Three steps to take after a Colorado auto accident
Knowing what to do just in case they are involved in an auto accident may help Colorado drivers protect themselves and their rights.
In 2015 alone, there were 120,723 motor vehicle collisions across the state, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Especially if they obey the traffic rules and practice safe driving, many people are of the belief they will not be involved in an auto accident. While taking precautions may help reduce their crash risk, there is no way to guarantee they will never get into a wreck. Thus, it behooves motorists to know what to do in the event of an accident so they can take the appropriate steps should they ever find themselves in such a situation.
The first thing drivers should do following an auto accident is stop. If the vehicles involved are still mobile, motorists may choose to pull off the road. Moving their automobiles to safety may help avoid subsequent crashes, which often lead to serious injuries or death for those involved. Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision resulting in damage may result in a class 2 misdemeanor offense. In cases when no one is harmed, the vehicles are still operational, and no one is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, motorists may leave the scene and file a report with law enforcement within 24 hours.
Check for injuries
Whether the crash was minor or severe, drivers or passengers may sustain a range of injuries, such as head trauma, complex fractures or whiplash. After assessing themselves for injuries, those driving when collisions occur should check to make sure all their passengers are okay. Once they have evaluated the occupants of their own vehicles, motorists should check on those in the other automobiles involved. If anyone has suffered serious harm, they should call immediately for emergency assistance.
In cases when law enforcement is called out to take a motor vehicle accident report and when they are not, the drivers involved should exchange information with one another. It is advisable for people to get the names, addresses and phone numbers for the other motorists. Additionally, they may ask for their insurance information and registration. These contact details and other information may be useful in filing a claim with the insurance company or if the need for legal action arises.
Seeking legal guidance
When people in Colorado are involved in auto accidents, they may suffer serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. This may lead to undue medical expenses and, if they are forced to take time off work to recover, they may also lose income. Under some circumstances, the drivers responsible for causing such collisions may be liable for the resulting damages. Thus, those who have been injured in motor vehicle wrecks may benefit from discussing their rights and options with an attorney.