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If you’ve been in a car crash in Denver and it was the other guy’s fault, you may be wondering if you have a legal case against them. We get calls every day from people wondering this exact thing and we love chatting through the facts to help them determine their next step. (These calls are always free… and we encourage them!)
Here are a few of the things we ask people when trying to determine if they have a personal injury case against another driver.
Understanding the “scene of the crime,” so to speak, helps us understand the complexities involved. For example, if it was at an intersection, there is usually a lot going on in those locations. We want to understand which direction each person was driving, if anyone else was involved, what time it was, etc. The context is critical.
If you were speeding and got hit by someone pulling out of a side street, chances are we can’t help. Even if the other guy hit you, if you were speeding, you are also at fault and you probably don’t have a case. However, if you were following all of the rules of the road before getting hit, you may have a case.
Also for motorcycle riders, if you were riding erratically at any point leading up to the accident, you may have trouble bringing a case. I’ve helped riders who were following every rule of the road when they were hit, but if they had driven erratically 10 blocks earlier, all those drivers around him/her will remember that and may be witnesses against the rider. I have taken these cases, though, because, at the time of the accident, the rider was doing nothing wrong. It’s just the bias against motorcycle riders that always comes into play. I have no problem fighting this bias, but I need to be clear with the rider that they were following the law at the time of the accident.
Please always wait for the police to arrive at the scene of an accident because this is where the police report is critical. Was the other driver speeding? Drunk? Distracted? I want to know all of these details. Also, if you collected witness names and even videos of their statements at the scene of the accident, these can help tremendously. If someone saw the other driver texting while driving, that is a very big fact that we can use in a case against them.
As I’ve said in the past, if you aren’t too injured after a car or motorcycle accident, take a ton of pictures of the scene and all vehicles involved. Also get witness statements. Wait for the police to arrive so that there is a police report on record. And always exchange insurance information.
Unfortunately, the real threshold in determining if you have a case is whether you are hurt or not. If you were hurt, first and foremost: get all the care you need! These medical records are critical in helping you to receive a full and proper settlement after treatment. Also, if you were hurt in a car or motorcycle crash, you will be facing a lot of pressure from insurance companies to settle too soon. This is where a personal injury attorney is extremely helpful. In fact, I would argue it is critical to get an attorney’s help if you were injured in a car or motorcycle accident. There are just so many ways that insurance companies and the other driver can seek to avoid paying you what you are owed, and you will be focused on healing.
Our Denver accident lawyers take calls every day from people who are simply curious to know if they have a case. (We sometimes get calls from the scene of an accident!) There is no charge just to chat about your case and we would love to help you.