There’s a good chance you’re already familiar with "No-Fault" driving laws. Under these laws, no driver in an accident is deemed to be "at fault", and the auto insurance of both parties is set up to pay for the damages and resulting medical costs.
That’s how things used to be in Colorado, right up until 2003. Since then, our state has been an "At Fault" or tort system state. At 1st American Insurance Agency in Longmont, CO, we believe that all drivers need to be aware of what this means and how it affects auto insurance.
Who is ‘At Fault’ in an Accident?
Because Colorado is an At-Fault state, determining who caused an accident is crucial in order to recover damages. This is why it is so important that your first phone call is to the police and your second call to your insurer. If you do not secure a police report right away, it will be very difficult to prove the other driver was at fault (even if they blatantly were). Likewise, if you were the one primarily at fault, you will still want a police report. Getting one will help lay out all the facts of the situation and prevent the opposite party from blaming you for more damages than you’re actually responsible for.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Naturally, determining fault is not always a cut and dry issue. In many cases, drivers are viewed to carry a certain percentage of fault when they get into an accident. This is why Colorado also practices what’s known as the "Comparative Negligence Legal Theory". In a nutshell, this allows you to seek compensation (particularly when it comes to injuries) if you are less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. The amount of compensation you are entitled to will, therefore, be reduced the greater your percentage of fault is.
Please feel free to reach out to us at 1st American Insurance Agency with questions and to learn more about your coverage options. We insure drivers in Longmont, CO and beyond, and we focus on finding quality policies to help ease the burden of any accident, whether or not you are "at fault".