Car accidents can lead to extremely serious injuries and property damage. It can be difficult to move forward from an accident when dealing with ongoing medical issues and bills piling up. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your ability to work may be severely limited as well. Working with a Lakewood car accident lawyer can provide you with valuable information regarding the law and how it applies to your case. Contact a skilled car accident lawyer to learn more. En Español.
First Steps to Take After an Auto Collision
When someone is involved in an accident, the first thing they should do is call 911. Even if the other driver says they do not want the police involved, the person should always call the police. They should take photographs all the damages and get the name, address, phone number, insurance information, and driver’s license number of the at-fault party. A person can take pictures of an insurance card or a driver’s license on their cell phone. When there are any witnesses, the person should get their contact information as well.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents
There is a strict statute of limitations for vehicle accidents. If an individual fails to bring a case to court within a specific time period, one can lose the right to pursue the case and lose the right to litigate. When it involves physical injuries or property damage (such as damage to a car), one has three years from the date of the accident to resolve a case.
Colorado Negligence Laws
There are no specific laws regarding vehicular accidents, but the general law regarding negligence applies when pursuing a case. Negligence requires six basic elements that must be met:
- The negligent person owed a duty of care
- That duty of care was breached
- Actual cause
- Proximate cause
The general duty of care is to act as a reasonable person in a similar situation. So, for a driver, it is the duty to act as a reasonable driver would in the same driving conditions. This duty is breached when a person does not act reasonably, so in this case, when a driver does not drive safely. Causation has two elements – actual and proximate cause. Actual cause means that if not for the negligent driver’s actions, the accident would not have occurred and you would not have sustained the injuries you have.
Proximate cause means that it was foreseeable that driving that way would have led to an accident involving the type of person that was injured. Also, there was no unforeseeable intervening cause in between the accident and injury. Lastly, there must be actual damages. For a car crash, this can be proved two ways. One, there were physical injuries and two, there was property damage to the vehicles involved. A Lakewood car accident lawyer has a good grasp on Colorado’s negligence laws and will be able to help build a case.
Modified Comparative Fault
Lakewood law follows the theory of modified comparative fault. In many cases, there is no one person that is 100 percent at fault. Instead, each person has some degree of blame in a car accident. However, that does not mean an individual cannot recover for damages. Instead, the amount an individual can recover will be decreased by the amount of which one may be found to be at fault.
For example, if the total cost of damages is $50,000 and an individual is found to be 10 percent at fault, then the maximum amount an individual can recover from the other party is $45,000.
How a Lakewood Car Accident Attorney Can Help
The attorney may send out letters of representation to the at-fault insurance company, to the person’s own insurance company, and to their health insurance. They may get the victim set up with a medical provider if they do not have one. It is important to bring all of the information, pictures, and documents that a person has when meeting with a lawyer.
You should take your time to find a lawyer that best fits your needs, but be careful about missing any important deadlines that could prevent you from moving forward with your case. Working with a Lakewood car accident lawyer can help you decide how to proceed. Whether you want to settle with the other side or go to court, you should have an accident attorney representing your needs.