Sorting through the aftermath of a car accident can be a challenging task, especially when you are an injured victim. However, in the state of Colorado, there are specific rules, laws, and insurance procedures that you must adhere to. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of Colorado’s car accident laws, including who will receive your insurance claim and the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Fortunately, you don’t have to face these complexities alone. By working with a reputable Denver car accident lawyer, you can receive the necessary assistance in comprehending the laws that apply to your unique case.
Tort-Based Insurance Law: Protecting Victims and Their Rights
Colorado has established car insurance requirements that are mandatory for all vehicle operators within the state. Operating a motor vehicle without adequate insurance coverage is against the law in Colorado. To comply with these requirements, you must purchase a minimum amount of insurance, including:
- Bodily injury or death liability coverage: At least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Property damage liability coverage: At least $15,000.
These insurance policies are designed to cover a victim’s medical expenses and vehicle repairs following an accident.
It’s important to note that the minimum required insurance amounts primarily cover damages suffered by other individuals, not the policyholder. However, drivers have the option to purchase additional insurance for first-party coverage. In Colorado, the fault for an accident is determined using a tort-based car insurance law. According to this law, the driver responsible for causing the accident is liable for paying for the damages suffered by others involved. Therefore, after a car accident in Colorado, you will seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy.
Modified Comparative Negligence Law: Determining Fault and Recovery Awards
When dealing with your car accident claim, you may encounter Colorado’s comparative negligence law. This law states that if an accident victim contributed to their own injuries, their recovery award will be reduced. The Colorado courts will decrease the financial award proportionally to the degree of fault assigned to the plaintiff for the auto accident. If the party at fault claims that you also played a role in causing the accident, it may affect the amount of compensation you receive. If the courts find you to be 50% or more at fault for the car crash, you will not be entitled to any damages.
Car Accident Reporting Requirement: The Importance of Involving the Police
In the event of a serious car accident in Colorado, it is imperative to involve the police. As a responsible driver, it is your duty to notify the police immediately from the scene of the crash, if possible, if the accident results in a disabled vehicle, personal injury, or fatality. Dial 911 to report the accident to the authorities. It is also necessary to contact the police if your accident involves a suspected drunk driver or a hit-and-run incident. Within 10 days of the accident, you can obtain a copy of the police crash report, which can be utilized during the insurance claim process.
Statute of Limitations on Colorado Car Accident Claims: Time Constraints for Legal Action
If the car insurance process fails to provide the compensation you believe you deserve, you have the option to hire a personal injury attorney take legal action against the defendant in Colorado. However, it is crucial to file your lawsuit within the designated statute of limitations. Each state has its own unique statutes of limitations. In Colorado, according to the Revised Statute 13-80-101, you must commence a cause of action within three years from the date of the crash for most civil claims arising from an auto accident. In the case of a wrongful death claim, you have two years from the date of the victim’s death to file.
Damage Caps: Understanding Compensation Limits in Colorado
Colorado has implemented damage caps that restrict the maximum compensation you can recover for your damages. These caps impose limits on pain and suffering damages, wrongful death damages, dram shop claims, and punitive damages. Generally, the maximum amounts are:
- Pain and suffering damages: $250,000 or $500,000, depending on the circumstances.
- Wrongful death damages: $250,000 or $500,000, depending on the circumstances.
- Dram shop claims: $150,000.
- Punitive damages: The plaintiff’s actual damage award, up to certain limits.
However, there may be exceptions to these caps, especially in cases involving permanent injuries or specific criteria that apply to your car accident case. To gain an accurate understanding of the potential value of your claim, it is advisable to consult with an experienced attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer in Denver can guide you through Colorado’s car accident laws, ensuring you receive the appropriate legal representation.
By familiarizing yourself with Colorado’s car accident laws and seeking professional assistance, you can navigate the complexities of your case effectively. Remember, the expertise of a Denver car accident lawyer is invaluable in ensuring your rights are protected and maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation. Contact our Denver law firm today to discuss your case.