How to File a Car Accident Claim in Colorado

Major motor vehicle accidents affect every community in the United States. While some auto crashes are thankfully minor collisions, many of them lead to serious and even life-altering bodily injury. Unfortunately, insurance companies don't make the insurance claims process easy. Auto accident victims require strong legal representation. If you suffered catastrophic injuries or property damage in an auto crash, our Denver auto accident attorneys are ready to protect your rights and help you file a car accident claim in Colorado to get the maximum compensation that you deserve to cover your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, emotional distress, and other financial damages.

At DCAL, our Denver traffic accident lawyers have extensive experience helping car accident victims across Colorado Springs recover fair compensation and we can help you too. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our Colorado Springs personal injury law firm today at 720-770-5454.

How Long After an Auto Accident Can You File an Accident Claim in Colorado?

It's essential to know that you have limited time to take legal action after a car accident. Under Colorado Revised Statutes section 13-80-101, all personal injury lawsuits related to motor vehicle accidents, must be filed within three years of the date of the auto accident. If someone tragically dies from a collision, the victim's family members have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim against the liable party.

If you try to file an auto accident lawsuit after the applicable filing time limit has passed, your case will most probably be dismissed and you'll lose your ability to recover financial compensation. Thus, it’s crucial to get an experienced accident attorney involved as soon as possible after your motor vehicle collision to safeguard your rights and protect yourself against potentially costly mistakes. The more time you give your personal injury attorney to build a strong car accident case on your behalf, the better your chances of having a successful outcome.

It’s imperative to note that these statutes of limitations only apply to car accident lawsuits, not insurance claims. Most car insurance policies require you to file an insurance claim or at least notify your insurance company that you were involved in a motor vehicle collision "promptly" or "within a reasonable time frame”. This time limit can be as little as a few days or a few weeks at most. Not notifying your insurance provider about the accident can cause a denial of insurance coverage or even termination of your insurance policy.

How Can You File A Denver Car Accident Lawsuit?

If you sustained accident injuries in a car crash, you must act quickly to safeguard your legal rights to pursue financial compensation. Often, you don’t have to file a personal injury lawsuit immediately, but you should not wait too long. Typically, personal injury attorneys start by filing an insurance claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. After investigating the auto collision and documenting your case, your accident lawyer will submit a demand to the insurance company. At that point, your accident lawyer will negotiate with the insurance adjuster to get a fair settlement offer.

How to File a Car Accident Claim in Colorado

Oftentimes, however, the insurance adjuster might not make a satisfactory settlement offer. If this happens, your auto accident attorney will advise you about moving forward with a civil lawsuit.

At our personal injury law firm, our experienced attorneys won’t hesitate to move forward with a personal injury lawsuit if necessary. Our Denver personal injury attorneys have extensive litigation experience. And we don’t believe you should have to settle for less than you deserve for your personal injuries and other monetary damages. If that means fighting the at-fault party and their insurance company in court, then we’ll do exactly that.

How Do I File an Accident Report in Colorado?

Anytime you’re involved in a traffic accident in Colorado with any other object, whether that might be another motor vehicle, building, pedestrian, or bicyclist, Colorado State law requires all drivers involved in the collision to give their address, name, and vehicle registration information to other persons involved in the crash. Thus, you must show your driver's license to any person who asks to see it. Often, except for times when an "Accident Alert" has been declared, you must stop at the accident scene and report the auto crash to the local law enforcement agency by contacting your local district police department or 911.

Some cities might be on Accident Alert while others might not depending on how the weather conditions are affecting a specific area. You must call for Denver law enforcement response by dialing 911 and speaking with the dispatcher to establish if a police officer will be sent to the scene of an accident. Although an accident alert is in effect, law enforcement officers will only respond if the following circumstances exist:

  • Damaged motor vehicles are obstructing the street.
  • The motor vehicle crash involves a fatality or bodily injury requiring medical treatment.
  • Drunk driving is involved.
  • Any of the involved drivers flee the accident scene.
  • Any of the involved drivers doesn’t have a valid driver's license.
  • The accident involves on-duty City personnel or there’s damage to public property.

If the motor vehicle crash doesn’t meet the criteria for a police response, you must:

  •  All drivers involved in the crash must exchange their address, name, vehicle registration information, driver's license information, and proof of insurance information.
  • File an accident report as soon as possible by reporting the collision to your local district police station or calling 911. 

Related: What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer do?

What Damages Are Available in Denver Motor Vehicle Accident Cases?

If you have sustained severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, or physical impairment following a car accident in Denver, our auto accident attorneys can help you seek the maximum compensation you're entitled to. The exact value of your damages will depend on the specific circumstances of your collision, the extent of your bodily injuries, and the level of evidence proving the at-fault driver’s liability.

You can use monetary compensation won in a car accident settlement to pay for dozens of expenses, including:

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses;
  • Any necessary surgeries;
  • Lost earning capacity;
  • Lost wages;
  • Rehabilitation costs;
  • Car repair or replacement expenses;
  • Emotional trauma;
  • Pain and suffering; and 
  • Wrongful death, especially if a loved one passes following the crash.

Typically, any damages that can be quantified with a dollar amount can be claimed in an auto accident insurance claim. The vehicle damage in an insurance claim is often divided into two categories. The first category is called economic damages. These are financial expenses and losses that directly result from the car accident. Any money that was lost because of the crash is included in this category. Thus, economic damages apply to medical bills, emergency medical response costs, cost of surgery, cost of prescription medication, and the predicted future costs of medical treatment.

An image of a man calling a lawyer after a car accident

Economic damages also include any money that is lost by the inability to go to work. Many car crash injury victims can’t work for a period of time or even permanently because of their personal injuries. Their lost income can also be added to the economic damages in the personal injury claim.

The other type of financial damages are known as non-economic damages. Non-economic damages aren’t necessarily financial expenses but are compensated with financial awards. For instance, a car accident victim may claim damages for the suffering caused by the accident, for the loss of enjoyment of life because of catastrophic or permanent injuries and the loss of independence because of a permanent disability. While money can’t take these difficulties away, it’s an attempt to compensate the accident victim and help them recover peacefully without having to worry about their medical bills and other expenses brought about by the accident.

How Can I Afford a Skilled Car Accident Attorney?

The last thing you need after a motor vehicle accident is to be burdened with expensive legal fees during your pursuit of financial compensation. No injured person should be denied justice because of the inability to pay. Thus, most auto accident attorneys, including those at DCAL, work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay any attorney's fees unless our experienced attorneys secure compensation on your behalf. This makes sure your personal injury attorney's goals are aligned with yours and allows you to focus on your recovery journey with peace of mind as your personal injury case progresses.

At DCAL, our Denver personal injury attorneys handle the entire legal process from start to finish, including handling all filing time limits and evidentiary requirements. Our traffic accident lawyers work with a network of experts who may also provide insight into the case.

Our personal injury lawyer will also discuss your personal injury claim with opposing counsel and the insurance adjusters to work on a favorable settlement agreement. Experienced Denver auto accident lawyers at DCAL have years of experience in car accident claims and are prepared to help you with your personal injury case. To schedule a free consultation, contact our Denver personal injury law firm today at 720-770-5454, or chat with us online to learn how we can help. 

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