Knowing what to do after a car accident in Colorado can be invaluable to your future. A car insurance company will look for any reason to deny liability for your accident. Taking the correct steps after a collision can help you protect your rights and recover the financial compensation that you need to pay your bills and move forward. These five easy-to-remember steps can help you build a stronger claim to damages after a car accident in Denver.
1. Fulfill Your Responsibilities as a Driver
All drivers in Colorado have legal responsibilities when it comes to what to do after a car accident. It is important to fulfill these duties if you wish to avoid a hit-and-run charge or other penalties. Start by pulling over at the scene of the crash, or near to the scene if it is not safe to stop immediately. Check yourself, your passengers, the other driver and anyone else involved in the car accident for injuries.
If the car accident appears to have caused injury, death or at least $1,000 in property damage, you legally must report it to the police. Do so by calling 911 while you are still at the scene. If you lost your cell phone in the crash, make the call as soon as possible. Another driver responsibility is to exchange information with others involved. This includes names, phone numbers and insurance information.
2. Document the Car Accident
The strength of your car accident insurance claim will come down to your documentation of its facts. Do your best to document the car accident early, while the details of the event are still fresh in your mind and key evidence has not yet been destroyed. Keep track of the following information:
- The other driver’s name and number
- A description of the other vehicle and its license plate number
- The time, date and location of the accident
- Eyewitness information
- The state of the weather
- Any road defects or obscured traffic signs
- A description of your injuries
- Your police report number
- Any other relevant information
Make sure your side of the story gets put on the police report. Take photographs and videos while you are still at the scene of the crash, if possible. Obtain copies of surveillance footage from nearby traffic or security cameras. Take pictures of your injuries and property damage. Keep an injury journal while you heal, as well.
3. Seek Medical Attention
It is important to go to a hospital in Denver right away after a car accident, even if you think you are uninjured. You may have an injury that is hidden or masked by adrenaline. Delaying your medical care can give an insurance company a reason to deny benefits. Follow your doctor’s advice and treatment plan to the letter. Obtain copies of your medical records and hospital bills to support your injury claim.
4. File a Car Insurance Claim
In Colorado, the driver who caused the car accident will be responsible for paying for related damage. You can call your own car insurance company to report the accident. Then, your insurer will investigate and can file a claim on your behalf with the other driver’s insurance company, if applicable. If you believe the other driver is at fault, you can also call his or her insurance carrier directly to file a claim. Do not admit fault for the accident when filing a claim.
5. Contact a Colorado Car Accident Lawyer
Unfortunately, you cannot trust a car insurance company to protect your best interest. Rather than rushing into a fast settlement or accepting a claim denial, contact a car accident lawyer in Aurora for advice and assistance. Your lawyer can help you document your car accident, determine liability, file an insurance claim and negotiate maximum financial compensation for your losses.