How Do I File a Claim After a Car Accident? | Boulder Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be burdened with expenses resulting from medical care, property damage, lost wages, and many other factors. You are probably wondering what your legal options are:
- Do you need a car accident lawyer?
- Will you be able to file a personal injury claim?
- Will you have to go to court?
- How do you determine the true extent of your auto accident injuries?
At Zinda Law Group, our car accident attorneys have represented injured victims in a variety of auto injury claims, ranging from those involving minor injuries to those resulting in the death of a loved one.
What to Know About Car Accident Cases
A personal injury case involving an automobile accident requires three general elements:
- The at-fault driver owed a duty to the claimant;
- The at-fault driver breached this duty by a negligent act or omission; and
- Due to this breach, the victim suffered injuries.
Each of these elements must be proven by objective evidence for a motor vehicle accident claim to proceed. Without the presence of one of the elements, the claim will fail and the victim will not be entitled to any damages from the at-fault driver.
Proving that a duty was owed to the victim is generally straightforward. When drivers travel on public roads in Colorado, they have a duty to operate their vehicles in a manner that is reasonable under the circumstances and to abide by local and state traffic laws. For example, speeding in a snowstorm would not be traveling in a manner that is reasonable under the circumstances.
The negligent act or omission must also be proven by objective evidence. There are dozens of examples of negligence that result in car accidents, including texting while driving, driving while intoxicated, driving while fatigued, failing to pay attention to the road, and driving too fast for conditions.
Finally, the victim must prove that they were actually harmed by the at-fault driver’s negligence. If a driver is speeding but does not cause an injury, one cannot file a claim just because the speeding driver made him nervous. However, if a speeding driver rear-ends someone, the victim may submit medical records, employer records demonstrating lost wages, and other types of evidence to support a personal injury claim.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Colorado?
In a lawsuit, there is a deadline known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is how long an individual has to file a lawsuit, and they vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of legal matter. In Colorado, personal injury claims, including car accident cases, have a statute of limitations of two years.
If an injured victim misses this deadline, they may be barred from pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver. Therefore, the victim would be solely responsible for their own medical bills and other expenses suffered from the auto accident.
What Types of Damages Are Available in an Auto Accident Claim?
The types of damages available in a car accident claim vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- The cost of future medical care
- The cost of making alterations to one’s home, such as wheelchair ramps
Some or all of these damages may be sought by a plaintiff.
How Zinda Law Group Can Help
At Zinda Law Group of Littleton, Colorado, our skilled team of car accident attorneys aggressively fights to help injury victims seek the full compensation they deserve. Contact us today at 800-863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation about your case. Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.