Claiming Negligence After a Car Accident
Although car accidents in a few states can still be considered “no fault,” in many other states, the authorities and insurance companies specifically require that the blame for any accident be placed somewhere – usually on the party determined to have been negligent.
If, after a car accident in an at-fault state like Colorado, you are determined to have been negligent, your car insurance company will likely end up paying the bill and employing any attorneys necessary, while you stand a good chance of seeing your rates go up. If, on the other hand, the other driver’s negligence caused the wreck, you may find yourself in need of a good car accident attorney to help you collect the damages you are owed from the responsible insurance company.
What constitutes negligence in car accident claims
There are a few different ways to show a driver was legally negligent, and proof of these behaviors can help bolster your claim should you have difficulty collecting from the other driver’s car insurance company. What you are essentially trying to show is that while you were exercising due care on the roadways, the other driver was not.
Driving distractions, for example, often cause drivers to act in ways that would be considered negligent. Talking on a cell phone while driving or even taking a sip of coffee can take a driver’s attention away from the road and endanger other drivers. Driving under the influence also constitutes negligence, because it shows that the driver was not living up to the legal “duty of reasonable care”, we all commit to when accepting our drivers’ licenses.
Negligence itself does not guarantee a successful outcome
Not only must you prove that the other driver was negligent in his or her duty to pay attention and keep the roads safe, you must also prove that this negligence has resulted in financial loss for which you are owed restitution.
The first element of this is tricky because unless there was a witness to the negligence, admittance by the driver, or some physical proof of the negligence, the other driver – or rather the other driver’s insurance company – will do everything possible to deny that negligence caused the car accident.
Assuming you have proof, though, you still need to prove your own loss in order to show the court that you deserve reimbursement. With physical damage to an automobile this is usually not an issue. In cases of injury, especially an injury which requires long-term treatment, you will likely require the assistance of a skilled car accident attorney to help show the extent of your current and future medical bills.
Do all car accidents require attorneys?
No, every car accident does not require the assistance of an attorney, but the number is probably higher than most people realize. Car insurance companies don’t happily pay claims in most cases. If they see any opportunity to avoid paying, they will fight the claim with all of the resources they have available – and that’s a lot of resources.
If you are preparing to go up against an insurance company to try to collect your claim from their army of lawyers, you’ll be better suited to handle what’s to come with the help of a car accident attorney of your own.