Recovering car accident damages in Colorado does not happen with the snap of a finger. The Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. team has decades of personal injury law experience and can help you recover damages from a car accident in Colorado through compassionate legal representation. We will listen to the circumstances of your accident and form a unique strategy to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Colorado Auto Insurance Requirements
When attempting to recover car accident damages in Colorado, most efforts begin with an insurance claim. All Colorado drivers are required to have auto insurance that includes a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person in an accident caused by the driver and $50,000 total for bodily injury coverage in a single accident. Each driver must also carry at least $15,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is recommended but not required. This type of insurance (which you carry) applies when the other driver (the at-fault party) does not have insurance or does not have minimum coverage. The amount of coverage in relation to the extent of your injuries could impact whether you decide to file a lawsuit.
How Much Is My Claim Worth?
The amount of compensation you receive for your injuries depends on a number of factors, including the expenses related to your injuries. It is essential to have a professional evaluation of your claim to ensure that you are not undervaluing the impact of the accident. Generally, you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Your personal injury attorney can help you determine the true value of your claim.
The monetary expenses associated with your injuries and property damage is considered economic damages. The cost of emergency medical care, follow-up visits, medication, physical therapy, and lost wages are all considered economic damages. It is important to keep records of all expenses associated with the accident to recover damages from a car accident in Colorado.
Though they are more difficult to prove, non-economic damages can be essential to your compensation. They are often the more significant part. These damages take into consideration your physical and mental well-being. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. The circumstances of your accident and the severity of your injury will be the driving factors in claiming non-economic damages.
When the negligent behavior is outrageous, the court may issue punitive damages. This is an extra monetary amount that serves to punish the defendant for their behavior and set an example for others. Keep in mind that punitive damages are rarely awarded.
How Does the Claims Process Work?
Insurance companies benefit from you accepting a fast settlement without a full analysis of whether that amount is sufficient to cover current and ongoing expenses related to the accident. Many victims accept a settlement of a lower amount because they need to pay their medical expenses and do not feel like they can wait. Insurance companies can be very convincing, but you do not have to accept an unfair settlement.
It is also worth noting that you do not have to give a recorded statement without your attorney. Colorado is an at-fault state, meaning that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for the damage. Any express or implied admission of fault can be used against you.
The experienced lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton can help you determine the value of your claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we can advise you on the best legal strategy to obtain the compensation you deserve. This may mean litigation, in which case, we are happy to prepare for trial so that you can recover car accident damages in Colorado without fear of future financial hardship.
How Do I Prove Liability in a Colorado Car Accident?
In court, you will need to prove that the negligent party was at least over 50 percent at fault. Colorado follows the system of modified comparative negligence. Under this system, even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still file a lawsuit as long as you were not 50% or more at fault. Your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 but found to be 20% at fault, you would receive $80,000. This is why it is important to work with a lawyer who is diligent in the discovery process and will be prepared with evidence to rebut statements presented to make you appear to be more liable than you are.
How Long Do I Have to File A Claim?
Under the Colorado statute of limitations, you have three years to file a lawsuit from the date the motor vehicle accident occurred. Some injury victims see this as plenty of time, but you should know that evidence becomes more difficult to obtain as time passes. The sooner you can speak to an attorney and form a legal strategy, the better your chances of success. If you miss the two-year filing deadline, you will be barred from recovering car accident damages in Colorado.
At Gerash Steiner Blanton, we keep our caseload small so that we can provide meaningful, attentive counsel to our clients. Our award-winning team of attorneys has an impressive case record that speaks volumes about their experience and skills. We understand the legal landscape of the Denver metro and surrounding areas, and we are here to help. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.