Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury in the United States. Unfortunately, many car accidents are caused by negligent or irresponsible driving.
If you or someone in your family sustained injuries in a collision caused in whole or in part by another driver, the law ensures your right to pursue compensation for the damages. Understanding your situation from a legal standpoint at this time is critical. We encourage you to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., our legal team stands ready to protect your rights after a serious collision caused by a reckless driver.
Why Hire Us?
- A Colorado physician is one of our lead attorneys
- 5.0 out of 5.0 AV® rating for ethics & legal talent
- Proven track record of success
- Selection for Colorado Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers in America®
Whether you need to file a claim against a negligent car maker or a distracted driver, the Denver auto accident lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. have a long history of diligently advocating for injury victims. We understand how to defend people who have suffered due to other drivers and now face the tactics of stingy insurance companies. Our trial-tested team is ready to make sure your rights are upheld.
Injured in an Auto Accident?
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Common Causes of Car Accidents in Colorado
Accidents can occur in any place and at any time, from minor fender benders in a parking lot to multiple car pile-ups on the highway. Unfortunately, in most situations, a serious car crash could be entirely preventable and avoidable but for the reckless actions of other drivers. In fact, in 2019, there were 121,648 automobile crashes, 596 crash-related fatalities, and 3190 crash-related serious injuries in Colorado. And the majority of these crashes were due to DUI/DUID, lane violations, and exceeding the speed limit.
According to statistics from the Colorado State Patrol, other common causes of a car wreck include:
- Distracted driving
- Illegal passing
- Improper backing
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Illegal left turn
- Failure to yield
If you were injured in a car crash because of someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, call the Denver car accident lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. We can walk you through all your options and help you chart the best path forward toward a just recovery.
Most Common Car Accident Types
Avoiding distractions and paying attention to your surroundings can help you avoid a collision. But no matter how careful you are, some accidents are unavoidable. The following are the most common types of vehicle accidents to keep an eye out for.
- T-Bone collisions,
- Rear-end collisions,
- Angle collisions,
- Parking lot fender benders,
- Rollover accidents,
- Blind left turn collisions, and
- Roadside object collisions.
Whatever type of auto accident you were in, if you were injured or a loved one was killed because of someone else’s negligence, an experienced Denver car accident attorney can review your case and help you hold the responsible person accountable.
Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Even minor car accidents can cause bodily damage. And sometimes, a person’s physical injuries aren’t immediately visible or detectable. If you are in an accident and have any doubts, get to a doctor immediately. Even if you have minor injuries, a visit to a health professional can serve as evidence of your injury should you decide to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
The most common types of auto injuries include:
- Bruising and contusions,
- Neck or back injuries,
- Broken Bones,
- Internal Bleeding,
- Traumatic brain injuries, and
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, consulting with a seasoned accident attorney could help you receive the compensation you need to cover the costs of medical care and lost wages. A skilled car wreck attorney acts as your liaison and deals with insurance companies and adjusters, increasing your chances of a fair settlement.
Determining Fault and Liability After a Car Accident
Colorado is a “fault” based state. This means an injury victim needs to identify the driver at fault for the accident before filing a claim.
The driver who caused the accident is considered at fault and liable for a victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. However, Colorado law assigns proportional comparative fault in determining whether an injury victim can recover any money. If an injury victim is 49% at fault or less for the car accident, they are eligible to get compensated for their damages. However, if an injury victim is 50% or more at fault, they will not be able to collect damages.
For example, let’s say another car hit you in an intersection, but you were speeding at the time. Suppose you accrued $40,000 in damages from the crash. If an investigation determines that your speeding made you 20% at fault, your settlement would be reduced by 20%. So you would only be able to collect $32,000. If an investigation determines that you and the other driver equally contributed to the cause of the accident, neither you nor the other driver would be able to collect any damages.
An injured victim who wants compensation must show that the other driver was negligent. To prove negligence, a victim must show:
- The negligent party owed them a duty of care,
- The negligent party violated their duty of care,
- The victim was injured, and
- The negligent party’s violation caused the injury.
Every driver on the road has a duty to operate their vehicle responsibly and with consideration for others on the road. Refusing to follow traffic rules, tailgating, driving drunk, and running a stop sign are all violations of a driver’s duty of care.
Generally, determining fault and liability comes down to evidence. Various types of evidence can establish someone’s fault in a car accident. Pictures of the accident scene, witness statements, skid marks, and the accident police report can all provide information that will help determine liability.
Do I Need a Police Report?
In Colorado, you are required to file an accident report for any accident that causes injury or property damage. If you were in a car accident and a police officer came to the scene and obtained all the needed information, you do not need to file any forms unless you receive a letter from the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDR). However, unless there are injuries or property damage above $1,000, even if the police come to the scene, they won’t always file a report. If a police officer was not called to the scene or they do not file a report, you should file an accident report online with the Division of Motor Vehicles within 60 days of the accident. However, if you file an accident online, a law enforcement agency will not investigate the report. The CDR keeps reports for recording purposes only.
Colorado Statute of Limitations
Under Colorado law, car accident claims must be filed within three years from the date an injury occurs. This means that a Colorado car accident victim must file their claim within the three-year window allotted by the statute. If a victim fails to file a lawsuit within three years, they will be unable to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
How Is Injury Compensation Calculated?
You can hold an at-fault driver in Colorado liable for the economic damages they caused and noneconomic damages like your pain and suffering. But the amount you’ll receive hinges on the severity and extent of your damages.
Economic damages are actual expenses, including:
- Medical bills,
- Future medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Rehabilitation costs, and
- Property damage.
Noneconomic damages include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of enjoyment,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Mental anguish.
The State of Colorado limits pain and suffering compensation to $250,000 for most civil cases and up to $500,000 with clear and convincing evidence of need.
Auto Accident Case Results in Denver, Colorado
Client, a bookkeeper, involved in two low-speed collisions within two weeks of each other, suffers a mild traumatic injury. Case settled during litigation prior to trial for an undisclosed confidential amount.
Car and Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accident resulting in closed head injuries and other soft tissue injuries of the passenger on the back of ex-husband’s motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle lost control of the vehicle claiming a moose ran in front of his path. The client saw no moose. The case settled for a confidential amount.
Courtesy, Dedication, and Diligence.
I found the firm to be a very responsive, handling my issues with utmost courtesy, dedication and diligence. I feel that I had excellent advice and representation before, during and after the court appearances. I would highly recommend Gerash Steiner.Former Client
Let Our Denver Car Accident Attorneys Pursue Full Compensation
Were you injured due to no fault of your own? Have you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligent behavior? Our skilled Denver auto accident attorneys stand at the ready to pursue justice for you after a serious accident. As skilled negotiators and experienced courtroom advocates, our litigators at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. are prepared to go the extra mile in your car accident claim.
Request a free case evaluation with one of four Denver auto accident lawyers today to discuss the strength of your case and learn your rights.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are My Options If I Can’t Afford to Pay for Medical Care?
If you have suffered injuries but cannot pay for medical treatment, there are options available.
Your first option is to get a letter of protection. Your lawyer sends this to your medical provider as a guarantee to pay for medical services. It can guarantee that any costs for your treatment will come from your future settlement. Your chiropractor or another provider will then receive payments before you receive any proceeds from the settlement.
You may also be able to use medical payment insurance coverage, also called “med pay” coverage. This will cover the medical expenses of those injured in a crash resulting from the actions of the insured. Insurance carriers in Colorado have to offer a minimum of $5,000 of med pay coverage.
Once your medical costs go over your “med pay” policy limitations, the rest of the expenses will be your responsibility. Nevertheless, this can defer some of the costs of your medical treatment.
Does Health Insurance Cover Auto Accident Injuries in Colorado?
Yes, you can use your health insurance to cover your injuries in a Colorado car accident.
Keep in mind that your health coverage plan could note that your insurance is a “secondary” plan. In other words, your primary insurance might be your car insurance plan. In this scenario, your health insurance plan would provide for any remaining expenses after you use your car insurance coverage.
Also, remember that your health insurance plan may not cover some types of medical treatment. Examples of treatments that possibly are not covered include acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care.
You will likely have a copay, deductible, or both you will need to meet as well. For this information, you will have to check your specific health insurance policy.
Note that if you file a claim and recover damages, the health insurance company can receive reimbursement for what they paid to cover your medical costs. This is called “subrogation” and ensures that you are not paid twice for the same expenses.
Who Pays for a Rental Car While My Car Is Being Repaired?
Usually, the insurance of the at-fault party will cover the cost of your rental car. You can then keep the rental car while your vehicle’s repairs are completed. On the other hand, you may also keep the rental car until the at-fault party pays for the total loss of your vehicle.
If the other party does not have car insurance or you were in a hit-and-run, your insurance may be able to help. Depending on the type of coverage you choose in your car insurance policy, it may completely cover the rental cost. Rental coverage is optional, though, so it is not available under every single policy.
If your insurance provider works with rental car companies directly, you might have to go to a particular rental location. Then your insurance will receive a bill from the rental company.
Sometimes, however, you may have to initially pay for the rental until your insurance can reimburse you.