How to Report a Car Accident in Denver

Categories Auto Accident

A car accident in DenverColorado has over four million licensed drivers. Thus, it should surprise no one that car accidents occur frequently. However, many Coloradans have little knowledge about what to do after a car accident. For example, do you know how to report a car accident in Denver? If your answer is no, then you are not alone. The majority of Colorado drivers have no idea either. Fortunately, a Denver car accident lawyer can guide you through this process.

Colorado Accident Report Requirements

Colorado law requires you to report any accident that meets the following requirements:

  • Results in personal injury or death
  • Causes any property damage

There is no example of a car accident that would result in zero property damage. Thus, you must report your car accident to the proper authorities. If you fail to do so, then you could receive a Class Two misdemeanor traffic offense.

Reporting a Denver Accident to the Police

Were you involved in a car accident in Denver? If so, then here are three ways you can report your accident to the authorities.

Call 911

In many cases, calling 911 is the easiest way to report a car accident. However, calling 911 does not automatically mean that the police will file a report. In Colorado, they will only investigate your accident under the following circumstances:

  • There has been a death or injury
  • Individual property damage exceeds $1,000
  • If one of the drivers fails to provide proof of insurance

Nevertheless, you can still request that the responding officer file an accident report. A Denver car accident lawyer can help you obtain a copy of this report at a later date.

Call the Non-Emergency Police Line

If your car accident is less serious, then you can call the Denver Police Department non-emergency line. The number to call is (720) 913-2000.

Submit an Accident Report Online

Additionally, you can submit an accident report online with the Colorado Department of Revenue. However, you should only submit an online accident report under the following circumstances:

  • If a police officer was not called to the accident scene
  • If less than 60 days have passed since the accident date

It is important to remember that the police do not investigate accidents reported online. Thus, you will not receive an official police report. Even still, a Denver car accident lawyer will recommend that you document what happened. You could potentially use this documentation as evidence for your future car accident claim.

Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers

Were you involved in a car accident? If so, then you should consult with an experienced attorney immediately. He or she can help you during this difficult time. For example, a Denver car accident attorney can help you report your crash, contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company and file a car accident claim on your behalf.

For a free consultation, give us a call. The Denver car accident lawyers at Dormer Harpring, LLC are here for you. Our number is (303) 747-4404. You can also send us a message online describing your situation. We are dedicated to helping injured victims recover financial compensation after an accident.

Understanding Plaintiff Status Under Colorado’s Premises Liability Act

Categories Premises Liability

Picture of man slip and fall on stairsWhen an individual is injured or killed on another person or entity’s property as a result of an unsafe condition, the controlling law in the state of Colorado is C.R.S. §13-21-115 Actions against Landowners, often referred to as the Colorado Premises Liability Act.

Many elements need to be evaluated in a premises liability case. One of the most important factors in determining liability in a Colorado premises liability case is the plaintiff’s classification in the case. The question concerns the reason that the plaintiff was on the land where he or she became injured.

Under Colorado premises liability laws, a person injured on property falls into one of three categories related to the reason they were on the land in the first place. The injured party can be a “trespasser,” a “licensee,” or an “invitee.” Each category has their own level of duty of care. In addition, each category has different requirements to prove a claim for damages under the Colorado Premises Liability Act.

Invitee

An invitee is a person who enters or remains on a property belonging to another person or entity while transacting business. The person has a mutually beneficial relationship with the property owner. Property owners owe invitees the highest level of duty of care, and invitees generally have the best chance of obtaining compensation for a premises liability claim.

CRS §13-21-115(5)(a) defines an invitee as “a person who enters or remains on the land of another to transact business in which the parties are mutually interested or who enters or remains on such land in response to the landowner’s express or implied representation that the public is requested, expected, or intended to enter or remain.”

Typically, invitees are customers or tenants. For example, when you shop at a grocery store or eat at a restaurant, you are considered an invitee. If you are renting an apartment, you are an invitee of the property owner. If you buy a ticket for a movie at a theater, you are an invitee if you are harmed at the theater.

Under the Premises Liability Act, CRS §13-21-115(3)(c)(I), “an invitee may recover for damages caused by the landowner’s unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers of which he actually knew or should have known.”

However, under CRS §13-21-115(3)(c)(2), if you are on land classified as agricultural land or vacant land for tax purposes, even as an invitee, you may only recover “damages caused by a landowner’s unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers of which he actually knew.”

Licensee

A licensee is someone who enters or remains on a property with the permission of the property owner. Generally, licensees are social guests. If you were injured as a dinner guest at someone else’s home, you are usually considered a licensee. A property owner owes a licensee a more limited duty of care. These cases can be more difficult to prove legally, so it is important to find a specialist in premises liability cases to help you with your claim.

CRS §13-21-115(5)(b) defines a licensee as “a person who enters or remains on the land of another for the licensee’s own convenience or to advance his own interests, pursuant to the landowner’s permission or consent” and specifically includes “a social guest.”

CRS §13-21-115(3)(b) says that licensees may recover only for damages caused:

  • By the landowner’s unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care with respect to dangers created by the landowner of which the landowner actually knew; or
  • By the landowner’s unreasonable failure to warn of dangers not created by the landowner which are not ordinarily present on property of the type involved and of which the landowner actually knew.

Invitees and licensees may be eligible for compensation after a premises liability accident, especially if the guest was on the property for a business purpose.

Trespasser

A trespasser is only owed a duty of care when intentional harm is at hand. A trespasser enters or remains on the property of another without the property owner’s consent. It is much more difficult for a trespasser to recover damages for an injury under Colorado premises liability law. The exception to this is if injuries or damages were deliberately caused by the property owner.

CRS §13-21-115(5)(c) defines “trespasser” as “a person who enters or remains on the land of another without the landowner’s consent.” Under the Premises Liability Act, §13-21-115(3)(a), “a trespasser may recover only for damages willfully or deliberately caused by the landowner.”

Contact Our Denver Premises Liability Lawyers

If you have been injured on another person or entity’s property, we recommend that you speak to our Denver premises liability lawyers as soon as possible. Your status under the Colorado Premises Liability Act is crucial to succeeding with a claim.

At Dormer Harpring, we can help you determine your status and ensure your rights are fully protected. For more information contact us at (303) 747-4404 or fill out our confidential contact form.

Could the Coronavirus Response Cause Truck Accidents?

,,Categories Truck AccidentsTags , ,

Life in the United States and across the world has come to a standstill due to the spread of coronavirus. While the economy has slowed down, it has not come to a complete halt. This is thanks to the many truck drivers who put their lives on the line to deliver vital goods across the country. 

From medical supplies to household food, truck drivers work long hours to make sure Americans have what they need to survive. However, an increase in commercial trucks on the road has some safety advocates concerned. Will the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic lead to truck accidents

Each year, truckers move more than 10 billion tons of freight across the country. They ensure that Americans have food, toiletries, general consumer products and medical supplies. Consider your life during a pandemic without those essential items. Now, more than 3.5 million professional truckers are driving through locked down communities, often with closed rest stops. However, they know their job is essential. After all, if truckers stop, the country stops.

The federal government knows this too. That is why they recently relaxed laws governing how long truckers can drive without rest breaks. Highway safety regulators suspended trucking rules that limit daily driving hours. Their hope is that relaxed rules allow commercial truck drivers to deliver critical goods to impacted communities. The change affects commercial drivers who are transporting goods related to coronavirus relief. Unfortunately, relaxed hours of services rules could also increase truck accidents.

Could Relaxed Hours of Service Rules Cause Truck Accidents?

Fatigued truck drivers pose a danger on the road. Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. When truckers are fatigued, they can cause fatal trucking accidents. In fact, fatigued driving is a major cause of truck accidents.

As the demand for household items and medical supplies skyrockets during the pandemic, trucking companies must deliver these goods quickly. They may push their drivers to drive too long or too far without sleep. Drivers may feel pressure to deliver their goods as soon as possible. This can cause them to drive without the recommended hours of sleep. When fatigue sets in, truckers may fall asleep behind the wheel or be unable to respond to emergency situations. 

It is still too early to tell how coronavirus will affect the trucking industry and accident statistics. However, safety experts urge all drivers to remain vigilant and cautious on the road. 

Truck drivers are also urged to sleep and rest even with relaxed legislation. Driving while fatigued is dangerous for everyone, but especially commercial truck drivers. In fact, sleep deprivation can mimic the effects of mild alcohol intoxication. 

Contact Our Truck Accident Attorneys in Denver, CO

Truck accidents may lead to life-altering injuries or fatalities. Victims and their family members could be saddled with millions of dollars in expenses when truck drivers or trucking companies cut corners. However, there are legal options to hold these parties accountable for negligence.

We are a personal injury injury law firm in Denver, Colorado. You can learn more about potential legal options after a truck accident by exploring our website. For a free consultation with the truck accident attorneys at Dormer Harpring call (303) 747-4404 or use the contact form on our website. 

How to Drive Around Trucks Safely in Colorado

Categories Truck AccidentsTags

Photo of How to Drive Around Trucks

Commercial trucks pose unique safety risks to other drivers. First, these trucks are large and heavy. This makes a collision between a regular passenger vehicle and a commercial truck dangerous and potentially deadly. At the same time, given their length, it is difficult for commercial truck drivers to see the vehicles around them. Their blind spots are much bigger than the average passenger vehicles. This limited visibility increases the chances of a commercial truck crash. For these reasons, passenger vehicle drivers should take extra precautions about how to drive around trucks on the road.

3 Helpful Tips on How to Drive Around Trucks

Below, our Lakewood truck accident attorneys discuss how to drive around trucks with these factors in mind.

When Driving Behind a Truck

When driving behind a truck you should maintain a safe following distance. Driving too closely, or less than 30 feet away, can put you in the truck driver’s blind spot. It will also shorten the amount of time you have to stop. If the truck comes to a sudden stop, but you have been following too closely, a resultant crash could be deadly.

If you are behind a semi at a red light, leave extra space between your vehicle and the truck. Once the light turns green, commercial trucks are likely to roll slightly backwards before moving forward.

When Driving Near a Truck

Knowing how to drive around trucks requires knowing their blind spots. If you are driving in the following blind spots, the truck driver will not be able to see you:

  • Less than 30 feet directly behind the truck
  • Less than 20 feet directly in front of the truck
  • On the truck’s left side, directly beside the front half of the truck
  • On the truck’s right side, directly beside the front half of the truck
  • On the truck’s right side, with one lane between yourself and the truck

When it comes to a truck’s blind spots, a good rule is to check whether you can see the driver in his or her side mirrors. If you cannot see them, they cannot see you. Try to stay out of a truck’s blind spots as much as possible. If you must drive in a truck’s blind spots in order to pass the truck, do not linger there for an extended period.

When Passing a Truck

When passing a commercial truck, first you need to make sure it is safe. This will require checking for a few indicators that it is safe to pass. Make sure the truck is not turning or backing up. If it is, passing the truck will put you into the truck’s blind spots.

Next, try to pass the truck by using the left lane to maximize your visibility. Given his or her position within the cab, the truck driver’s blind spots are much larger on the right side.

Keep a consistent speed while passing, so the truck driver can better anticipate your vehicle. Then, before merging back into the truck’s lane, double check your rearview mirror. Only merge when you can clearly see the truck behind you.

Also, dim your lights when passing a commercial truck. The bright lights of your high beams can hit the truck driver’s mirrors and reflect that light into the driver’s eyes. You do not want to blind a truck driver, even temporarily.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact an Experienced Denver Truck Accident Attorney

Dormer Harpring is proud to serve clients across the entire state of Colorado. We have extensive experience with a wide range of personal injury cases. We strive to secure the best possible outcome for people injured due to the negligent actions of others. If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, contact our office to discuss your legal options. You can schedule a free consultation with us at (303) 747-4404 or through our online form.