How is fault determined in Colorado car accidents?
Any car accident lawyer Denver CO residents choose to represent them after a car accident may first try to determine in a consultation with their client whether there is damage, and then who is at fault for that damage. Colorado became a “fault” based system in 2003, which means that liability for any damages caused by the at-fault driver is the sole responsibility of that driver, and their insurance policy may be used to pay for those damages. Damages refer to personal injury-related costs and property damage costs as a result of the accident.
So now that we know the at fault driver in Colorado is responsible for damages, how is fault determined? It should be noted that insurance companies have the final say in determining who is at fault—they do not have to come to the same conclusion as the police, although it is rare that they do not. Every situation is unique, and the more unique, the more a Denver car accident lawyer can help you, but if one driver violated a traffic law, e.g. speeding, running a red light, they are typically held responsible for a resulting car accident.
Typical accidents that make it clear who is at fault are rear end collisions and left hand turns. The follower in a rear end collision is almost always at fault, though if it can be proved that the leading driver slammed on their breaks for no reason, that may be an exception to the rule. Drivers making left-hand turns are almost always at fault but an exception might be when the other driver runs a red light through the intersection and the turning driver has a green arrow.
In the absence of a clear case, a car accident lawyer Denver CO residents trust may want to prove that the other party is guilty of negligence. Negligence occurs when a driver doesn’t comply with certain duties required of them, and that breach causes an accident. While running a red light would be an obvious example of negligence, more subtle examples are broken headlights at night, not wearing glasses when they are necessary to see well enough to drive safely, failure to use a turn signal, etc.… This is when a car accident lawyer in Denver CO trusts as their advocate may seek out evidence to make your case. Some examples of admissible evidence a car accident lawyer Denver CO residents turn to can look for are photos, statements from witnesses and from drivers—it’s surprising how often drivers admit their guilt at the scene—police reports, video footage, car damage, skid marks, and in the absence of most of these other types of evidence, drivers’ records might be considered.
In Colorado, when both drivers are at fault, the injured person who is deemed more than 50 percent responsible for the accident won’t be entitled to compensation. The driver who is less than 50 percent fault is entitled however. It is all or nothing where liability is concerned.
In Colorado, an injured person can pursue compensation for damages by filing a claim through his or her own insurance company, who would then work with the at-fault driver’s insurance, by pursuing a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or by enlisting the services of Richard J. Banta, P.C., a car accident lawyer Denver CO resident have relied on for countless personal injury lawsuits in civil court. If you were in a car accident, especially in the case where a significant injury has occurred, call the car accident lawyer Denver CO trusts at 303-331-3415 for a free consultation.