Our Fort Collins Automobile Accident Lawyer Can Help if You’ve Been Seriously Injured or Lost a Loved One in a Crash
Located in northern Colorado, just west of Interstate 25, Fort Collins is currently the fourth-largest city in the state by population. It is also a popular tourist destination and a frequent stop on road trips across the American West. Unfortunately, all of this means that automobile accidents are pretty common, and many residents and visitors find themselves in need of a Fort Collins car accident attorney.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Fort Collins, or if you are struggling to cope with the tragic loss of a loved one, we are here to help. Our attorneys and staff are passionate about helping accident victims and their families, and we have recovered many millions of dollars for our clients. You can speak with an attorney at our office in Fort Collins on East Boardwalk Drive, or if you prefer, one of our attorneys will be happy to come to you.
Fort Collins Car Accident Data
As one of Colorado’s largest cities, Fort Collins sees thousands of car accidents every year. Sadly, the vast majority of these accidents could be avoided if drivers exercised appropriate care on the roads. Here are some notable figures for Fort Collins and the rest of Larimer County from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CODOT):
- Each year, there are more than 7,000 car accidents in Fort Collins and Larimer County.
- About 300 of these accidents involve drivers who are charged with driving under the influence (DUI), and another 300 or so involve drivers who are suspected of DUI.
- Larimer County is among the top five counties in Colorado for car accidents involving drivers age 20 or younger.
- Larimer County is also among the top five counties in Colorado for fatal car accidents involving distracted drivers.
You Can Report Certain Types of Car Accidents on the Fort Collins Website
If the police do not make a report at the scene of an accident, the City of Fort Collins website allows you to file an online motor vehicle accident report through the Colorado DMV Accident Report System. However, all of the following criteria must be met:
- The accident did not cause a fatality or injury requiring medical attention
- If the accident is a hit & run, there is no information to identify the other driver
- The accident did not cause damage to public property
- None of the drivers involved are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- None of the drivers involved have insurance, registration, or license violations
- The accident occurred fewer than 60 days ago
- All parties agree to make an online report
Online reports can also be made through a kiosk in the Records Lobby at Fort Collins Police Services or the Campus West Connections office. It is important to be aware that these reports will not be investigated by Fort Collins Police. The online system allows residents to document accidents for insurance purposes.
Calling the Police in Fort Collins First is Still Advised
Although you may be able to report a car accident yourself in Fort Collins, most of the time, it makes sense to call the police first. A police report carries more weight for insurance purposes.
If you believe there were no injuries at the time of the accident but later show signs of physical trauma, a Fort Collins Automobile accident lawyer knows that your failure to call the police at the time of the accident could be used as an argument that the injuries are not related to the accident. If you call the police and they instruct you to report the accident yourself, then you can document that you attempted to get the police on the scene.
Of course, police and other first responders are equipped to evaluate an accident and determine whether you are in medical danger that may not be apparent. If a case involves severe injuries, the Fort Collins Police bring in their Collision Reconstruction and Scene Handling unit, referred to as “CRASH.”
Fort Collins Traffic Safety Report
Data from a recent Fort Collins Traffic Safety Report indicates that 75% of traffic accidents in Fort Collins occur at intersections and driveways. While intersections without traffic signals often cause residents the most worry, the numbers show that nearly half (49%) of all collisions occur at signalized intersections. A significant number of all crashes (43%) involve rear-end collisions. And while teen drivers make up only 5% of the driving population, they account for a percentage of accidents that is three times greater.
Trends in accident data for Fort Collins are positive overall, but there are areas for concern. While the overall number of collisions has been decreasing, with severe crashes down 15%, drunk driving accidents were on the rise by that same number. A Fort Collins automobile accident lawyer knows that this is the last trend anyone wants to see increase. While only 4% of car accidents in Fort Collins involve drunk drivers, these irresponsible drivers are the cause of 25% of car accident fatalities.
Filing an Auto Insurance Claim After a Car Accident in Fort Collins
In most cases, recovering financial compensation for your losses after a car accident involves filing an insurance claim. This usually means filing a claim under the other driver’s insurance policy, but there are also circumstances in which drivers and passengers can seek coverage under their own insurance policies. When it comes to seeking auto insurance coverage after a serious or fatal accident, there are three primary options:
- Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Insurance – Colorado requires all drivers to carry bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance. This insurance covers other drivers’ and passengers’ losses when the insured driver causes an accident. To secure BIL coverage, you must be able to prove that the insured driver was at fault in your (or your loved one’s) accident.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Insurance – Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance is optional for Colorado drivers. This is insurance that covers your losses when another driver causes an accident but doesn’t have insurance (or doesn’t have enough insurance) to compensate you for the financial and non-financial costs of the accident.
- Medical Payments (MedPay) Insurance – Medical payments (MedPay) insurance is also optional for Colorado drivers. Unlike BIL and UIM insurance, MedPay insurance provides coverage regardless of fault. You can use MedPay to supplement your health insurance coverage or as a substitute for health insurance if you don’t have a health insurance plan.
When can you file a fault-based claim for BIL or UIM coverage (or both)? Some of the most common grounds for seeking these forms of coverage after automobile accidents in Fort Collins include:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Mistakes due to driver carelessness or inexperience
- Aggressive driving
- Road rage
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Turning or merging without the right of way
Regardless of which type (or types) of insurance coverage you can seek for your accident, you will want to get help with your claim from an experienced Fort Collins automobile accident lawyer. Even securing no-fault MedPay coverage can be challenging. To prove that the other driver was at fault and recover maximum compensation, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side.
Other Options for Recovering Financial Compensation After a Collision
While filing an auto insurance claim is the most common way to secure financial compensation after a car accident in Fort Collins, this is not the only available option. When you choose Levine Law, our Fort Collins car accident attorney will evaluate all options for recovering your losses, including:
- Employer Liability – If you or your loved one was hit by someone who was working at the time of the crash, our Fort Collins automobile accident lawyer may be able to pursue a claim against his or her employer.
- Product Liability – Some auto accidents and accident-related injuries result from vehicle defects. If defective brakes, a defective airbag, or any other defective vehicle component is to blame for what happened, we can seek to hold the manufacturer responsible.
- Government Liability – Road hazards are a persistent issue in Fort Collins and across Colorado. When a crash involves a road defect or maintenance issue, the government entity responsible for building and maintaining the road may be liable.
- Alcohol Vendor Liability – Under Colorado’s dram shop law, alcohol vendors can be held liable for auto accidents when they serve individuals who are underage and/or visibly intoxicated.
- Rideshare Company Liability – Rideshare companies (i.e., Uber and Lyft) carry insurance for accidents; and, when rideshare drivers cause accidents, victims and families are often able to pursue claims against these companies.
No matter what happened, no matter how significant your losses may be, and no matter who is to blame, you owe it to yourself to speak with an attorney. To discuss your legal rights with a Fort Collins automobile accident lawyer at Levine Law, contact us today.
Contact Our Fort Collins Car Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
Are you entitled to financial compensation for your (or your loved one’s) car accident? To learn about your legal rights from a Fort Collins car accident attorney at Levine Law, call 303-333-8000 or tell us how we can reach you online now.