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Any time you get behind the wheel of a car, you risk getting in a car accident. Accidents can occur at any time—whether you’re driving on the highway or stopped at a red light, and anyone can get into a car accident, even the most experienced drivers. Car accidents can cause devastating losses, injuries, and damages to your vehicle.
If you have been involved in a car accident in the Longmont area, you might be left confused, angry, and wondering what to do next. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in Colorado, you may be considering filing a lawsuit against those responsible for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. To help guide you through the legal process and seek compensation, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with our Longmont car accident lawyers.
Report the accident
About 5,000-6,000 car crashes occurred yearly in the Longmont area; perhaps you were involved in one. If you have been involved in a car accident in Colorado, you must report the car accident to the police in certain circumstances; if someone is injured, someone dies, or public property has been damaged as a result of the accident, Colorado law requires you report the accident to the police immediately. You must also immediately report the accident if a driver leaves the scene or appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
However, even if you are not required to report the accident under Colorado law, you should still call the police immediately after the accident so that there is a record of it. When the police arrive on the scene, they will ask those involved what happened; they will also speak to any witnesses who may have seen what happened. They will ask for the name, contact, and insurance information of those involved; all of this information will be included in the police officer’s accident report.
Accident reports are public records, and you can request a copy online at the Colorado DMV website. It costs $10 to obtain a copy of the accident report, which requires that you fill out a Requestor Release and Affidavit of Intended Use form.
When filling out this form, you will need to know your own information, information about the accident, and your intended use for the report. The form lists certain categories of uses of the report as permissible. After you submit the form, it takes about 90 days for a copy to be created and sent to you.
When you call the police to report the accident, it is not guaranteed they will come to the scene, especially if the accident is minor and no one was injured or no property was damaged. If the police do not come to the scene of the accident, immediately after the accident you should go to the nearest police station to create an accident report yourself. You can also create a report online at the Colorado DMV website.
Creating a report online requires you to fill out your name, date of birth, address, and the location, time and date of the accident. You may also want to include in the report any other information you may have documented about the accident.
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Document the accident
In order to create an accident report on your own after the accident, it is very important that you document the accident while you are at the scene. This information can also be useful for your CO if you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible for the accident.
One way to document the accident is through photographs. You may want to photograph:
- Your injuries
- Injuries to passengers
- Injuries to other drivers involved
- Damage to the exterior and interior of your vehicle
- Damage to the exterior and interior of other vehicles involved
- Location where the accident occurred
Another way to document the accident is to write information down on paper or in your cell phone. If you write things down on a piece of paper, be sure to keep it somewhere where you will be able to find it later to give to your Longmont personal injury lawyer. Important information to write down includes:
- Contact information of the other driver(s) involved (name, e-mail, phone number, etc.)
- Contact information of any passengers
- Contact information of any witnesses
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information, including policy number
- Make, model, and other defining characteristics of the other cars involved
- Time and location of the accident
You may also want to write down how the accident occurred from your point of view. You could document what you were doing just before the accident, where you were driving to and from, and any other details you think may be important to remember. Once hired, your Longmont personal injury attorney can begin to investigate more quickly if they have all of the details you can give them.
After documenting the other drivers’ and passengers’ contact information, you should provide them with your name, contact, and insurance information so that they will be able to reach you. If you are uncomfortable providing your information to strangers, if the police are dispatched to the scene, you can wait until they arrive and they can help you exchange information.
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Seek medical attention
You may have suffered injuries as a result of the accident. These injuries may present themselves immediately after the accident, but sometimes you might not realize you have been injured until hours or even days later. This is why it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident, because you may be suffering from unexpected injuries.
Common injuries that occur as a result of a car accident include:
- Concussions and other head injuries
- Broken bones, particularly ribs
- Internal bleeding
When you visit the doctor, they will perform a physical examination, checking you for the above common injuries. They may also recommend you get x-rays or scans to determine whether you have any internal bleeding or broken bones.
Once your doctor determines your injuries, they will prescribe a treatment plan for you. This can include taking medication, wearing a sling or cast for any broken bones, or going to rehabilitation to improve movement functions. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan to ensure your physical injuries fully heal.
You may also suffer from emotional injuries, such as guilt, anxiety, fears of driving, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Signs of PTSD include vivid flashbacks of the accident, nightmares, trouble sleeping, and other intense emotional reactions. Emotional injuries are treated differently than physical injuries, and can last for years after the accident.
To determine if you are suffering from emotional injuries, you should see a psychologist after the accident; a psychologist can counsel you to overcome feelings of guilt, anxiety, or fears of driving. You will likely meet weekly with a psychologist, who will act as a therapist to help you overcome emotional injuries. A psychologist may also refer you to a psychiatrist, who can prescribe medication to help relieve your emotional injuries.
notify your insurance company
If you have car insurance, notify your insurance company of the accident within 24 hours. This will allow your insurance company to cover any injuries you suffered or damage done to your vehicle.
When speaking with your insurance company, provide them with the information you documented while at the scene of the accident, such as the contact information of the other drivers and witnesses. Be sure to only tell them the facts, and leave out any emotions you may feel relating to the accident. Although your insurance company is on your side and wants to help minimize the amount you have to pay out of pocket for damage done to you and your vehicle, insurance companies have hundreds of policies to pay out and may use anything you say against you to reduce your payout.
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Contact a longmont car accident lawyer
After a car accident, you may be wondering whether you can file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident. In Colorado, if you are less than 50% responsible for the car accident, you are allowed to seek compensation. In certain circumstances it is clear who caused the accident; in others, it is not so clear. Contact an injury lawyer near you, such as a Zinda Law Group car accident attorney in Longmont, CO, who can help you determine whether you are able to seek compensation, and if available, help you seek maximum compensation.
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Our Longmont car accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group have handled thousands of personal injury lawsuits involving car accidents. We understand that car accidents can be scary, leaving you with physical and emotional injuries, damages to your car, and countless medical and repair bills. These injury attorneys near you have the experience and resources to help you seek the compensation you deserve and hold the proper person responsible.
At Zinda Law Group, we believe that car accident victims have suffered enough from the accidents that have caused them damages and injuries, and should not have to pay for excellent legal representation. That is why we have a No Win, No Fee Guarantee—so you do not have to pay a dime unless we receive a favorable verdict, judgment, or settlement in your case. If you or a loved one have been in a car accident in Longmont, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with an experienced Longmont car accident attorney today.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2016-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)
AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)
LIFETIME MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA & JOE CAPUTO