Car Accident Liability in Colorado
Colorado is an "at-fault" car insurance state. This means that the driver who caused the crash (also known as the “at-fault” party) will pay for medical expenses, property damage, and other accident-related costs suffered by the injured victims. In order to recover damages, you can proceed by:
- Filing a claim with your own insurance company
- Filing a third-party claim against the at-fault driver's insurance provider
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Colorado Insurance Requirements
Motorists in the state of Colorado are required to carry liability insurance with minimum coverage limits of:
- $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury per person in a single accident
- $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury to two or more people per accident
- $15,000 liability coverage for property damage in a single accident
State Laws for Personal Injury Claims
Here are some important Colorado state laws addressing personal injury claims:
Colorado follows a "modified comparative negligence" rule, with a 50% bar. Under this system in personal injury claims, an accident victim may only recover damages if they were less than 50% at fault for their injuries, and the amount of compensation that may be recovered will be reduced by their fault percentage (Colorado Revised Statutes Section 13-21-111).
For example, if the jury awards a personal injury settlement of $70,000 against the at-fault party, but you were found to have been 20% at fault for the accident, then your compensation will be reduced by $14,000, and you will only be allowed to receive $56,000 (80% of the $70,000). Under Colorado's modified comparative negligence principle, you will be barred from recovering any compensation if you were found to be 50% or more responsible for the accident and your injuries.
Statute of Limitations
According to Colorado Revised Statute Section 13-80-101(1)(n)(I), all tort actions for bodily injury or property damage arising out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle must be commenced within three years of the date when the accident or injury occurs.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death is an avoidable death caused by another person's negligent, careless, or wrongful actions. Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes Section 13-21-202, "when the death of a person is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another, the person who or the corporation which would have been liable, if death had not ensued, shall be liable in an action for damages notwithstanding the death of the party injured."
Who Can File?
Only specific people can file a wrongful death action under Colorado law. The person who may file will depend on when the wrongful death claim is being filed. The following people may bring a wrongful death action in the state of Colorado:
Within The First Year
- The deceased person's spouse (exclusive rights)
- The deceased person's heirs with the written consent of the surviving spouse
- The deceased person's heirs or designated beneficiaries (if there is no spouse)
Within The Second Year
- The deceased person's spouse
- The deceased person's heir
- The decedent's spouse and heirs
- The designated beneficiary
Most importantly, a wrongful death claim must be initiated within two years of the date the death occurred (Colorado Revised Statutes Section 13-21-204).
Work with a Skilled Attorney
Being involved in a car accident can be difficult and overwhelming. Such an accident can have a huge impact on your physical, financial, and mental well-being. You shouldn't have to face all the challenges and financial liability by yourself. It is important that you hire a highly skilled personal injury attorney immediately to help protect your rights and pursue fair compensation.
At Gama Law Firm, our attorneys are committed to handling personal injury cases and advocating for auto accident victims. As your legal counsel, we can:
- Represent your best interests and work to hold the responsible parties accountable
- Review and investigate all of the facts of your situation
- Gather all necessary information, evidence, and documentation
- Seek to establish fault and prove liability
- Determine the full extent of your injuries and estimate case-value
- Help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies involved
- File a personal injury lawsuit or take additional legal action, where needed