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Colorado county settles accident case involving sheriff's vehicle

In the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, it may be difficult for victims to know what to do next. Of course, seeking medical attention for injuries is the first step, but then the longer-term effects of the accident will likely become more apparent. Between medical expenses and time spent away from work, a person might feel a serious financial strain. This is where a personal injury claim can become incredibly beneficial.

After a Colorado woman and her husband were involved in a motorcycle accident, she determined what her options were and filed a legal claim against the at-fault driver. The accident in this case was caused by an on-duty public employee, so the suit also brought Pitkin County into the mix. Involving a municipal agency or body in a civil claim can be complex, because the process to move forward is often different that dealing with a private party.

In her claim, the woman indicated that she and her husband were riding on a motorcycle when a county animal control officer made an illegal left-hand turn and collided with them. As a result of the incident, the woman suffered numerous lacerations and road rash.

This case was interesting because the animal control officer was actually driving a vehicle that belonged to the county sheriff's department at the time of the motorcycle accident, which is one reason that the county's insurer became involved in the claim.

Recently, the county announced that they settled the woman's claim by agreeing to pay her $50,000 for her injuries and related losses. Not only did the settlement include considerations for the woman's injuries, but it also factored in the damage done to the motorcycle. Taking into account all of the damages caused by an accident is an important aspect of determining the accident victim's recovery.

Source: Aspen Daily News, "County pays out $50,000 to settle lawsuit against sheriff's office," Chad Abraham, Nov. 4, 2013

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