Experiencing a car accident can be a life-altering event, especially when it results in serious injuries. The complexities of Colorado’s car accident laws often compound the physical pain and emotional trauma, leading to feelings of frustration and uncertainty about your next steps.
On top of the immediate challenges of recovery, you may also grapple with lost wages and escalating medical bills, which adds financial stress to an already challenging situation.
As experienced Colorado Springs car accident attorneys, we understand the challenges you’re up against. Over the years, we’ve fielded numerous questions from clients about Colorado laws on car accidents. With this in mind, we’ve compiled this FAQ blog to address many of those concerns.
If you have additional questions or wonder if you have a claim, don’t hesitate to call us at (719) 757-1182 to schedule your FREE consultation.
What’s the Deadline for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Colorado?
Colorado law allows three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. Although this seems like a long time, starting the process sooner ensures your attorney has enough time for a comprehensive investigation of your claim.
Is Colorado a Fault or No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
Since 2003, Colorado has operated under a “fault” system regarding car accidents. This means that the person who caused the accident (the “at-fault” party) and their insurance company are responsible for paying for the damages and injuries that result from the accident.
Is Car Insurance Mandatory in Colorado?
Colorado law requires all drivers to have a minimum amount of car insurance coverage. This mandatory coverage includes the following:
- Bodily Injury Liability: This covers costs associated with injuries to other people in an accident you caused. The minimum coverage limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Property Damage Liability: This covers damage you cause to someone else’s property in an accident. The minimum coverage limit is $15,000 per accident.
In addition to the mandatory coverage, there’s also Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. While it’s automatically included in every auto insurance policy in Colorado, it’s not mandatory – you can opt out of it in writing. UM/UIM coverage helps protect you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover the costs.
These are just the minimum requirements. Depending on your circumstances, consider additional coverage options for further protection.
What if the Other Driver is Uninsured or Underinsured?
If the at-fault driver is uninsured, you can file a claim under your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, assuming it’s part of your insurance policy.
What to Do if My Claim Is Denied or the Settlement Offer Is Low?
A Colorado Springs car accident lawyer can help you challenge the insurance company’s decision if this happens. This can involve negotiation or taking the case to court.
What are the Damage Limits in Colorado Car Accident Cases?
Generally, Colorado law does not limit the economic damages – like medical bills and lost wages – an injury victim can claim. However, in most personal injury cases, there are restrictions on non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
The usual cap on non-economic damages in these types of claims stands at $250,000, adjusted for inflation. Currently, the adjusted amount is over $600,000. However, this limit can be increased if clear and convincing evidence supports an increase.
Your attorney can provide guidance on the maximum amount of pain and suffering that can be claimed in your specific case.
Can I Claim Compensation if I’m Partially At Fault?
Under Colorado’s comparative negligence law, you can recover damages even if you were partially at fault, but your compensation will be reduced according to your degree of fault.
How Do I Prove Fault in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
To prove fault in a Colorado car accident, gathering as much evidence as possible to demonstrate negligence is crucial. Evidence your attorney will gather includes the following:
- Police Reports: A police report can be a valuable source of information, often providing a neutral third-party perspective on the incident. They might include details about the weather, road conditions, statements from both drivers and even the officer’s opinion on who was at fault.
- Photos and Videos: Evidence from the scene, like photos and videos, can be crucial. They can show the positions of the vehicles, the damage sustained, skid marks, or even traffic signs that the other driver may have ignored.
- Witness Testimonies: If there were any bystanders or passengers who witnessed the accident, their testimonies can provide additional perspectives and support your claim.
- Expert Opinions: If needed, your attorney will hire experts like accident reconstruction specialists to help analyze the accident and establish fault.
- Medical Records: If you’ve sustained injuries, your medical records can link these injuries to the accident, further supporting your claim.
By gathering and presenting this evidence, your attorney can create a robust case that proves the other party’s liability in the accident to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
Can I Sue if a Family Member Died in a Car Accident?
Colorado law allows surviving family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You can seek compensation for various losses, including funeral expenses, lost income, and loss of companionship.
How Long to Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit in Colorado?
Settlement timelines vary and can range from months to years, depending on the case’s complexity. Patience is crucial here, but your attorney will work diligently to secure fair compensation for your injuries.
What if My Case Goes to Trial?
If your case goes to trial, both parties will present their evidence to a judge or jury. They’ll make a decision based on the arguments and evidence presented. It might seem intimidating, but your attorney will be there every step of the way.
Contact a Colorado Springs Personal Injury Attorney If You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident
Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident? At The Foley Law Firm, we’re more than attorneys; we’re your neighbors and advocates ready to stand by your side. We understand Colorado laws on car accidents and are committed to helping you receive maximum compensation for your pain and suffering and any injuries.
As your Colorado Springs, CO neighbors, we also serve El Paso County and the Pikes Peak region. Call (719) 757-1182 or contact us online for a FREE consultation with a Colorado Springs personal injury attorney.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.