After an automobile accident, determining liability can be a complicated process. After all, each automobile accident is unique. The circumstances surrounding your collision will need to be evaluated carefully and due legal process should be heeded. Moreover, the laws where you live must be taken into account.

For example, Colorado is an at-fault state. Therefore, determining liability is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. The at-fault party will be responsible for paying damages and recovery to the injured party. In this guide, we will discuss who and what can be held responsible after an automobile accident. When you better understand how responsibility and liability are assigned after a car accident, you will be able to proceed with confidence. If you need more help as you file claims or consider pursuing damages in a personal injury case, we encourage you to contact Matlin Injury Law!

Need Help Proving Fault? Contact Our Team!

If you were recently hurt in an automobile collision in Colorado, you probably have lots of questions. How can you prove that the other driver was at fault? Should you speak with a lawyer before filing a police report? We can answer all of these questions and more! At Matlin Injury Law, we proudly serve injured victims in Parker, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Thornton, and everywhere in between.

Our team can speedily help you file claims and will walk you through every phase of your personal injury automobile accident case. With our skilled team of seasoned personal injury attorneys on your side, you can worry less about proving that the other driver was behaving negligently and instead, put your focus more on recovering and healing from your injuries. So, contact our offices today and let us help you get your life back!

All About Liability and Fault

Determining fault is important because it helps ensure justice for all parties involved. In essentially any situation, the driver of the vehicle that caused the automobile crash will be assigned liability, also known as “fault.” With that being said, there are some exceptions to this rule.

For instance, if the driver of a vehicle is a minor or isn’t the vehicle’s actual owner, things can get more complicated. In situations such as these, damages may be claimed against one person or additional individuals. In complex scenarios like this, hiring a Colorado car accident attorney right away is usually the best move. In the meantime, here are a few things to know about how different parties are held responsible after a car wreck.

Determining Responsibility with the Car Owner vs. Responsible Driver

Depending on the unique circumstances of a car accident, liability for damages caused by a collision can be assigned to either the driver behind the wheel or the legal owner of the car. Colorado has some very clear automobile liability laws and is an at-fault state when it comes to insurance.

In many instances, the driver behind the wheel also owns the vehicle. However, sometimes, someone else is borrowing the car or driving with the owner in the passenger seat. If this is the case, the owner of a motor vehicle will still be responsible for any damage caused during its operation. This can be true even if someone else is driving and the owner is just a passenger.

However, the person driving must have implied or expressed consent from the vehicle’s owner. So, if someone steals a car and then wrecks it, different laws and procedures will be involved. Additionally, automobile insurance companies must adhere to the laws in the states where they operate. That is why the police report filed after an accident can play such an important role in claims and cases where victims seek compensation for their losses.

Bearing all of this in mind, you should think long and hard before letting someone else operate your vehicle. Colorado’s laws can mean that if you allow another person to drive your vehicle, you could be held liable for any damage they cause on the road.

Filing a Claim if the Driver Who Hit You Does Not Own the Vehicle

Sometimes, wrecks are caused by drivers that are only borrowing a vehicle. For example, maybe you were hit by a teenage driver. If this is the case, filing claims may get a little bit complicated. Although the claims filing systems are similar for owners and drivers, there could be a few difficulties that you will need to navigate.

The at-fault party’s insurance company may try to argue with you regarding liability. This is especially true if there could be some kind of exemption for the at-fault driver. Insurance companies will often try to pay as little as possible to victims. In situations like this, it may be wise to speak with a personal injury attorney before giving a statement to the insurance provider or signing any legal documents for their company.

Can You Still File Claims Against Non-Owner or Uninsured Drivers?

If the person driving is not the owner of a vehicle, this can be an added complication. Moreover, if a driver is uninsured, it can be harder to access the damages you are owed. Nevertheless, you have rights and can definitely still file claims. Our team knows how to help with cases of this nature. Simply call Matlin Injury Law and schedule a free personal injury case consultation.

Colorado Liability and Insurance Laws

As with many other states, Colorado requires vehicle owners to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. This car insurance coverage is used to protect all drivers on the road, pedestrians, and more. Here are a few things to know about Colorado’s liability insurance laws and how they may work after an automobile accident.

Being At-fault Matters

Although some states are no-fault States, Colorado is an at-fault state, and the car insurance system is based on liability. So, the person responsible for the underlying accident must pay the victim back for property damage, physical harm, and mental anguish. Since the person who is deemed to be primarily responsible for a wreck will be held liable legally, it is important to be careful what you say after your accident if there is speculation on where the blame should be placed.

Liability Insurance is Legally Required in Colorado

Liability car insurance coverage is a legal requirement in the state of Colorado. Vehicle owners can opt out of other types of insurance but must have a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage to be able to drive without breaking the law. Choosing not to comply with Colorado’s minimum insurance laws can result in numerous penalties.

Fault Can be Divided Between Parties

Since this is an at-fault State, one driver may be held entirely responsible for a collision. However, multiple drivers may be held responsible as well. If an individual shares responsibility for an automobile accident, they may not be able to file claims for damages.

If you were in an automobile accident that was clearly caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, it is important to state this clearly in an accident report. Don’t accidentally assume part of the blame if a wreck if it was not your fault. Be very careful what you say to the responding officer on the scene. If in doubt, or if the other person involved in the accident is denying fault, contact an automobile personal injury attorney immediately.

Who is held liable for pedestrian accidents in Colorado?

The average vehicle weighs somewhere between 2,000 and 5000 lbs. The average pedestrian in Colorado weighs well under 250 lbs. Therefore, Colorado’s laws are designed to protect pedestrians from being hit by a vehicle. This means that pedestrians almost always have the right of way and will not be held liable in a pedestrian car accident and if a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the driver of the vehicle will usually be held responsible.

In addition to this, cars are legally required to yield to any pedestrian legally using a crosswalk. This applies to stop signs and red lights as well. If a vehicle stops to let a pedestrian pass, any vehicle behind it is prohibited from passing the initially stopped vehicle. Pedestrians are legally given the right of way in every city in Colorado.

Bearing all of this in mind, certain circumstances can complicate liability with pedestrian accidents. Extenuating circumstances may include construction zones or traffic signals that are working improperly, intoxicated pedestrians riding electric vehicles like scooters, and more. So, if you have questions about a pedestrian accident, we encourage you to call us.

Don’t Wait, Let Our Skilled Team Assist You Now! Call Matlin Injury Law Serving Parker, Colorado

Were you injured in a car accident in Parker, Colorado, or a nearby city? If you were involved in an automobile wreck and feel that you deserve compensation for your suffering, we encourage you to contact our team as soon as possible. The quicker you have one of our attorneys on your side working for you, the better your chances are of getting a higher settlement amount.

Not only do we comprehensively understand the legal systems and processes in Colorado, but we are skilled personal injury attorneys determined to help you recoup your financial losses. So, contact our team as soon as you can and we will start fighting for your rights! At Matlin Injury Law, helping injured victims is our business.

Let Our Skilled Team Help You Today. Schedule Your Free Case Consultation!

No matter what stage your case is in at the moment, we can probably assist you in some way. In fact, we even offer free case consultations for injured victims in Colorado. You can click here to schedule your free case consultation now! Or, call our team at 720-464-3600. You can also learn more about our practice areas and personal injury firm online.

Are You Ready to Get Your Life Back? Call Us Now at 720-464-3600. Matlin Injury Law is Here to Serve the Needs of Injured Colorado Automobile Accident Victims!