As helpful as cars are in our everyday lives, they can still pose a threat to our health and financial stability. This threat is especially present when irresponsible drivers get behind the wheel. If another driver’s misconduct causes you injury or loss, a skilled Aurora auto accident lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Our experienced Aurora car accident attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., can help maximize your award in a car accident claim. Contact us today.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Whether it be negligence or a more serious violation, you need to prove that another driver harmed you by their negligence if you want to hold them accountable for your losses. There are many forms of driver misconduct that the State of Colorado sees on its roads each year.
In 2020, the majority of the crashes the Colorado State Patrol responded to occurred due to a driver:
- Committing a lane violation,
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or
- Exceeding the speed limit.
Other behaviors that result in accidents include disobeying traffic signs, driving while distracted, failing to yield, and following too closely. However your accident occurred, your attorney can craft the best argument to prove why another driver is liable for your injuries and losses.
Common Injuries from Car Accidents
A car accident can affect you mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially. And the physical toll from a collision can be staggering.
There is no standard outcome in the aftermath of a car crash, but common injuries from car accidents include:
- Broken bones,
- Damage to internal organs,
- Head trauma,
- Scrapes, and
No matter how minor your injuries appear after your involvement in a collision, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Sometimes mild symptoms can be the indicator of serious, underlying injuries that need immediate medical intervention.
Recovering Damages in a Car Accident Claim
The two main ways to obtain compensation for your damages after a collision are to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance or file a civil lawsuit. It is best to start with an insurance claim because you might be able to resolve your issues without needing to endure the stress of litigation. However, many insurance companies refuse to adequately settle accident claims without a substantial fight. To fight back effectively when negotiating or arguing in court, you need to understand what rights you have to damages.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Car Accident Claim?
There are three types of damages you can recover in a car crash claim:
- Economic damages – to pay for your past, present, and future financial losses (e.g., medical bills, car repair, car replacement, lost wages, lost earning capacity, etc.);
- Non-economic damages – to compensate you for your pain and suffering; and
- Exemplary damages – to punish the at-fault driver for any malicious, fraudulent, willful, or wanton conduct that caused you harm.
You need to have evidence to justify each type of damage you seek. Keep all invoices, receipts, wage records, personnel records, education records, police reports, witness information, and personal notes you can. The more documentation of your losses you can show your attorney, the easier it can be to maximize your compensation.
Limitations on Damages
Colorado law places certain caps on how much you can recover in civil lawsuits. The law also gives auto insurance companies the option of limiting their liability in accident claims.
Insurance claim limits
Colorado drivers must have liability insurance to pay accident victims. But the law does not require Colorado drivers to have coverage in excess of the following amounts:
- $15,000 for property damage per single accident;
- $25,000 for an individual’s physical injury or death per single accident; and
- $50,000 for physical injuries or deaths of all people per single accident.
Sometimes, these amounts of coverage are not enough to properly pay you for your losses. If you find insurance coverage inadequate, you can file a lawsuit to recover the entirety of what you deserve.
Trial award limits
Whether you choose to litigate or settle your claim, Colorado’s trial award limits can affect your recovery. In fact, there are three main ways Colorado law limits or eliminates the amount of damages you can recover in a lawsuit.
First, you cannot recover damages in an accident lawsuit based on another driver’s negligence if you were 50% or more to blame. Second, the court reduces your recovery in a negligence case by the percentage of fault you had in the accident. And third, the law does not allow accident victims to recover more than $250,000 in non-economic damages. If you can prove by clear and convincing evidence that you deserve a higher amount of non-economic damages, the court can increase the limit to $500,000.
Arguing to reduce your culpability in an accident and convincing the court to increase your right to non-economic damages is difficult work. An experienced car accident attorney is best equipped to successfully handle these matters in your claim.
The Time Limit for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
You must file a car accident lawsuit within three years of the accident. When you are recovering from injuries and tending to your professional and personal obligations in the accident aftermath, this window of time becomes very small. Your attorney can meet your deadlines while you do the hard work of healing from your accident.
Let Our Aurora Car Accident Attorneys Help You
When you are suffering from the effects of a car accident, you need personal attention and expert help. We give you both at Gerash Steiner Blanton. Our Aurora car accident lawyers have decades of experience, and Attorney Eric Steiner, M.D., has over 18 years of experience as a physician. We are uniquely equipped to handle all of your accident-related legal needs. We also fight aggressively to protect our clients’ rights. We hope you will contact us when you are in need. You can use our website to schedule a consultation, or give us a call.