Frank Azar is a Denver Car Accident Lawyer who has successfully represented thousands of injured clients
What are my rights after injured in an auto accident?
As a Denver car accident lawyer, Frank Azar knows the simplest task such as driving or riding in a car can result in serious injuries, and the need to hire an injury attorney. According to statistics kept by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there are currently almost 6 million car accidents in the United States reported to the police each year, and nearly one-third of them resulted in injuries that were reported at the scene. The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles reported that in 2004 there were nearly 250,000 motor vehicle accidents in Colorado with one-fourth of them resulting in fatalities or injuries reported at the scene. Many times, people are injured in auto accidents but do not develop symptoms immediately afterwards or seek medical attention at the scene, so the actual injury rate is higher than these statistics reflect. If you are in a auto accident, don’t hesitate to call a Denver auto accident lawyer today.
Who Is At Fault?
Too many times our Denver Car Accident Lawyers see an accident where the authorities were never called. In most cases, a law enforcement officer will be dispatched to the scene of an accident to investigate and attempt to determine the person at fault. In many cases, the officer’s opinion of who was at fault will be accepted by the parties and the insurance companies. In many other cases however, the investigating police officer will be unable to reach a decision on fault or the officer’s decision will be questioned or even disregarded by one or more of the parties or insurance companies. In this type of situation you could benefit from the assistance of a Denver based auto accident lawyer.
In Colorado, evidence of the particular traffic citation that anyone received in an auto accident is not admissible evidence at trial on the civil claim, although the investigating officer may still be allowed to express an opinion on who caused the accident.
The on-site investigation performed by the police officer, sheriff’s deputy or state trooper is not always exhaustive. It must be kept in mind that they have varying degrees of training and experience and their main job is to attempt to secure a criminal conviction of the person who they believe is primarily at fault. The more serious auto accidents receive more attention from law enforcement, but even in those cases there may be evidence that is not obtained or considered. If warranted, an outside accident reconstruction expert may be retained to provide a more thorough analysis and report.
Colorado has a comparative negligence law, which means that in a civil case a jury may be asked to consider whether more than one person was at fault for the accident. The injured person is not allowed to recover to the extent of their own fault or negligence. For example, if the injured person is found to be 10% at fault, then he or she will not recover 10% of his or her damages or losses. If the injured person is found 50% or more at fault, he or she recovers nothing. Insurance companies often assert that the injured person does bear some of the fault for an auto accident and so refuse to pay the victim to that extent. A Denver auto accident lawyer often can develop evidence and argue effectively on your behalf should comparative negligence be asserted as a defense against you.