If you’ve been involved in a hit and run car accident, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara today for a free consultation where we’ll discuss our legal strategy.
Personal Injury FAQ
Motor Vehicle Accidents
What am I supposed to do after a car accident?
After a car accident in Colorado, you are required by law to stop as soon as possible and to remain at the scene.
The two drivers must exchange contact and insurance information with each other driver.
If the accident is serious, you need to remain at the accident scene until law enforcement arrives, investigates the accident, and dismisses you.
The law also requires you provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the accident. This means you have a duty to call 9-1-1 for an ambulance and to wait for help to arrive.
If you get in a car accident and you don’t stop, you may be arrested and charged with a hit-and-run.
Who is liable in a motor vehicle accident?
Several factors go into deciding who is liable, or who is at fault, in a motor vehicle accident. The individual who is at fault will be liable for damages or injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident. The decision of who pays for the damages or injuries sustained in car accidents rests primarily on motor vehicle statutes.
In its purest form, “fault” for causing an accident is either created by law or defined by common law. Common law recognizes four basic levels of fault:
- Recklessness or wanton conduct
- Intentional misconduct
- Strict liability (regardless of fault)
Our experienced Denver personal injury lawyers will help you to establish fault in your motor vehicle accident, and ensure the responsible party pays what you need to move on.
How is fault determined in a car accident claim?
There tend to be many factors and interpretations surrounding a motor vehicle accident. This subjectivity is why fault in a car accident is usually determined based on a compilation of all the facts. In order to determine who is at fault, there will be an investigation of the accident scene and the damaged property, eye-witness testimonies will be collected, and, in some cases, there may even be expert witnesses like accident reconstructionists.
What happens if both drivers are at fault in a motor vehicle accident?
Sometimes more than one driver may be found at least partially responsible for a motor vehicle accident. If this is the case for your car accident, Colorado state law will dictate who must pay for damage to property and the injuries of the involved parties.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you fight if you’re being wrongly accused of fault and understand your options while dealing with insurance companies.
If I was partially at fault for a car accident, can I still claim damages from the other driver?
Yes, even if you were partially at fault for a car accident, you can still claim damages.
Here in Colorado, comparative fault exists, which a rule is stating that an individual cannot claim the percentage of damages that they were at fault for causing. When put into practice, this rule makes it so that a percentage of fault will be assigned to both the plaintiff and the defendant. Once the percentages are established, the plaintiff in the car accident claim will be responsible for covering the percentage of damage he or she was at fault for, while the defendant will pay the plaintiff the remaining percentage.
What kind of damages can I claim from a car accident?
In general, damages to your property or person that can be quantified in a monetary amount can be claimed in a car accident insurance claim.
Damages in an insurance claim can be divided into two categories, special damages and general damages.
- Special damages: These types of damages are expenses and losses that are a direct resulted from the car accident. Any money lost due to the incident falls into the category of special damages.
This categorization also applies to emergency medical response costs (like an ambulance ride to the hospital from the accident scene), medical treatment, cost of surgery, cost of prescription medications and the predicted future costs of treatment and care, as well as any money that is lost by your inability to work.
- General damages: These types of damages aren’t tangible financial losses, but can still be compensated with financial awards. General damages claims can include damages for the experience of past, current, or future pain and suffering, for the loss of quality or enjoyment of life (due to severe or permanent injuries), and the loss of independence resulting from a permanent disability. Financial compensation for general damages is an attempt to compensate the victim fairly for what they’ve endured due to another’s recklessness or negligence.
If I am injured in a car accident, can I sue the driver of the vehicle if I was a passenger?
The short answer is yes, an injured passenger can sue the driver of a vehicle when they’re involved in a car accident. Here in Colorado, there is no law barring injured passengers from making insurance claims against the driver of their vehicle.
As a passenger, your safety and that of those on the road should be the driver’s priority.
If the driver acted negligently and it resulted in injury to you, you have the right to seek compensation. Contact the Denver personal injury lawyers here at the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara to learn more about passenger rights, to discover if you have a claim, and to strategize how you can recover damages as a passenger of a vehicle involved in a car accident.
What if my motorcycle accident involved a speeding ticket or other traffic violation?
Oftentimes a police officer or state trooper will ticket both parties involved in a motorcycle accident or car accident. These individuals try to find fault anywhere it may or may not exist.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and were not only injured, but also cited with a ticket, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Our attorneys focus on injury-related motorcycle accidents and are able to approach a speeding ticket or other traffic violation from a motorcyclist’s perspective.
We can defend your license by creating a concrete case that demonstrates how, in certain situations, a rider’s safety may depend on taking actions that could violate traffic laws. For example, if a motorcyclist is speeding but the other driver fails to stop at a stop sign and consequently hits the motorcyclist, the “violation” is justified.
Our experienced attorneys are often able to demonstrate that a motorcyclist may still be able to collect for injuries and property damage, despite having violated a particular traffic law.
Do motorcycle accident laws differ from state to state?
Yes, motorcycle accident laws do vary from state to state. Our Denver motorcycle attorneys have the extensive experience and knowledge to address the complexities of the motorcycle accident laws here in Colorado in order to get you the best possible outcome for your motorcycle accident personal injury case.
If I live elsewhere, but was involved in a motorcycle accident in Colorado, do I need to hire an attorney in Colorado?
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident here in Colorado, but live elsewhere, we still recommend you hire or consult local Colorado representation. A Colorado personal attorney lawyer will be familiar with the intricacies of motorcycle law here in Denver, and can help you to form the best legal strategy.
How long after a motorcycle accident occurs do I have to file a lawsuit?
In Colorado, an individual who was involved in a motorcycle accident has up to two years after the date of accident to file a lawsuit against any negligent parties who caused the accident.
After these two years have passed, you cannot legally file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries. As you can tell, it’s important you seek representation right away if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident. Our personal injury lawyers will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.
What should I do if a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident and he or she was not at fault?
Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents are fatal to the rider. If the other driver involved in the accident was found to be at-fault, the motorcyclist’s immediate family may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim can help provide financial support and closure to a grieving family. This claim would provide compensation for medical treatments and funeral arrangements, and could also result in financial compensation for loss of income and companionship.
How soon should I meet with a lawyer after a motorcycle accident occurs?
If you’ve sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, your first step should be to get emergency medical care for those injuries.
Your immediate next step should be to meet with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer, as the sooner you consult with a lawyer after the accident, the stronger your case will likely be, meaning the chances of you obtaining greater compensation are also higher.
Hit & Run
What exactly is a hit and run accident?
A hit and run accident is any car accident in which a driver intentionally leaves the scene without providing their contact information.
A hit and run occurs when a car hits you and speeds off, or if a driver hits your unattended parked car and leaves no contact information.
What are the penalties of a hit and run?
If you have been charged with a hit and run crime, there are several severe penalties that you may face. The penalties vary depending on the details of your unique hit and run situation.
In Colorado, the law recognizes four categories of hit and runs:
- Class-2 misdemeanor: If the accident only involves property damage, you may be charged with a Class-2 misdemeanor and subject to up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
- Class-1 misdemeanor: If the accident causes an injury, you may be charged with a Class-1 misdemeanor and subject to up to 18 months in jail and $5,000 in fines.
- Class-5 felony: If the accident causes a serious bodily injury and you leave the scene of the crime, you may be charged with a Class-5 felony, which means you could face up to three years in prison and fines up to $500,000.
- Class-3 felony: If the hit and run accident causes a death, you may be charged with a Class-3 felony. This serious offense means you could face up to 12 years in prison and fines up to $750,000.
What will happen if I’m convicted of a hit and run?
Your consequences will depend on the situation surrounding the hit and run and the severity of the damage and injuries. Penalties can include a suspension of your license, an automatic revocation of your driver’s license, jail time, or a fine. These severe consequences are why you definitely need a lawyer in your corner.
Also, you may face a civil lawsuit if the victim of the hit and run decides to submit a personal injury claim to request compensation for damages and injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you to navigate this stressful legal process.
Contact us today if you need a lawyer by your side.
What could happen if I left the scene of an accident where someone was killed?
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident where you left the scene of the accident and someone was killed, then you face Class III Felony Offense charges. A lot could happen with this type of charge, which is why it’s so vital to have a lawyer by your side to defend your future.
If convicted, you could spend up to 12 years in prison. You may also face a wrongful death lawsuit where you may have to compensate the victim’s family for their loss of companionship, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What is negligence?
Negligence is a legal theory often used in car accident cases. Negligence occurs when a person is behaves in a thoughtless or careless manner, and this behavior causes harm or injury to another person.
A person is considered negligent if he does something that he should not do, like run a red light or speed. A person is also considered negligent when he fails to do something that he should, like failing to stop for a pedestrian, to turn on the headlights when driving at night, or to yield.
If a driver is not reasonably careful on the road and injures someone as a result, the driver is liable for injuring the accident victim, and is therefore considered negligent.
If you think another driver was negligent in your motorcycle or motor vehicle accident, contact our lawyers today.
*Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.