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Colorado Car Accident?
Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
Serving Denver & the Greater Colorado Area for Three Decades
As a car accident attorney in Denver and across Colorado for over 30 years, I’ve seen the devastating effects auto accidents can have not just on the individuals involved, but on their entire families. And not just in the form of physical injuries and death, but emotional distress, lost time at work, lower quality of life, and more.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or any type of motor vehicle accident in Colorado, you can contact me for a free consultation at (303) 454-8000 or toll-free at (800) ROSEN-911, or by filling out the form on the right.
I’ve handled tens of thousands of auto accident and personal injury cases. I’ve seen a case just like yours, and I can help you through it!
Injured in a car accident in Colorado?
Get the facts you need to know…
Colorado law contains a number of provisions that should guide your actions after an automobile accident in our state. An experienced auto accident attorney has the knowledge to address frequently asked questions such as:
What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident in Colorado?
You’ll need to report the accident to the police and to your insurance company right away, and it’s always a good idea to exchange insurance information with the other party. If you were injured, you should seek medical care immediately, and seek legal advice from an experienced Colorado auto accident attorney.
If a police officer comes to the scene and investigates the crash, his report will suffice. But if the police aren’t called, you must report the accident either by filling out the state’s Online Accident Report or by downloading the State of Colorado Traffic Accident Report on your computer.
Under Colorado law, your accident must meet the following criteria to be reported online:
- No fatalities or injuries were caused
- Information about the other party can be provided, meaning the accident was not a hit and run
- No public (as opposed to private) property was damaged
- Neither party is under suspicion for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If you need the accident report, Colorado’s Department of Motor Vehicles keeps copies for seven years. To request the report, you will need to send a letter to the DMV and include the following information:
- Your name
- Date of birth
- Date of motor vehicle accident
- Your mailing address
- A check to the DMV for $2.20, or $2.70 for a certified report
Sometimes your insurance company will require you to fill out certain forms that are unique to the state of Colorado, including:
If I Don't Think I've Been Injured in an Accident, Should I Still Seek Medical Attention?
Both you and your passengers should seek medical attention after an accident because a physician might detect injuries, sometimes even serious ones, which may not be immediately apparent.
No Fault, No More
Since 1973, Colorado had been a “no-fault” auto insurance state, meaning that if you were injured in an accident your own insurance would pay for your medical care, no matter who was liable for the collision. But this all changed in 2003 when Colorado repealed the Accident Reparations Act, converting the state from no-fault to a tort system. This means that those injured in an automobile accident have to prove that they were not at fault and attempt to collect damages from the at-fault party or their insurance company.
Can I Still Be Compensated If I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Colorado is a modified comparative fault state, meaning that a damaged party cannot recover if he is 50 percent or more at fault for an injury. Although he can recover if 49 percent or less at fault, the amount will be reduced by his relative degree of fault. Claimants who are proved to be more to blame for their injuries than the defendant will not be entitled to seek damages.
I Wasn't Wearing a Seatbelt. Can I Still Recover Damages?
Seatbelt use is mandatory for drivers and all front-seat passengers in Colorado, and you may be cited for not wearing one. Because wearing a seatbelt during an accident can help prevent serious bodily injury or death, a plaintiff who seeks recovery from injuries sustained in an accident is subject to the defense that he did not mitigate his non-economic damages for pain and suffering, but economic damages for emotional distress, impairment of quality of life, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, future medical expenses, and inconvenience may still be available.
What If an Uninsured Driver Hit Me?
Automobile insurance companies in Colorado are legally required to include uninsured/underinsured coverage in every policy they sell in the state. If you were hit by someone without insurance or with low limits of coverage that aren’t sufficient to pay for all your damages, the uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) coverage on your own policy will pay for injuries to you and your passengers, and sometimes even damage to your vehicle if you are involved in a hit-and-run. But remember, to make a claim for underinsured benefits, you first have to get permission from your insurance company to settle with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Colorado law requires the following minimum amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (unless waived in writing by the policyholder):
- $25,000 per person for uninsured/underinsured motorist
- $50,000 per accident for uninsured/underinsured motorist
Under Colorado law, an automobile insurance company cannot raise your rates if you make a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits if the accident was not your fault.
If you were at fault for the collision, Colorado law requires that you carry the following minimums of liability coverage:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $15,000 per accident for property damage
In Colorado, the at-fault party may be responsible for paying your medical bills, but you only get to make one claim for these expenses, and this claim is commonly made after you are through with all your accident-related treatment. If you need to pay some or all of these bills before you make that final claim, you can access the medical payment benefit of your auto policy, if you have such a provision. Remember, medical payment insurance provisions are optional in Colorado.
How Do I Know Whether to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident?
This question can best be answered by an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney, who will review all aspects of your case and provide you with information regarding the best course of action. As a Colorado resident, two factors may affect the worth of your case:
- Colorado Statute of Limitations: If your car accident happened a few years ago, it’s not too late to take action. If you decide to file a personal injury claim for damages arising from your car accident, you have three years to do so under Colorado’s statute of limitations. Your recovery will depend upon the types and amounts of damages sustained as well as who was at fault.
- Auto Accident Damages & Negligence: Insurance companies usually pay for medical expenses (both present and future), and property damage. They may also pay for more general damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. According to Colorado Revised Statute 13-21-111, if you were contributorily negligent, your damages may be reduced in proportion to your degree of negligence.
The Insurance Company Has Offered to Settle My Claim -- Should I Accept Its Offer?
If you are offered a settlement from an insurance company, proceed with caution. You should not even think about accepting such an offer until all your physical injuries have been treated and you’ve received a doctor’s prognosis. To increase your chances of being fairly compensated for your injuries, you should consider consulting with an accident attorney before signing any documents pertaining to a settlement.
If you choose to represent yourself, you’re doing exactly what the insurance company wants you to do: allowing them to pay you less than your claim is worth. It takes an experienced attorney to evaluate a personal injury claim, know what it’s worth, and get the insurance company to treat you fairly.
Insurance companies will go to great lengths to keep you from getting the compensation you deserveand will rush you to make a quick settlement. As a personal injury lawyer with over 25 years experience, I talk to insurance companies every single day. I can help you receive a bigger settlement than you’d receive by talking to them on your own.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire an Attorney to Represent Me?
Most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning that your attorney will receive a percentage of any damages you recover upon the conclusion of your case. Most attorneys also offer potential clients a free initial consultation, and advance costs for things like medical records, depositions, and medical experts.
Colorado Car Accident Resources
Overcoming an auto accident injury is overwhelming enough. Navigating the legal process doesn’t have to be. We’re here to guide you every step of the way.
What’s My Car Accident Case Worth?
Learn the key factors that go into calculating damages in an auto accident case — a critical process that can greatly impact your settlement.
The Painful Consequences of Whiplash After a Car Accident
Have you been involved in a car accident? Whiplash can have a serious impact on your health even in low-speed fender-benders. Discover who’s most at risk for whiplash, the symptoms to watch out for, and misconceptions about this injury.
Guide to Defensive Driving
Reduce your risk of collision by anticipating dangerous situations, including the mistakes of other drivers. This guide highlights important defensive driving skills every responsible driver should master.
Parking Lot Accidents & Safety
The first steps in avoiding parking lot accidents are driving cautiously and understanding the basic rules. From recognizing signage and markings to mastering right-of-way guidelines, here’s what you need to know to avoid parking lot collisions.
Paths to Justice After a Hit-and-Run Auto Accident
Even if you don’t know who hit you, you may still receive compensation for injuries and losses. Use this guide to understand when fault is placed on the unknown driver and how to collect compensation when someone hits you.
Auto Accidents Involving Distraction
With limitless distractions on the road, learn some of the obvious (and not-so-obvious) acts that take our minds off of the road and how to keep safe by avoiding them.