Colorado Car Accident Laws, Lawyers and Overview

Colorado Car Accident Laws, Lawyers and Overview

Famous for the Rocky Mountains, outdoor sports like hiking and skiing, the Mile High City of Denver and its many suburbs, and the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, the State of Colorado is home to nearly 5.2 million individuals. Many more people find reasons to travel to the state, and the presence of Interstate 70 and various passes through the Rocky Mountains encourage commercial drivers hauling people or cargo across the country to plan their routes through Colorado.

Colorado is no stranger to car accidents. While not every car accident results in an injury or death, a sizeable number do. When you have been injured in a Colorado car crash, there is very little time to waste. If you wish to obtain monetary damages so that you can pay for your medical treatment and other expenses, you must be prepared to take decisive action to protect your rights.

Colorado Car Crash Data and Trends

There has been an increased focus on car crash trends in Colorado ever since the state legalized marijuana consumption several years ago. The Colorado Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining records on the number of crashes. Last year, 545 people died in traffic accidents in Colorado, which was an 11 percent increase over 2014 when 488 people perished on Colorado’s highways. This was the first time in seven years that Colorado traffic fatalities exceeded 500. These troubling statistics (which do not account for the number of individuals who are injured in car crashes) have caused some to second-guess whether allowing individuals to consume marijuana without criminal repercussions is a good idea from a public safety standpoint.

Marijuana use is not the only factor contributing to the state’s number of fatality incidents. Other careless and negligent behavior may be to blame. For example, texting while driving is fast becoming an epidemic as an increasing number of collisions across the nation are occurring because drivers’ attention is being pulled away from the road by electronic devices. Of course, consuming impairing substances like alcohol and drugs (even if the drugs are legal or prescribed) can increase the likelihood of a car accident as well. Finally choosing to disobey traffic safety laws like speed limits and stop and yield signs can lead to a car collision. This emphasizes a general truth about car crashes – many of them can be prevented if drivers chose to exercise greater care while driving.

Colorado is a “Fault-Based” Insurance State

Residents of Colorado who intend to drive a vehicle on the state’s roadways must first obtain a fault-based insurance policy that provides for sufficient compensation for injury victims if you were to carelessly injure someone while driving. Fault-based policies are for the benefit of people you might injure while driving. If you were to cause an accident through your own carelessness, the person you injured would file a claim for compensation with your insurance company. Your insurance company would then determine whether the claim should be paid and, if so, in what amount by examining the facts of the crash and whether the evidence available suggests you were at fault in causing the crash.

Lawsuits are sometimes filed in fault-based states because the at-fault driver’s insurance policy either does not pay a satisfactory amount of compensation or decides to pay no compensation at all. In a car crash lawsuit, the injury victim must show that the at-fault driver drove his or her car in a careless manner and this caused the accident and resulted in the victim being injured. The victim’s own carelessness in contributing to the crash is also important – if the victim is 50 percent or more at fault in causing the crash, he or she is not able to recover any compensation. Otherwise, the victim will not be able to obtain any compensation at all.

The Statute of Limitations in Colorado

If you are injured in a Colorado car accident and do decide to file a lawsuit, be aware that you only have two years from the date of your crash to do so. If you are not able to file your lawsuit within that time, you may be forever precluded from obtaining any compensation for your injuries and losses attributable to the crash. While it is generally known that there are exceptions to this statutory deadline (often referred to as a statute of limitations), these exceptions are only applicable in certain, limited circumstances.

A Colorado Car Accident Lawyer Available to Assist You

Call Stern Law, PLLC as soon as possible after your car crash to learn what you must do in order to retain your ability to obtain compensation for your losses, expenses, and injuries. Our dedicated staff will help guide you gently but decisively through the recovery process and will be with you at every major step along the way. Contact Stern Law, PLLC at (844) 808-7529 for assistance with your case.

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