Denver Car Accident Lawyer
Skilled legal assistance since 1979
Every year, motor vehicle accidents kill more than 400 people in Colorado. Thousands more sustain serious injuries. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you may be confused about your rights and the process of asserting a claim and are looking to a Denver car accident lawyer for help. At Lampert & Walsh, LLC, motor vehicle accidents represent more than 90 percent of our practice. Our knowledgeable attorneys can assess the insurance company’s offer, help you obtain medical treatment, and give you our honest evaluation about your rights and the level of compensation you might expect. Generally, motor vehicle cases have a three year statute of limitations, so it’s best to start preparing your case as quickly as possible.
Liability issues in Denver motor vehicle accidents
Liability is a legal responsibility to compensate a victim based on fault for having caused an accident. A driver who is found liable must pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, accidents are complex and often the victim is made to bear some responsibility — and the court reduces the victim’s compensation accordingly. Under Colorado’s modified comparative fault statute, a victim who is found at least 50 percent at fault for an accident is barred from collecting anything.
Call Our Denver Accident Attorneys for a Free Initial Consultation
Accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians and other vehicles kill more than 400 people in Colorado every year. Thousands more sustain serious injuries on Denver’s busy I-70, I-25 and I-76. If this has happened to you or a loved one, then you may be confused about your rights or you may have questions about the process of asserting a claim. Our Denver car accident attorney or attorneys can help you navigate the confusion of a claim and fight for fair compensation.
At Lampert & Walsh, LLC, motor vehicle accidents represent more than 90 percent of our practice. Our lawyers that handle trucking and car accidents will guide you through the process, from start to finish. We can assess the insurance company’s offer, help you obtain medical treatment, and give you our honest evaluation. With genuine concern and respect, our counsel can explain your rights and the level of compensation you might expect. With our track record of success, you can feel confident about moving forward from your motor vehicle accident.
How Do Liability and Insurance Apply to an Accident?
Liability is a legal responsibility to compensate a victim based on fault for having caused an accident. After a car accident, the liable driver generally must pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, accidents are complex and sometimes the victim is forced to bear the financial responsibility. This may result in the court reducing the victim’s much deserved compensation. The standards in Colorado’s modified comparative fault statute define when you can collect compensation after an accident. If you are found at least 50 percent at fault for an accident, you may be barred from collecting anything.
Like every other state, Colorado requires licensed drivers to maintain a minimum level of liability insurance. These minimum requirements are:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability.
- $15,000 per occurrence for property damage liability.
However, these limits are far below anticipated losses for serious truck, motorcycle or car accidents. It is prudent to carry four times that much coverage. It is also imperative to carry both uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and medical payments coverage to protect your family. This can help you if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident or if an uninsured driver hits you.
Why Do I Need Denver Accident Attorneys?
Identifying any parties that contributed to your accident requires investigation, reading reports and calling expert and lay witnesses. The process can often seem overwhelming, especially when you have medical bills piling up and are unable to get to work. By hiring an experienced collision accident attorney, you can even the odds and maximize options for compensation. We have been helping Coloradans recover from vehicle accidents for more than 35 years. Our experience covers a variety of accidents and their causes, including:
- ATV rollovers: Unqualified operators, alcohol use and excessive speed over treacherous terrain all contribute to dangerous accidents. Our law firm can identify if any factors, such as obstructed signage or inappropriate warning, contributed to your injury.
- Boating accidents: Alcohol is a major contributing factor in boat accidents on Colorado lakes. If an inebriated operator caused you to have a boating accident, then you may be entitled to compensation from that negligent party.
- Car accidents: Driver distractions, such as cellphone use and texting, can be just as dangerous as alcohol and marijuana use. Negligence from rideshare partners, delivery trucks and municipal vehicles can contribute to an accident. Our car accident lawyer can help you identify what or who contributed to your accident.
- Motorcycle accidents: While there are less motorcycles on the road than other vehicles, the injury and death rates are highest. Riders are at greater risk to injury since they lack bodily protection.
- Pedestrian accidents: Inattentive drivers, nighttime conditions and pedestrian carelessness can lead to serious and fatal accidents. Improper signage or obstructed warnings can also contribute to these accidents.
- Truck accidents: Major factors include driver fatigue, aggressive driving and distractions, such as cellphone and drug use, along with equipment failures. Many parties can contribute to a truck accident, including loading and unloading crews.
What are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
Although some Denver car accidents are the result of a vehicle malfunctioning, it must be noted that the most common car accidents in Denver are the result of human error. That being said, there are a number of common causes behind car accidents in Denver.
These include, but certainly are not limited to, the following:
- Distracted Driving: This is the number one cause of car accidents. Examples include failing to properly give attention to road signs or lights and observing traffic due to reaching for food or a beverage, trying to get something off of the vehicle’s floor, or fidgeting with the radio.
- Drunk/Drugged Driving: Driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs including marijuana, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs can alter a person’s ability to respond and react to a situation behind the wheel.
- Lane Violations: Making unsafe lane changes is a top cause of car accidents in the Denver area.
- Speeding or Street Racing: Because roads are designed to be driven at a certain speed, going too fast may cause a person to lose control of their vehicle. This is especially true when street racing. With turbos and nitrous oxide boosters, street racing can be deadly.
- Reckless Driving: This is considered disregarding the safety of others. In Colorado, this is a Class 2 traffic misdemeanor.
- Inexperienced Driving: A lack of experience of teenage drivers contributes to the number of car accidents every year. These young drivers are also more likely to text while driving as well as drunk driving, speeding, and failing to wear a seatbelt.
- Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way: This is a common cause of car accidents when vehicles fail to yield the right-of-way to other drivers or pedestrians on the road.
- Talking/Texting on Cell Phone or Mobile Device: This is a serious problem, not only in Denver but nationwide as well. When a person is talking or texting on their phone while driving, they are not able to pay attention to their own driving habits or focus on the surroundings around them.
- Following to Close: This is a common cause of car accidents because drivers do not stay the recommended distance of three seconds behind the vehicle in front of them. Following this requirement ensures the driver has plenty of time to suddenly brake if needed.
Other common causes of car accidents in Denver include tired or drowsy driving, animal crossings, potholes, weather conditions, and road rage.
What are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
While a person may sustain any type of injury during a Denver car accident, more serious injuries may leave someone hospitalized, unable to care for themselves or prevent them from working. Some of these injuries might include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Whiplash or other neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Strains, sprains, or muscle tears
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
- Permanent disfigurement
- Back injuries
- Loss of limbs
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
What you do immediately following a car accident in Denver is vital. It can make or break a claim. If the accident is a simple fender-bender with only minor damage to your vehicle, your insurance company can help you repair or replace your vehicle through your insurance coverage. However, if the accident is more severe, the proper steps are crucial to your case when looking for a compensation claim with an attorney for more serious injuries or death.
First, under no circumstances should you leave the scene of the accident, even if the accident was not your fault or you want to transport yourself to the hospital. Call 911 and wait for the police, and if needed fire and ambulance, to arrive.
Next, if it is possible after the accident, move your vehicle out of the traffic lanes and to a safe location. If this is not possible, exit the vehicle and move away from the roadway. This is a great opportunity to begin taking photographs of all of the vehicles involved as well as road conditions, debris, traffic signals, and any other pertinent information you may think an attorney can use as evidence when building a case.
Do not admit fault, despite this being the case. This will automatically put you on the hook for any damages, even if it turns out the reason for the car accident was due to another person or circumstances. You do not want to jeopardize your opportunity for a claim yourself if needed.
Other factors to consider immediately after a car accident include:
- Always exchanging information with all other drivers.
- Give a detailed statement to the police officers once they arrive on the scene.
- If there are any witnesses, ask them to give a statement to the police as well.
- It is very important to not touch anything or disturb the evidence at the scene of the accident. This could hinder your claim.
- Let the medical personnel give you an evaluation, also at the scene of the accident, even if you do not feel this is necessary.
- If medical personnel suggest transport to the local hospital for further evaluation, accept this transport.
- Do not talk to any insurance agents until you have spoken to a Denver car accident attorney. Insurance agents may pressure you to admit fault or settle for lesser compensation if you have not talked with an attorney yet.
Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney in Denver?
You should consider a Denver car accident attorney if you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, that resulted in injuries, or where a death occurred. While you have the option to handle your own accident and injury insurance claim, this is not advisable.
Most insurance carriers will only offer a small sum towards a settlement as a means of making you, and the claim, go away. However, medical bills and other unforeseen expenses can add up. The emotional distress of a car accident can also be overwhelming. This is especially true when someone has been killed in a car accident.
The best thing you can do immediately after a car accident is to research car accident attorneys in the Denver area. This way you can find the best attorney for your specific needs. Choose an attorney that will fight for you against even the biggest insurance carriers. Consult with former clients. See what their experience has been with the attorney or law firm. Also, look for an attorney that will offer their personal attention. You want one that will be available when you need them and not one that you can rarely get to take your phone call.
Remember that it is just as important to not admit fault or guilt to anyone involved in the car accident, even if you think it’s obvious. This includes the other driver, insurance companies, police, or emergency personnel. However, do not lie to the insurance company, police, or emergency personnel. Simply, tell them what happened from your point of view.
If the other driver is insisting the accident is your fault, it is on them to provide proof that you are the one that caused the damages or injuries. Without proof, they cannot win a case against you. If you admit fault, they will be able to win a case against you and you will be responsible for all compensation.
Admitting fault will automatically put you on the hook for any damages or medical expenses incurred because of the car accident, putting all liability on you and your insurance company. If the accident turns out to not be your fault, you will not be able to sue for damages or lost expenses.
When to File an Insurance Claim After a Car Accident?
There are several factors to consider when filing an insurance claim. In Denver, it will depend on the severity of damage to the vehicle and the injuries to any occupants of the vehicle as well as who or what caused the car accident. Below are tips on what to do if your car is damaged by another driver or if you are injured in a car accident.
If your car is damaged by another driver:
You will need to contact the other driver’s insurance company and your own insurance company. You should have received their insurance information directly following the accident.
Likewise, if you are at fault, you will want to file a claim under your own collision policy. Remember not to admit fault at the scene of the accident. Let the attorneys and court of law decide this. Otherwise, you may not be able to put forth a claim for compensation of damages or injuries.
There are also times where it is unclear who is at fault for the accident. In these circumstances, you should file a claim both with the other driver’s insurance company as well as your own.
If you are injured:
This will depend on if you live in a no-fault state. Colorado is a tort state, so the driver that is found to have caused the car accident is responsible for medical expenses. If you are injured in a car accident and the other driver was at fault, you will want to file a liability claim with their insurance company.
If the other driver is uninsured and you have uninsured/underinsured coverage, your own insurance company will handle these claims.
How Do I File an Insurance Claim After a Car Accident?
The first thing you will want to do when filing an insurance claim in Denver is to contact the police and file a report. You may be shaky, disoriented, injured, or otherwise incapacitated after an accident, therefore, having a police officer take down the information is always best. In many states, Colorado included, if you have been involved in an accident, you have a responsibility to contact the police after a car accident. This is the case if there are injuries or property damage.
You are also required to file a report with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Failure to do so may result in the suspension of your driving privileges for one year.
Collect all of the information you can regarding the car accident. Document the events yourself and keep them close so you will have them when contacting the insurance company.
Contact an attorney. You will want to do this while still at the scene of the car accident if possible. Because you will need to get in touch with your insurance company right away as well, an attorney can help you navigate through the information and aid you in advice as to what further steps should be taken.
Contact your insurance company. This should also be done while you are still at the scene of the car accident. They may be able to provide assistance if your car is not drivable, such as contact a tow company and reserve a rental vehicle.
It is imperative that you do not admit guilt to anyone involved. This could potentially hurt your case if the car accident is to go to court for injuries or damages.
What is the Typical Car Accident Insurance Claim Worth?
Many people wonder what their claim is worth after a car accident. The typical car accident insurance claim in Denver will vary depending on a number of factors. These factors include the circumstances (where drugs or alcohol are found to be involved), injuries, deaths, and who are found at-fault. However, the number is usually found somewhere between $3,000 and $28,000, or more, with property damage being at the low end and personal injury or death being at the higher end.
This is why it is imperative to speak with a car accident attorney directly after the accident. An attorney will be able to give you advice and help you navigate through the legal jargon of economic damages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages so that you are able to get the most out of your insurance claim settlement.
What Steps Do I Need to Take to Establish an Injury Claim After a Car Accident?
After a car accident, you may be too shaken up, disoriented, injured, or scared to file a claim. However, this needs to be done right away. There are several steps you will need to consider to establish a claim after a car accident.
One of the first steps you will need to take when you have been involved in a Denver accident is to determine whether or not your insurance company or the insurance company of the driver at-fault will cover a personal injury claim. It is important that while you are speaking with insurance companies that you do not admit any type of guilt, even if you feel the accident was a result of your actions.
Next, you will want to speak with a car accident attorney. This attorney should give you sound advice on what steps to take next.
From here, you decide whether or not you would like to file a lawsuit. You do not necessarily need to go to court to be reimbursed for damage or injuries. A car accident attorney can assist you in making these decisions.
Keep in mind, however, that there are a few things you must be able to prove if you are considering establishing an injury claim after an accident. For example, you must prove there were damages to your property or that you were inflicted injuries. These injuries must be documented by a medical professional. This is why it is important to accept medical assistance when offered. .
Finally, you must be able to prove that the accident caused the damages or injuries. This can be done with pictures of the property damage as well as documentation from the police, emergency personnel, and medical professionals.
Who Pays for Medical Expenses After a Car Accident?
This is a question commonly asked after a car accident. The answer is simple. If you have been injured in a car accident in Denver, Colorado, you are ultimately responsible for the medical bills. The exception to this is when another driver is found at fault. Once they are found at fault in a court of law, they will be required to pay your medical expenses as part of the settlement agreement.
In Colorado, the law is that the at-fault driver is to pay for medical bills only after an agreement has been met. They are not required to pay your medical expenses as they are incurred. The at-fault driver does not have to pay you or your doctor after every visit or procedure. This is where your personal insurance should step in and cover you until that settlement has been reached.
An attorney will help you get your medical expenses reimbursed from either the other driver or their insurance company. Keep in mind that the opposing party may try and lower the amount to be repaid. If you are wanting to have the full amount of your medical expenses covered by the at-fault driver, it is best to hire a car accident attorney. That is because having an experienced attorney on your side will do their best not to let this happen and get the whole amount you are entitled to.
Will My Wages Be Reimbursed After a Car Accident?
Financial issues may arise after a car accident, especially if you are not able to return to work right away due to injuries or death. You may find yourself needing to take time away from work to heal or deal with the death of a loved one.
In Denver, your wages may be reimbursed after a car accident either by your insurance company or that of the other driver if they were found to be at fault through a court of law. This is even true if your time off is considered paid leave. Many companies offer benefits in the form of benefit packages that include paid time off, vacation days, and sick leave. You should not have to use these benefits after a car accident injury. This is why you have the option to request compensation for any paid benefits you may have lost due to the car accident.
Once the attorneys have come to an agreement on a settlement, you will then be reimbursed for your lost wages. Keep in mind that this can sometimes take several weeks or even months to process. This compensation might come as a lump sum or as payments over a period of time.
Also, consider not taking the first offer of compensation the insurance company offers you. You should always speak to a car accident attorney before making any compensation decisions. A Denver attorney will know the stipulations of the laws and get you the compensation you are entitled to.
What Steps Should I Take if the Driver At-Fault is not Insured?
In most areas, Denver included, it is required that a driver carry automobile insurance of some sort. If you are in a car accident with a driver who is either uninsured or underinsured, consult your insurance company and a car accident attorney right away. You may have options to help with the compensation of damages, injuries, or even in the case of a death resulting from the accident.
If the driver is uninsured, it is imperative to keep them at the scene of the accident. Many drivers without insurance will drive off, leaving the scene of the accident before the police and emergency personnel can arrive. Get their plate number right away and attempt to exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, and other important information. This way, if the uninsured vehicle leaves the scene, you will have the information for the police.
A person is considered underinsured if their insurance policy is not enough to cover the cost of damages or medical expenses and lost wages that were incurred because of the car accident. You are owed the coverage you pay for when you have sustained damages or injuries from an uninsured or underinsured driver by your insurance company’s policy.
Each Denver personal injury lawyer at Lampert & Walsh has been in business for over 25 years. One of our experienced Denver car accident attorney can help you fight for your right to compensation for your losses. We will never force you to accept a settlement that does not fairly compensate you. Call 720-487-1080 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Appreciated the willingness Sean had to work on a case that was difficult. He negotiated a settlement that was 3 times more than the original offer. Saved me a lot of hours of hassle and I was grateful for the guidance through a complicated process. He also found money my insurance company failed to inform me about. I recommend Sean and his team for anyone who needs help fighting insurance companies.