Boulder county experienced 26 fatalities and 207 serious injuries caused by car accidents in 2019. Between 2015 and 2017, over 21,000 people suffered a car crash in the City of Boulder. Unfortunately, reckless or careless drivers cause many of these accidents. If you are injured in a crash, you have a right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. The Boulder auto accident attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., will guide you through the process. Contact us today.
What Should I Do After a Car Wreck?
When there is a wreck, you should assess for injuries, move your vehicle to a safe place, and call 911. Colorado law requires drivers to report accidents immediately. When you call 911, an officer will come to the scene and take a report. If law enforcement is not involved, you should file an accident report online within 60 days. Before you leave the scene, exchange your name, telephone number, and insurance information with the other driver.
After the accident, you should seek medical care. We recommend that everyone involved in the crash see a doctor, regardless of how they feel. Severe injuries like whiplash often appear or worsen in the days after a crash. Consider making a plan for follow-up care with your doctor at that time.
Who Pays for the Costs of a Vehicle Accident?
Colorado has a fault-based insurance system. Thus, you should never avoid medical care if you need it after an accident. In many cases, you might have to pay your medical bills as they arise, but the at-fault driver has the ultimate responsibility to pay those expenses. To start the reimbursement process, you will file a third-party claim with their insurance company. It is deemed to be a third-party claim because you are not a party to the insurance agreement.
When you file your third-party claim, the insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to assess the incident and determine fault. You can anticipate receiving a settlement offer if the adjuster finds that the insured person is responsible for the accident. However, the investigation process can take months or even years. If you have medical payment coverage through your auto insurance or your health insurer, you can file a claim with them in the meantime.
Colorado law requires drivers to have bodily injury or death liability insurance with a minimum policy limit of $25,000 for any one person in an accident. In 2013, the average auto liability claim for bodily injury was $15,443. Thus, you can expect the at-fault driver’s insurance to cover your expenses if the liable party is insured and your costs are under $25,000. However, your losses and expenses might be higher than the average. Under Colorado law, you can sue the at-fault driver for compensation of your medical bills and costs, plus losses attributed to pain and suffering.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
You deserve to focus solely on your health and recovery when you are injured. Let our Boulder car accident lawyers handle the specifics of your legal claims. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys will:
- Clearly explain your legal rights and options and guide you through the process;
- Perform an investigation into the accident to determine who was at fault;
- Collect evidence to support your claim;
- Partner with experts, like medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists, who can provide important testimony to prove your case;
- Manage the procedural aspects of your claim, like document preparation and the timely submission of all paperwork;
- Communicate on your behalf with insurance companies and other attorneys;
- Negotiate to get the maximum compensation for your losses; and
- Fight for you in court, if necessary, until you receive full and fair compensation.
More than 90% of cases settle during the negotiations phase, which means that no one has to file a lawsuit or involve the courts. Nonetheless, having an attorney greatly lessens the burden of trying to manage the claim yourself and assures you that you are not getting shortchanged. People who settle on their own without an attorney leading the negotiations can end up getting far less money than their claim is worth. And if your bills continue to pile in after you’ve signed an agreement that didn’t properly consider future expenses—you can never go back for more.
The Most Dangerous and Deadly Intersections in Boulder
Yes, hundreds of crashes occur yearly near the University of Colorado Boulder campus.
The intersections with the highest number of crashes reported to the City of Boulder Police Department between 2014 and 2017 include:
- Arapahoe Ave. and 28th St. (144 crashes);
- Arapahoe Ave. and 30th St. (143 crashes);
- Arapahoe Ave. and Foothills Pkwy. (120 crashes); and
- Broadway and Baseline Rd. (117 crashes).
When heading to hike Chautauqua Park or to see a Buffs game at Folsom Field, take care and expect to encounter heavy traffic in these areas.
Common Causes of Accidents in Boulder
CDOT reports that human error caused 96% of traffic fatalities in Colorado in 2018. In 2019, 35 drivers were involved in distracted driving crashes that resulted in 39 fatalities—making driver distraction the most influential factor in crashes. Drivers can be distracted by passengers, pets, cell phones, radios, food, or other objects in the vehicle. In addition, crashes in Colorado may be caused by drivers who are:
- Aggressive or reckless,
- Under the influence of intoxicants,
- Unfamiliar with the area,
- Asleep at the wheel or fatigued,
- Ill or require medical attention,
- Emotionally upset,
- Evading law enforcement, or
- Physically disabled.
As you can see, many of these causes place fault on one driver. Regardless of the cause of your accident, you deserve recovery. Our attorneys will work to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C.: Boulder Auto Accident Lawyers
The auto insurance claim process can seem overwhelming when you are injured. Fortunately, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to maximize your recovery. When you call our office, you can expect personalized attention and clear advice. We have a proven track record of successfully securing beneficial results for our clients. Our attorneys have over 75 years of combined experience representing injured Coloradoans. Further, one of our attorneys is a licensed physician who can help you get the care you deserve. Let us manage the insurance companies and negotiate a fair settlement offer so you can get back to healing. Contact us today to start the process.
Our experienced legal team handles other types of cases as well, including: