What to Do After a Colorado Car Accident
There is no doubt about it: Being in a car accident is scary. It can also be confusing. You are possibly suffering from severe injuries and wondering how the accident happened. You likely will not know what to do next.
It is important that all drivers arm themselves with the knowledge of what to do after a car accident in Colorado. The steps taken immediately following an accident, and those you take in the next several days or weeks, can all impact your car accident claim.
Report the Accident
While still at the scene of the accident, it is important to report the accident to the police. Colorado law states that any accident involving injury or property damage must be reported. If the damage and injuries are minor, the police may just ask you a few questions over the phone. If the accident was serious, they will likely come out to the scene right away. It is important that you wait for them so you can provide a statement. If you are unable to because you need emergency medical treatment, phone them in a few days so they can review the accident report with you.
Insurance is always an issue after a car accident. Every driver in Colorado must carry a minimum amount of auto insurance. Colorado is also a tort state, meaning that car accident cases hinge on liability. If another driver was at fault for the accident, you will need to seek compensation from his or her insurance company.
However, fault is not something you should discuss at the scene. Instead, both parties should exchange insurance information along with the other driver’s name, telephone, address, and driver’s license number. This way the insurance companies, the parties involved, and their attorneys can determine fault and which insurance company should pay.
Document the Scene
The chances are good that in the chaos following an accident, your memory will fail you at some point. You may forget the details that led up to the crash, or mix information up in your head. It is natural, but injured individuals who cannot remember those details can hurt a case. It is for this reason that it is so important to document the scene of the accident. If possible, take pictures of all vehicles involved, focusing on property damage that can indicate where the two cars crashed into each other. Also take pictures of anything relevant to the accident, such as stop signs or traffic lights.
In addition to helping your claim by keeping your memory sharp, documenting the scene will also ensure important evidence does not go missing.
Get Medical Treatment
When injuries are quite obvious and painful, people typically seek treatment for them as soon as possible. After many car accidents however, the injuries sustained are not as obvious but it does not mean they are not there. It is for this reason it is so important to always see a doctor after any car accident. You may have hit your head and have a concussion and not realize it. Or, it is possible you began to bleed internally during the accident. This is a potentially fatal condition. A doctor will know what to look for and conduct a full examination to ensure you are okay.
Failing to seek medical treatment soon after the accident can also harm a car accident claim. The insurance company or the other driver may claim that your injuries are not serious because you did not seek medical help after the accident.
Contact a Colorado Car Accident Attorney
It is important that all car accident victims take the above steps following a car accident. Once those important issues have been taken care of, it is time to contact a car accident lawyer in Colorado. An attorney can help negotiate with the insurance company, ensure accident victims are offered a fair settlement, and that their rights are upheld throughout the entire process.
If you have been injured in a car accident and need help seeking compensation, contact Burg, Simpson, Eldredge, Hersh & Jardine, P.C. We offer free case evaluations.