengers for injures. Once it is safe to do so, check on the occupants of the other vehicles involved in the crash.
Colorado state law requires you to report any car accident that causes significant property damage, injury, or death. Call 911 to report the crash and wait for the police to arrive. You may or may not be able to move your vehicles out of the flow of traffic, depending on how and where the accident occurred. It’s generally best to try and secure evidence as soon as possible, and the police may require you to move your vehicle if it is still operable. Follow the police officers’ directions when they arrive.
The police will take your statement and ask you some questions. Make sure you do not admit fault or say anything they might construe as an admission of guilt. If you know another driver is responsible for the crash, even saying “I’m sorry,” offhand can complicate future legal proceedings. Answer the police officers’ questions honestly until they allow you to leave.
While you wait for first responders, try to collect evidence from the accident scene. You can take pictures of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and positions of the vehicles involved in the crash. Also, try to take pictures of the surrounding area. These photos could be invaluable when it comes time to file an insurance claim or a civil suit against the at-fault driver.
Be very careful moving around after a crash. Even if you think you sustained only minor injuries, you could have internal injuries that aren’t noticeable yet. Don’t risk making any injuries worse. Wait for first responders, and once you are allowed to leave, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
You should seek medical care immediately after any car accident, especially one that was not your fault. This will produce a record that you promptly sought treatment, in case you need to file a claim against another driver. Your doctor can treat any obvious injuries you sustained and help you determine whether the crash caused other injuries that may require ongoing care. The medical report from your doctor will be crucial in subsequent legal proceedings.
It’s vital to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after you receive medical treatment. Your attorney will help you determine whether you have grounds for legal action against the driver who caused your accident. Colorado upholds a fault rule for car accidents, meaning a driver who causes a crash is liable for the resulting damages. You have the right to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy, and your attorney can assist with this process.
In the event the at-fault driver’s insurance doesn’t fully cover your losses, you will need to file a personal injury claim against them. Your attorney can assist you in calculating the damages available in your claim, which are likely to include any losses that insurance did not cover.
Q: What Do You Do After a Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault?
A: Your health should be your top concern after a car accident. While it’s important to secure evidence and take photos at the scene of the crash if you are able to do so, your main concern should be your health and wellbeing. Seek medical care promptly once you are allowed to leave the scene of the accident.
Q: What Happens With Insurance If a Crash Is Not Your Fault?
A: Colorado enforces a fault-based system for car accidents as of 2003. This means if another driver caused your accident, you must file a claim against their auto insurance policy. A standard auto insurance policy in Colorado will include bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, bodily injury liability coverage for a total accident, and property damage liability coverage. If the at-fault driver’s policy doesn’t cover your losses, you will need to file a personal injury claim.
Q: Should You Call Your Insurance After an Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault?
A: Your auto insurance policy likely requires you to report any accident you experience within a certain timeframe. Failing to do so would be a violation of your policyholder agreement and your insurance company could deny you coverage or drop your policy in response. While it’s vital to report the accident as soon as possible, it’s a good idea to consult an attorney, and do not accept any proposed settlements from any insurer without consulting an attorney.
Q: Should I File a Claim If I’m Not at Fault?
A: If you are not at fault for an accident, you have every legal right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. This could come in the form of an insurance claim payout, a personal injury claim settlement, or both. If you are not at fault for the accident you recently experienced, reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine your best options for legal recourse against the at-fault driver.
A car accident is a traumatic experience, and you should not be left to deal with the aftermath of another driver’s negligence on your own. Contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after a car accident in Denver, CO that was not your fault.