How Fault for a Car Accident is Determined in Colorado?


Insurance companies use the term comparative negligence when determining fault for a car accident. Depending on the facts of the accident, both drivers involved may be assigned some degree of fault for the accident. 

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state. After a car accident, the insurance company will review the details to determine the extent to which every driver might have contributed to the accident. Thus, the accident might not be caused only by one driver. In this case, the liability will be shared between the two drivers accordingly. Because of the complexities of the comparative negligence laws, you must consult a Car Accident Lawyer Grand Junction to know your options after a car accident. 

Understanding Colorado’s Modified Comparative Negligence Law

Colorado uses 50% modified comparative negligence. Thus, if a driver is more than 50% at fault for an accident, they cannot get compensation for their damages. In the state, a car insurance adjuster will determine fault on an accident-by-accident basis. The claims adjuster will take into account factors such as local traffic laws and road conditions when the accident took place. 

There are a lot of reasons a driver could assume at least a portion of the responsibility, even if the other driver is primarily at fault. This can happen when a driver fails to follow the rules of the road and uses a cell phone or being distracted while driving. Also, if the driver didn’t cause the accident but could have contributed to its occurrence, they may be assigned a portion of the liability. 

How the Insurance Company Decides Liabilities in Car Accidents

Insurance companies have adjusters who will review the details of the accidents. These adjusters will investigate the scene of the accident, gather driver and witness statements, review police reports, consider local traffic laws, as well as take into account the conditions or layout of the roadway that played a role in the accident. Then, they will determine the percentage of liability, if any to assign to every driver involved in the car accident.

The driver that is mainly at fault cannot collect any money from the insurance company of the other driver. But, even if they are at fault, they can still collect money from their own insurance provider to cover the costs of repairing their vehicle. Comparative negligence does not apply to the driver in this case. 

Can You the Liability Determination?

You can file an internal appeal with the insurance company if you feel you have been unfairly named liable in a car crash. If you do so, the company will perform a full investigation. If you think the other driver is more at fault than you are, consult a car accident attorney for legal assistance. 

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