Common Misconceptions About Car Accident Claims in Colorado

In 2019, there were 121,648 car crashes in the state of Colorado. Being involved in a car accident is life-altering. Recovering from the trauma can take quite some time, whether it was a fender-bender or a bigger crash. When an accident happens, there can be so much happening in the aftermath that important steps may be skipped or disregarded in regards to your health or legal action. 

If you do experience a car accident, Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC can help you with your car accident claim. We service clients in Durango, Colorado, as well as the neighboring areas of Telluride, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and The Four Corners.

Review these common myths and crucial steps to take following a motor vehicle accident so that if the occasion does arise, you are prepared. 

I feel okay, so I don’t need to seek medical attention.

There are many reasons to seek immediate medical attention following a car accident, even if you feel okay or think injuries are minor:

  • Your Own Sake: Even if you think you aren’t injured or that your injuries are minor, you need to seek medical attention. Sometimes, symptoms don’t appear for days or even weeks, at which point it may be too late to reverse the damages.
  • Documentation: When filing an insurance claim, you will need official documentation of a medical diagnosis. If you don’t get documentation, the insurance company can use this against you. Some insurance companies, especially in cases of a claim against an at-fault party, will use a delay in seeking medical attention as evidence that the injury was not serious enough to warrant medical intervention. 

It doesn’t matter when I file a claim.

False. Understandably, there is a lot going on after a car accident. While filing the claim doesn’t have to happen immediately, there is a time limit. In the state of Colorado, the statute of limitations is two years unless the defendant is the state or local government (making it 180 days). 

My own car insurance will be responsible for covering medical costs and damages to my car.

This is not necessarily true. Colorado is an at-fault state. This means that if the other driver is at fault, they may be responsible for damages. There is a duty of care that exists and must have been breached to prove fault. You must have suffered damages as a result of that breach.

The fact that I was partially responsible for the accident has no effect on the outcome of my claim.

Colorado is a modified comparative fault state, so as the plaintiff, your damages award is reduced by a percentage equal to your share of fault. Furthermore, if you’re deemed to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you can’t recover any damages.

If the accident is minor, it’s not necessary to report it.

Colorado law requires that any accident that resulted in injuries or damages be immediately reported. In addition, some insurance companies require a claim to be filed within as little as two days in order to recover damages.

I don’t need to hire an attorney to file a personal injury claim.

While this is technically true, an attorney will help facilitate the process and can negotiate with insurance companies to get a higher pay-out. It’s also important to hire an attorney that specializes in personal injury because they understand laws specific to the circumstances.

Getting the Experienced Legal Support You Need

After you’ve been in a car accident, recovery is the most important step. As you worry about your physical and mental healing, let our firm worry about the rest. 

Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC has an experienced team of personal injury attorneys that have been empowering car accident victims for over 20 years. If you’re in Durango, Colorado, as well as the neighboring areas of Telluride, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and The Four Corners, contact us today to discuss your case.


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