Car Accident Lawyer in Colorado
Drivers on the road share a responsibility to keep others safe while operating their vehicles by staying attentive and following traffic laws. Unfortunately, car crashes are a frequent cause of death and one of the leading reasons behind traumatic injuries. Many of these can be attributed to poor driving habits, such as aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving, and more. In Colorado, the number of fatal crashes has been on a decline, which means that roads are becoming safer for most drivers.
In 2021, there were only 603 fatal accidents overall in Colorado. 432 were caused by cars and trucks, while 145 were caused by motorcyclists. If you’ve been in a recent auto accident that you believe was no fault of your own, you may be owed compensation for any damages that were the result of your auto accident. You can speak to a Colorado car accident attorney to investigate your car accident case to find out who can be held liable. Get started today and call Casares Law for a free consultation!
How Do Car Accidents Happen?
Colorado car accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but most commonly, they can be attributed to driver error. The victims of car accidents typically aren’t held liable when the other driver has broken a traffic law or was negligent in some way. Here are ways that the at-fault driver may have caused your car crash:
Even though Colorado laws allow drivers to talk on cellphones without a hands-free device, texting at the wheel is still illegal. Additionally, anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed any cellphone usage while operating a vehicle. Distracted driving causes crashes because drivers take their eyes off the road when interacting with their phones. They may be texting, sending emails, instant messaging, or other activities that prevent them from paying attention to fellow drivers or road obstacles. Distracted driving can also come in the form of backseat distractions, eating, and other actions that shouldn’t be done while driving.
Poor Weather Conditions
Bad weather is another reason that drivers often get into car accidents. Heavy rain, snowfall, icy roads, fog, and other conditions can make the roads harder to traverse. Poor visibility can create car accidents, in addition to obstacles created by inclement weather. Hydroplaning, hitting ice banks, and black ice are some of the most dangerous hazards that can create an accident.
Poor driving habits are another cause of life-threatening traffic accidents. Aggressive drivers often create chaos on the roadways and are known to cut people off, do illegal lane change maneuvers, tailgate, and brake-check other drivers. This is not only unnerving but can make it difficult for drivers to avoid getting into a car crash. They are also prone to road rage, which is borderline harassment of fellow drivers.
Driving While Intoxicated
A Colorado auto accident can also be caused by an intoxicated individual that is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is completely illegal for any person to be on the road with a blood alcohol level above 0.08%. Additionally, while under the influence of illicit drugs, the driver can make incorrect decisions because they are cognitively impaired by the substances they abused.
Many drivers routinely speed, whether it is during rush hour to get to work on time or because they are impatient during heavy traffic. When a driver speeds, they increase their risk of causing auto accidents because they not only have less time to slow down, but it also takes longer for them to come to a full stop. They may also be unable to react in time to an obstacle they didn’t initially notice. When traveling at higher speeds, drivers can create even worse devastation to Colorado auto accident victims.
Not Stopping At Traffic Lights
Another common reason a motor vehicle accident may happen is that the at-fault driver didn’t stop at a red light. Some drivers miscalculate their distance and don’t slow down when they see a yellow light, which can result in them accidentally running a red light. In other cases, drivers completely disregard the red light and head into an intersection without regard for any other drivers.
Ignoring Yield Signs
Not yielding at intersections can create a motor vehicle accident when the car with the right of way is ignored by the other driver. Instead, the at-fault driver takes the lead and doesn’t slow down or stop at the yield sign.
Driving While Fatigued
Although not illegal, it is generally a good idea for motor vehicle drivers to avoid taking the wheel when they are exhausted. Drivers may feel fatigued when they get off from work, are making a long-distance trip, or after they’ve taken heavy medication. It is a general rule of thumb to avoid getting on the road when you are fatigued.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?
Car accident claims generally include damages such as medical expenses to cover all of the injuries that accident victims experience. The most common injuries you might see in a car accident case include the following:
Contusions, also known as bruises, are common after a rough accident. This happens when a body part gets hit hard enough that it causes bleeding just under the skin without an open wound. Although not as serious as a cut, they are painful and can take several weeks to recover from.
Fractured or Broken Bones
Motor vehicle accidents can cause the body to hit the sides, wheel, or roof of the car with a heavy impact. This can fracture or break bones because of the stress that’s placed on the body. If the metal inside the car gets bent, it is also possible for the legs to get trapped, resulting in other injuries.
Broken glass, flying objects, and other things can cause heavy bleeding. Lacerations can be more superficial, only reaching the fatty layers of the skin, or can reach all the way to the muscle.
An auto accident can cause internal bleeding due to broken bones jutting inward or because the force of the crash was heavy enough to damage internal organs. One of the more dangerous examples is pneumothorax.
In some of the most life-threatening accidents, you can experience catastrophic injuries like head wounds and brain damage. Brain injuries can cause long-term cognitive and emotional problems. They can impair cognitive health and result in the degradation of memory.
Spinal Cord Injuries
One of the main reasons that paralysis happens is due to spinal cord injuries. The level or type of paralysis is based on the area of the spine that was injured. Spinal cord injuries can cause paraplegia, hemiplegia, slipped or ruptured discs, pinched nerves, and other musculoskeletal and neurological disorders.
Neck and Back Injuries
Even in a less severe accident, it is still possible to experience complications with your neck or back. Neck injuries can be debilitating and result in migraines, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and limited mobility. Back injuries can become chronic, causing pain and discomfort for months or years.
Although rare, cars sometimes catch fire after an accident. This can result in first, second, or third-degree burns that can be disfiguring or fatal.
What To Do After A Colorado Car Accident?
Auto accident attorneys recommend that you begin gathering information for your car accident claim to improve your chances of receiving the full settlement you deserve. You can start with the following steps:
It is important that you call 911 to get the police and paramedics to arrive on the scene. They can review your car accident injuries and also ask questions about how the car accident occurred. The police can write a car accident report of the incident. If the other driver broke Colorado law, the police officer will issue citations to the at-fault party. Later on, your Colorado car accident attorney can obtain a non-redacted version of the police report to use in support of your car accident case.
Take Pictures of the Auto Accident Scene
To prove the car accident happened according to your version of the story, it will be necessary to show how. Pictures are some of the best kinds of proof in motor vehicle accidents and can be used to support your claim. You can take pictures of your car’s damages, the area where the accident happened, any additional damages to property, debris on the road, skid marks, and the other party’s car. Your Colorado car accident lawyer will later analyze the images to help them build a case when obtaining a settlement for you.
Gather Contact Information
You should also get the contact information of the other driver involved and their insurance company. For the most part, a car accident lawyer will be the one who reaches out to the other party. They will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. You can also gather contact information from any eyewitnesses who observed how the auto collision happened. Your attorney can use their testimonies to build your car accident claim.
Get Medical Treatment
Even if you received initial healthcare after a paramedic treated you, you should continue to receive medical care. If you haven’t received any medical treatment, do so as soon as possible. This is because avoiding medical care can prolong your injuries and reduce your chances of receiving a settlement. The other party may argue that you don’t have serious injuries requiring healthcare. All of your medical bills will also be included in your settlement total, so you don’t need to worry about how expensive your fees will be.
Call Your Insurance Company
You should always let your insurer know what happened and that you were not at fault for the traffic accident. They can help pay for some medical expenses and property damage, based on what’s included in your insurance company policy.
Speak to A Colorado Car Accident Lawyer
To file a claim against the other party, you can speak to reliable Colorado car accident attorneys who can take over the rest of the details. Your auto accident attorney will help you initiate your claim after a free consultation and begin an investigation to build a case on your behalf.
Do I Need To Hire An Attorney?
While you may think you should file a car accident lawsuit, it is better that you work with knowledgeable Colorado car accident attorneys who can help you obtain a settlement. Not only does this ensure you receive financial compensation sooner, but it also prevents you from making costly mistakes. For example, you may settle for a lump sum settlement that is far less than you are owed.
An experienced car accident attorney can also gather information and evidence that can be key to proving you are owed compensation. The other party may have broken Colorado law and caused an accident, but you need to prove it. In some cases, you may be in a gray area where it is hard to decipher who is at fault. However, a reputable law firm can clearly understand the circumstances and define how the other party can be held liable for your damages.
Additionally, car accident lawyers can perform all of the necessary tasks required to help you obtain a settlement without much effort on your part. While you need to provide some information, your car accident lawyer does all the hard work. You can focus on recovering from your injuries, while you allow the law firm to reach out to all involved parties, collect evidence, speak to authorities and witnesses, and other time-consuming activities. While you are injured, you may be stressed, in discomfort, and have other problems on your mind. Car accident lawyers can communicate and negotiate for you so that you aren’t tasked with the burden of fighting for your right to receive compensation.
What Evidence Can Attorneys Provide
Car accident lawyers are able to collect evidence that is not accessible to the average person. Here are common ways your accident lawyer in Colorado can help you:
Your attorney can subpoena the at-fault party to obtain information that can be crucial to helping you recover compensation. For example, if the other party was texting, your attorney can subpoena their cellphone company to get records of their cellphone usage. This can prove whether they were texting and distracted, resulting in your car accident.
Car accident lawyers can obtain traffic camera footage, dash camera footage, and surveillance camera footage. They can analyze the footage and see whether a Colorado law was broken.
Un-redacted Police Reports
Typically, when you obtain a police report, it is the redacted version that has some omitted information. It is up to your attorney to get a full copy of the police report so they can get a full picture of how the car accident happened.
Vehicle Inspection Reports
The other party’s insurance company will send an adjuster to find out how the car accident happened. Mechanics also review the vehicle to determine how the accident occurred.
In some cases, driving records can show a history of poor behavior. If the other party is prone to getting into accidents, speeding, and other bad habits, this can be used to support your claim.
If the police officer noticed that the other driver was acting strangely, they may ask them to undergo a drug test. Your attorney can obtain this information to find out if the other party was inebriated or intoxicated at the time of your car accident.
How Do Colorado Car Accident Lawyers Estimate Damages?
Car accident claims often include economic and non-economic damages. The other party’s insurance company receives a settlement offer from your attorney regarding how much you’re owed in compensation. This can include the following:
Your medical bills make up a huge part of your settlement and are based on how severe your injuries are. For example, if you have broken any bones, you’ll need medical devices such as crutches or braces to recover. Spinal cord injuries will require surgery and physical therapy. Head injuries will need a neurosurgeon to review your health and provide a treatment regimen. All of this is expensive, from the imaging and X-ray scans to any ongoing therapies you have to receive. All of the medical bills that were the result of your car accident can be included in your settlement.
In addition to your medical bills, non-economic damages will be part of your settlement. Your non-economic damages are based upon how much emotional strife you experienced because of your injuries. Feelings such as depression, shame, anxiety, and other negative emotions can prevent you from enjoying life. These damages are estimated based on the severity of your injuries. Your attorney works with an insurance adjuster to calculate your non-economic damages using a multiplier.
When you have to take time off from work, you won’t be able to earn an income. Lost wages are based on the amount of time you missed from work because of your physical injuries. Your attorney will calculate this for you based on how much you normally make. The time you missed in the past and expect to miss in the future will be calculated and added to your total settlement amount.
If your auto accident caused damage to your vehicle or other property damage, then you can also include this in your compensation.
What Happens In The Case Of A Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death cases are very serious, especially if there are dependents. The surviving family members of car accident victims can claim compensation on behalf of the deceased and can receive additional damages. For example, funeral and burial fees are expensive and can result in the family paying for the coffin or urn, a memorial service, embalming or cremation, flowers, invitations, and more. Additionally, the survivors of the deceased can receive compensation for loss of guardianship, mentorship, companionship, and other damages. The spouse can also receive loss of consortium damages.
Suppose the car accident victim helped with dishes, babysitting, and other household chores. In that case, this can also be estimated as a loss of valuable services, because the remaining family members have to take on these extra burdens. The victim’s earnings will also go unaccounted for, which means that surviving family members can receive loss of earning capacity damages. If the deceased individual had any benefits, such as a pension plan or other savings, this is also included.
Your attorney may add many other damages to the list, depending on all of the privileges the deceased individual provided before their wrongful death.
What Are Punitive Damages?
In some situations, the other driver may be held accountable for punitive damages if they were grossly negligent or even malicious in some way. Road rage can result in punitive damages, for example. However, these damages are only awarded by the court. This is a separate compensation from your settlement and is awarded as a form of punishment to the other party.
Speak To Your Car Accident Attorney About Your Recent Collision
If you were recently in a car crash, you should start getting organized for your settlement claim. You can speak to a supportive attorney and share what you’ve been experiencing. They have the resources, knowledge, and experience to guide you through even the most complex of situations. To prevent you from wasting time, your attorney will let you know whether your settlement is worth pursuing.
Attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are no upfront costs. You can pay your attorney for all their hard work after receiving your settlement because your law firm receives a percentage of it. When you speak to your attorney, they can guide you through the settlement process and explain how it works. You likely won’t require a lawsuit unless the other party’s insurer refuses to offer a reasonable settlement. Even then, the court will require a mediation meeting before you are assigned a trial date. Don’t struggle on your own trying to obtain compensation from an insurance company that will try to get you to settle for a fraction of what you are owed. Speak to Casares Law now for a free consultation.