The Importance of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney in the State Where Your Accident Occurred (And some of Colorado’s trickiest personal injury laws)
POSTED BY Scott O’Sullivan
May 15, 2023
Summertime is here! I don’t know about you, but my family and I are planning some road trips and overlanding adventures. It got me thinking about traveling through other states and the perils of getting in crashes outside of Colorado.
Did you know that if you get in a car crash in, say, Idaho, it is best for you to hire an Idaho personal injury attorney? The same is true for your relatives coming to the beautiful state of Colorado for a vacation – if (God forbid) they get in a crash while visiting you, they need to hire a Colorado personal injury attorney.
I understand why you, as a Colorado native, might want to hire a Colorado personal injury attorney, even if your accident was in Idaho, or Utah, or any of the other 50 states. It seems easier to deal with someone close to home. But, while it may seem convenient to hire an attorney from your home state, there are compelling reasons to choose a personal injury attorney from the state where the accident occurred.
In this article, I will explore the benefits of hiring a local attorney. I’m also going to share some of Colorado’s trickiest personal injury laws to help illustrate why local attorneys are the way to go.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney from the State Where My Car Crash Occurred?
Knowledge of Local Laws: Each state has its own set of personal injury laws, which can vary significantly. Hiring a personal injury attorney from the state where your accident occurred ensures that you have an expert who possesses in-depth knowledge of local laws.
In the case of Colorado, several unique laws and regulations govern personal injury claims, making it essential to have a legal professional well-versed in these intricacies.
Understanding Comparative Negligence: Colorado follows the rule of comparative negligence, which can impact your ability to recover damages in a personal injury case. Comparative negligence means that if you are found partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced proportionally.
Time Limitations: Statutes of limitations define the time frame within which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases, including car accidents, is two years from the date of the accident.
Failing to file within this timeframe can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation. A local attorney understands the importance of adhering to these deadlines and can ensure all necessary paperwork is filed promptly.
Local Court Knowledge: Courtroom procedures and practices can vary from state to state. By hiring a personal injury attorney from Colorado, you benefit from their familiarity with local courts, judges, and opposing counsel. They understand the specific rules and customs, enabling them to build a stronger case tailored to the local legal landscape.
Access to Local Resources: Personal injury cases often require the support of expert witnesses, accident reconstruction specialists, and other resources. A local attorney has established connections with these professionals, ensuring that you have access to the best possible resources to strengthen your case. They will know who to call upon and how to leverage these resources effectively.
Colorado’s Trickiest Personal Injury Laws
Still think a lawyer from an outside state can represent you no matter where your crash occurred? Take a look at this list of some of Colorado’s trickiest personal injury laws related to auto accidents. Don’t you think you want a local expert on your side?
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM): Colorado law requires auto insurance policies to offer UM/UIM coverage. This coverage protects you if you are injured by a driver who does not have insurance or does not have sufficient insurance to cover your damages. Navigating the intricacies of UM/UIM claims can be complex, and having a knowledgeable attorney by your side can be immensely beneficial.
No-Fault Insurance System: Colorado does not have a no-fault insurance system. Instead, it follows a tort-based system, meaning that the at-fault party is responsible for compensating the injured party. Understanding how fault is determined and proving liability is crucial in auto accident cases.
Seat Belt Defense: Colorado follows a modified comparative fault system that allows the defense to argue that the injured party’s failure to wear a seat belt contributed to their injuries. This defense can potentially reduce the amount of compensation awarded to the injured party.
Dram Shop Liability: Colorado has strict dram shop laws that hold establishments accountable for serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals who later cause injury or damage as a result of their intoxication. Establishing liability in cases involving drunk driving accidents can be complex, and an experienced attorney can help navigate this legal terrain.
Hiring a personal injury attorney from the state where your car accident occurred, such as in Colorado, offers numerous advantages. Their knowledge of local laws, familiarity with courtroom procedures, understanding of the state’s unique legal nuances, and access to local resources can significantly strengthen your case.
By enlisting the expertise of a personal injury attorney well-versed in Colorado’s trickiest laws, you increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation and achieving a favorable outcome in your personal injury claim.
If you were visiting Colorado and you were hit by another driver, contact me today for a free consultation. 303-388-5304