If my daughter accidentally hit a bicycle rider late at night and was charged with careless driving causing bodily harm, should we seek legal advice?

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If my daughter accidentally hit a bicycle rider late at night and was charged with careless driving causing bodily harm, should we seek legal advice?

Should we consult with a criminal law attorney? In Larimer County, CO.

Asked on December 12, 2010 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You DEFINITELY want legal advice. First, if she was charged, that means she is facing criminal charges, even if minor ones; any time criminal liability is on the line, you want to take it seriously and retain an attorney to advise and represent you. (BTW, she should not speak to the authorities until she talks to her attorney.) Second, she can be sued and she'll want legal counsel to defend her from any lawsuit. If she has insurance, she needs to contact her insurer, if she hasn't already--the insurer should provide an attorney for any civil (though not criminal; for that, she needs her own) actions growing out of the collision, and furthermore, if she fails to notify her insurer in a timely manner, she may forfeit her insurance coverage.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you should seek legal help and consultation as soon as you can on the mater.  What is important as well is that you report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you can.  They are going to want to acquire the police report and they are going to want to speak with your daughter.  Please make sure that she is truthful with the insurance company but that she has her attorney with her when she gives her report.  It may be important to her defense that she be cautious in how she answers the questions BUT SHE MUST TELL THE TRUTH.  Good luck to her and to you.


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