What Steps Should I Take If I Need To File An Auto Collision Lawsuit?
If someone needs to file an auto collision lawsuit, one of the most important steps to take is to document everything. Immediately after the collision and if a person is able (or a friend or a family member), they should take photographs of the site and all of the vehicles. Many factors can come into play, and having photographs from all angles of the collision site will help us determine which factors came into play in a particular case. If a person is unable to take photographs at the scene, then they should at least try to get photographs before their vehicle is repaired. It is helpful if we can obtain the names and contact information from witnesses. Under Colorado law, usually everyone who was involved in a collision needs to exchange insurance information.
Generally speaking, the police will be called to the site of any severe impact or collision. If the collision occurred on a state highway or interstate, then it will generally be the Colorado State Patrol that responds. If it occurred on a local street, then it might be the municipality’s police force that responds. Once they arrive, they will conduct an investigation, take photos, measure skid marks, talk to witnesses and write a report. It is important to keep in mind that despite the fact that most police officers are really well-trained and often handle hundreds or thousands of auto collisions, they don’t always get it right. A person can refute what’s in an officer’s report by having the information that they obtained through photographs and talking to other witnesses.
If someone wants to make an auto collision claim, then they should definitely contact me as soon as possible. The earlier that I get involved with a case, the more I can do to help. Sometimes people make mistakes before they come to see me, and we’ll work through those and minimize the impact of those mistakes. I can guide clients through the whole process. It’s also very important for people to obtain the recommended medical treatment and follow the advice of their doctors, especially if they plan on bringing a claim for bodily injuries.
Am I Responsible For Notifying My Own Insurance Company? Should I Notify The Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
A person is responsible for notifying their insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company if they want that company to pay damages for the loss of property or bodily injuries. We can do that for you. Sometimes people find themselves in an adversarial situation with their own insurance company. What do I mean by that? In Colorado, anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of people who drive either don’t have any type of liability insurance whatsoever, or they only have the minimum liability in Colorado, which is only $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident. If someone is in a serious accident and sustains a serious injury, $25,000 is unlikely to cover the all of the expenses.
In order to protect themselves, many people have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which means that their own insurance company will in certain circumstances, pay the damages. In other words, if the other driver has $25,000 worth of coverage and the injured driver has $100,000 in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, then that uninsured or underinsured coverage can be used to pay for the injuries. However, many people don’t understand that their own insurance company won’t automatically pay for the injuries and losses. In these situations, the injured person’s own insurance company effectively defends the other driver in an attempt to avoid or minimize paying a claim. Regardless of whether a person is dealing with their own insurance company or another driver’s insurance company, they need to be careful about what they say. This is another reason why hiring my office is so important.
Oftentimes, people will have to give a recorded statement. The insurance company will call and ask the person a few questions about the collision while their statements are recorded. In many cases, the statements people make will be used against them later on. People just have to be aware of the fact that anything they say to an insurance company in the context of making a claim for an auto accident can be used against them. This is where people really need the guidance of an attorney. I will talk to my clients about how to go about giving a recorded statement, and we will do the station next with me in attendance. I will be on the telephone during the interview, ensure that they know what to expect, and make sure that the adjuster on the other line does not ask questions that fall outside the proper boundaries.
So, while a person will have to give the insurance company information about the collision, they can do so while I am with them. When a person deals with their own insurance company, that company will ask legitimate questions about the collision. This isn’t necessarily anything to be overly concerned about, but it’s important to keep in mind that the person asking you questions is a well-trained insurance adjuster who often takes such statements multiple times a day. For many people, it will be the first recorded statement they have ever had to give. The adjuster might be really nice, but they still have an agenda, which is to pay as little money as possible to settle a claim.
For more information on Steps To Take For An Auto Crash Claim, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (303) 870-8492 today.
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