The aftermath of a car accident can be difficult to navigate. You may experience immense stress and confusion – and if you or a fellow passenger are injured, that only increases the perplexity and trauma of the situation. These unexpected events can leave you feeling vulnerable and uncertain about what to do – and also, what not to do. To ensure that you are well-prepared to protect your rights and secure just compensation for a car accident, here are the steps you should take.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Colorado
1. Stay Calm and Assess the Situation
The first and foremost priority is your safety and that of your passenger(s). If you are physically able, move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic to prevent further accidents. Afterward, check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If someone is hurt, call 911 immediately.
2. Exchange Information
Gathering all pertinent information from the other driver(s) is essential. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance details. Additionally, be sure to collect the names and contact information of any witnesses who might have observed the accident. This information can be a great asset if you pursue a case to recover damages.
3. Call the Police
Even in seemingly minor accidents, involving law enforcement is paramount. A police report provides an official record of the accident, which can be invaluable when filing insurance claims or pursuing legal action.
4. Document the Scene
While police should document the accident scene for their reporting, you should also capture images if you have a smartphone handy and are able to. Try taking photos of vehicle damage, the surrounding area, skid marks, and any other evidence that could be relevant. These photographs can serve as crucial evidence in car accident compensation cases.
5. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Many car accident injuries are immediate and obvious, but It's not uncommon for some, such as whiplash, to present delayed symptoms. Regardless of whether you feel injured or not, it's imperative to see a doctor as soon as possible. Prompt medical attention ensures any underlying issues are identified and promptly treated.
6. Keep a Detailed Record
Maintaining a comprehensive record of your injuries, medical treatments, and expenses is absolutely vital for building a solid case. This documentation will prove invaluable when filing a claim and pursuing compensation.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
Being aware of what not to do after a car accident is just as important as knowing what to do, and it can be hard in the confusion and chaos of the aftermath to say or do something that will hinder your case later on. Here are the top three things you should never do after an accident:
Regardless of your perception of fault, refrain from making any statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Consult with an attorney before speaking with anyone, including the other driver, passengers, witnesses, and the police.
Never sign any documents from the insurance company or the other driver without first having them reviewed by an attorney. You might unknowingly sign away your rights or limit your car accident compensation.
Waive Your Rights
Do not agree to a settlement with an insurance company without first seeking legal counsel. An experienced personal injury attorney can assess all the facts of your case and ensure you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Personal Injury & Car Accident Compensation in Colorado
In Colorado, if you've been injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation covering various losses, such as:
Coverage for all medical bills related to your accident injuries, including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgery, and rehabilitation.
Compensation for lost income due to time taken off work because of the car accident.
Pain and Suffering
Compensation for the physical and emotional distress you've experienced due to the accident.
Compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle, as well as any other personal property damaged in the car accident.
Colorado's Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means you can still recover compensation for a car accident even if you bear partial responsibility.
Your compensation, however, will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 20% at fault, your compensation will be lessened by 20%.
Additional Tips for Maximizing Car Accident Compensation
If you’re involved in an auto accident in Colorado, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial. An attorney will explain your rights, protect your interests, and secure maximum compensation. To ensure you obtain the maximum compensation possible:
1. Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Be selective about whom you choose to represent you and pursue your case. Doehling Law attorneys bring great depth of experience with car accident compensation cases, and in fact, we offer unique insight from years working inside insurance companies. We can guide you through the Colorado legal process and ensure you’re justly compensated for any injuries sustained in the accident.
2. Document Your Injuries and Losses
As mentioned previously, maintaining meticulous records of all medical expenses, lost wages, and other property damages as well as photos and videos from the auto accident is critical to ensuring you receive maximum compensation.
3. Be Patient and Persistent
Pursuing a personal injury claim and receiving just compensation for a car accident can often be a lengthy process. It takes time to recover from injuries, investigate claims, negotiate with insurance companies, and navigate the legal process. Remain committed, and don't settle for less than what you deserve.
While fighting for fair compensation can be challenging, having the right law firm in your corner will make the process much easier and more manageable. Our expert knowledge and guidance will lessen the stress and anxiety of dealing with insurance companies and navigating the justice system.
Doehling Law prides itself not just on the millions in recovery that we’ve won for our clients, but on the way we treat each client – with respect, integrity, and compassion. Rest assured, your well-being and financial recovery are our top priorities.
We offer complimentary consultations, and if we take on your case, you have our promise to win it or settle it – or our services are free. Feel free to check out our past successes.So, if you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of a car accident, make Doehling Law one of the first calls you make. Speak directly with an expereinced lawyer today. (Se habla español.)