CALL (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a westminster car accident lawyer
Car accidents can happen at any time without warning; even the most experienced and safest drivers can get in a car accident. Whether you were a victim of a fender bender or a severe accident, the experience can be traumatizing as well as damaging to you and your vehicle. You and any passengers might be left shaken up and injured, wondering what to do next.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Colorado, you may be considering filing a personal injury claim against the person or persons responsible for your injuries and damages. The legal process can be intimidating for people unfamiliar with Colorado law, so call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with our Westminster car accident lawyers; we may be able to help you seek the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
report the incident
The first thing you should do after being involved in a car accident is call 911 to report it. In Colorado, it is required that you call the police immediately after a car accident if anyone is injured, anyone dies, public property gets damaged as a result of the accident, a driver leaves the scene, or a driver appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
After calling the police to report the accident, an officer will arrive on the scene and ask questions; they will ask you, any passengers, and other drivers involved what happened. They will also document the license plate and insurance information of those involved. The police will use this information to create an accident report.
If you call the police to report a minor accident, it is not guaranteed that an officer will arrive on the scene; if an officer does not come to the scene of the crash, you should go to the nearest police station to file a police report. You can also file a report online on the Colorado DMV’s website. This requires you to fill out the location, time, date, and other details about the accident; it also requires you to provide information about yourself such as your name, date of birth, and address.
You must file a report within 60 days of the car accident. Accident reports are kept on file for 7 years.
Accident reports are public records, and you can request a copy online; this requires you to complete a Requestor Release and Affidavit of Intended Use form. To complete this form, you must fill out your information, the accident information, and your intended use for the report. Some permitted uses include:
- Use by a government agency
- Use by a business to verify the accident
- Use in connection with any court proceeding
- Use by private investigators
- Use by insurance companies
- Research activities
You will also have to pay a $10 fee to receive a copy of the report. It takes about 90 days for a copy of the report to be made and sent to you.
document the incident
It is very important that you document the accident. This can include taking photos of:
- Any injuries you, passengers, or other drivers involved suffered
- Damage to the exterior and interior of your vehicle
- Damage to other vehicles involved
- License plate numbers
- Insurance cards
- Where the incident occurred
You can also document the incident by writing information down on paper or in your cell phone. You should be sure to document the name, phone number or email, and insurance information of other drivers involved; you should also write down the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Other things to document may include the make, model or other defining characteristics of the car, the time and location of the accident, how the accident happened, and any other important details.
Provide the other drivers and passengers involved with your name, insurance, and contact information. If you are uncomfortable exchanging this information on your own, if the police are dispatched to the scene of the accident, you can wait for them to arrive to facilitate this exchange of information.
Seek medical attention
You may have suffered injuries as a result of the accident; you might experience these injuries immediately after the accident, but it is possible that some injuries might not present themselves until hours or even days later. Once you start noticing any pain or other symptoms, seek medical attention. Even if you do not notice symptoms, you should still seek medical attention to ensure that you are not injured.
Common injuries that you may suffer after being involved in a car accident in Westminster include:
- Head injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones, particularly ribs
- Internal bleeding
You may also suffer from emotional injuries, such as guilt, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When you visit the doctor, they will examine you to determine what injuries you may be suffering from. This can include a physical examination, where they touch various parts of your body to check for bruising or broken bones. The examination may also include scans or x-rays.
After examining you for injuries, your doctor will prescribe treatment. This might 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 that you fully recover from any injuries.
You may also want to speak with a psychologist about the accident. A psychologist can counsel you to help you overcome any fears of driving, anxiety, PTSD, or other emotional injuries. They may also refer you to a psychiatrist who can prescribe you medicine to relieve your emotional injuries.
was the accident my fault?
One of the first things you may wonder after a car accident is whose fault the accident was. In the chaos of a car accident, it can be difficult to know who caused the accident and why it happened.
Colorado is an “at-fault” state, meaning you can make a claim against the driver who caused the accident even if your injuries or the damage done to your vehicle are not severe. If you were less than 50% responsible for the accident, you will be allowed to seek compensation.
In certain circumstances, it is clear who caused the accident. These include when a driver:
- Was backing up
- Ran a red light
- Made a left-hand turn in front of a driver going the opposite direction from them
- Was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If the other driver involved was a distracted driver—for example, if they were texting—they will be more likely to be found to have caused the accident. Regardless of whether you think you were at fault, it is still important to document the accident, report it, and seek medical attention.
notify your insurance company
If you are insured, you should notify your insurance company within 24 hours of the car accident, even if the car accident was minor or you weren’t at fault. Reporting the accident to your insurance company allows them to defend you against any potential claims the other driver might bring against you. This will also allow your insurance to cover any injuries you suffered or damage to your vehicle.
When notifying your insurance company, it is important to provide them with the information you documented, such as the other driver’s name and contact information, witness name and contact information, make and model of the cars involved, and other details.
When speaking with your insurance company, it is best to only tell them the facts and leave out any emotions. You should not discuss whether or not the accident was your fault because any unfavorable information you tell them can be used against you to reduce your payout. Insurance companies have hundreds of policies that need to be paid out, and want to provide as little compensation as possible to protect their own interests; if you do not know an answer to one of their questions, it is best to tell them that, instead of admitting something you might not have had to.
Contact a westminster car accident lawyer
After a car accident, you may have countless medical and repair bills from injuries or damage done to your vehicle. You should contact a Westminster car accident lawyer who can help you understand how to get compensated for those costs. A Westminster car accident lawyer can also help you negotiate with your insurance company to seek maximum compensation.
zinda law group can help you
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced Westminster car accident lawyers have handled countless cases involving car accidents. We understand that a car accident can be a traumatizing experience, and can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damage done to your vehicle. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to build a strong case and help you hold the proper person responsible.
We believe that victims of car accidents 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 anything unless we receive a favorable verdict, judgment, or settlement in your case. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Colorado, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your 100% free consultation with our experienced Westminster car accident lawyers today.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.