Car Accident Attorneys in Denver Helping You Get the Compensation You Need
Traffic fatalities in Denver hit an all-time high in 2021, reflecting an increase in traffic accidents across the board. As traffic accident numbers go up, the chances that you or a loved one has been in an accident that caused injury increase, as well. If you have been in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Even if you share some of the blame for the accident, you still may be entitled to recover damages for your injuries.
After all of the trauma associated with being injured in a car accident, the last thing you need is a long and complicated legal battle. Insurance companies do not like to pay claims, and even if someone else was clearly at fault for your accident-related injuries, the negligent driver’s insurance company is likely to fight you every step of the way. Taking them on by yourself would be daunting in the best of circumstances, but when you are trying to rest and recover from physical injuries, life disruptions, and stress after an accident, it can be impossible. This is where the experienced car accident attorneys from Greer Law Group come in. We are here to take over the fight and lead the way through every step of the process of getting the compensation you need and deserve to help get your life back on track.
Call Greer Law Group at our Denver office today at 303-331-6460 to speak to a skilled car accident attorney and explore your options.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Seek in My Car Accident Case?
If you have been in a car accident that caused injuries, you have the right to seek compensation from any person or entity whose negligence caused or contributed to your accident. This could be a mechanic who made a faulty repair, a car manufacturer who created a defective product, or a government entity that didn’t adequately mark or repair a known road hazard, but most often, the negligent party will be another driver. Assuming that driver has adequate car insurance in place, it is likely to be the insurance company that will pay any damages that are awarded.
The kinds of damages you can seek in Colorado personal injury cases are divided into two types: economic damages, also called pecuniary damages, and non-economic or non-pecuniary damages. Each type of damage includes different kinds of costs and has different limits.
Economic (pecuniary) damages include any direct costs that have been caused by your car accident and the injuries you suffered. For example, medical bills, lost wages, and the costs of medications or medical appliances related to your injuries are included in economic damages. Other expenses that would be considered economic damages would be things like mileage to and from medical appointments, lodging or meals that have to be purchased while traveling to see specialists, any modifications to your home or car (ramps, special steering mechanisms), or any other direct costs that you wouldn’t have had if you hadn’t been injured in a car accident.
Non-economic (non-pecuniary) damages are a little harder to pin down, but you are absolutely entitled to ask for them. These include compensation for intangible losses or suffering caused by your accident, including things like physical pain, mental and emotional trauma, the loss of activities and pastimes you previously enjoyed, the loss of family relationships and friendships, social isolation, and any other losses you have suffered as a result of your injuries.
How Do I Know How Much Compensation to Ask For After My Car Accident?
It’s easy to figure out what your economic costs have been—all you have to do is add up the receipts. Determining a dollar figure to compensate you for your intangible losses and suffering, however, can be trickier. You want to be sure that you are asking for enough to truly compensate you for all the ways you and your life have changed since the accident, but you don’t want to ask for so much that the amount is unreasonable and unlikely to lead to a successful damage award. Skilled car accident attorneys like the ones here at Greer Law Group can use a combination of their experience in cases like yours and their knowledge of the law to help you come up with a number that makes sense.
Is There a Limit on the Amount I Can Seek in Compensation for my Car Accident in Colorado?
Colorado does not limit the amount that can be awarded for economic damages in car accident claims. That amount is indisputable. You have receipts, medical bills, and pay stubs to prove it. Non-economic damages, however, are intangible by definition, and Colorado has imposed limits on the non-economic damages that can be awarded. While the amount of the limit changes approximately every two years to account for inflation, the current limit on non-economic damages in personal injury cases in Colorado is $613,760 for incidents that occur on or after January 1, 2020 and before January 1, 2022. For accidents that happen on and after January 1, 2022 and before January 1, 2024, the cap is $642,180. The Colorado Secretary of State publishes a Certificate with all of the current damage caps, and it is a good idea to check it out to see what the caps are at the time of your personal injury claim.
What if I Am Partially At Fault for My Car Accident?
In some states, sharing part of the fault for your car accident would mean that you were ineligible to seek damages for your injuries, even if your liability was far less than the liability of the other party. That’s called contributory negligence. In other states, however, including Colorado, victims may recover compensation for car accident claims even if they share some of the fault for their accident. This is known as comparative negligence. Under this model, your damage award will be reduced by the percentage of your liability in the accident. For example, if you are found to be 10% liable, your damage award will be reduced by 10%. In pure comparative negligence, a victim can recover damages even if they are mostly responsible for the accident. Under Colorado’s modified comparative negligence model, however, you can only recover damages if your responsibility for the accident is determined to be less than 50%. If you are found 50% liable or more, you cannot receive any compensation under Colorado law.
What if the Driver Who Was At Fault is Uninsured or Underinsured?
Colorado law requires all drivers to carry adequate insurance coverage; however, some drivers illegally drive without the insurance protection that is required. In fact, over 16% of drivers in Colorado are uninsured, according to 2019 claims data. So what happens if you are in an accident that is the fault of an uninsured driver in Colorado? You may have already purchased Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist coverage under your own insurance policy. If so, your insurance company will most likely pay the compensation you are due for your injuries. If you do not have this coverage at the time of the accident, however, you will have to pursue other means of compensation. You can bring a lawsuit against the other driver, but oftentimes those without insurance do not have the assets to pay damages. Sometimes, though, they do have assets that can be used to compensate you, and that is something an experienced injury attorney can help to investigate.
If the at-fault driver does have insurance, but it is inadequate, you can make a claim for at least the amount up to their limits. You may then go to your own insurance company for the remainder of the claim. However, it is important to know that many insurance policies require you to get permission before accepting a settlement from another company. Before you accept any settlement from the at-fault driver or their insurance company, check with your own insurance company, or you may be prohibited from submitting a claim for an accident with an underinsured motorist.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, it is important to get their contact information and a written statement stating that they do not have insurance, if possible. You also need to be sure that police are called, and a report is made.
The personal injury attorneys at Greer Law Group have the right combination of compassion and toughness to stand by your side and fight for what’s right. You need us on your side, and we will be there, every step of the way. Our attorneys are here to help. 303-331-6460
What Should I Do If I Am in a Car Accident?
If you are in a car accident, you are likely to be flustered and may not remember to take all the steps that you should. Try to remain calm and follow these steps. Obviously, if you are taken to the hospital or are unconscious, you will not be able to complete all of them, and your first priority should always be to get necessary medical attention.
- Turn off your engine. This may prevent fire.
- If you are injured, get medical help immediately. Even if you are not sure that you have injuries, it is best not to refuse medical attention at the scene. The adrenaline and shock of the accident may be masking symptoms, and refusing medical attention at the scene could be used against you later if you seek compensation for injuries that didn’t show up right away.
- Report the accident to the police. Most often, this happens through a 911 call. In Colorado, you are legally required to report any accident that results in injuries or property damage, such as damage to your car.
- Get identification and insurance information from the other driver right away. If your cell phone is with you and working, taking a photo of their driver’s license and insurance card could be a good idea.
- Get names and contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident happen.
- If possible, take photos of the scene, the damage to each car, any skid marks on the road, or any other things that could make it easier for the insurance company, the police, and possibly the courts to recreate what happened.
- Do not talk too much to the other driver(s), and do not say anything that implies fault. Even saying “I’m sorry” could be used against you later to try to prove that the accident was your fault. It is best not to discuss the circumstances of car accidents with anyone except police, your own insurance company, and your own car accident lawyer.
- Do not sign anything except police documents.
- Call Greer Law Group for experienced legal representation.
- Do not answer questions from the other driver’s insurance company or attorney. Refer them to your insurance company or attorney.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?
While any part of the body can be injured in car accidents, there are some injuries that car accident victims more commonly suffer. The areas of the body that are injured most often include the head, neck, back and spine, hand, wrist, knee, foot, and ankle. The injuries sustained most often in car accidents include traumatic brain injury, whiplash, neck and back injuries, headaches, migraines, lacerations, broken bones, and soft-tissue injuries.
Getting immediate medical treatment is imperative after a car accident, even if you don’t think you are injured or you think your injuries are not serious. There will likely be medical aid at the scene of the accident, but you should also make an appointment with your regular physician as soon as possible after the accident. Many injuries do not show up right away, and the adrenaline and shock you are going through at the time of the accident can mask a lot of pain, only to have the full extent of your injuries become apparent later.
A non-physical injury that can result from a car accident is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although this consequence is not visible to the naked eye, it can still cause disruptions in your life, such as the inability to work. If the accident was someone else’s fault, they should compensate you for the injuries you suffered. The skilled car accident lawyers at Greer Law can help you get the compensation you need to afford medical treatment, physical therapy, counseling, and anything else you need to heal and recover.
What Are the 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make After Car Accidents?
Getting the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have sustained in a car accident can hinge on doing things right, at the time of the accident and after. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes car accident victims make. Be sure to avoid them.
- Underestimating Your Injuries—It is human nature to reassure the people around you after you’ve been hurt by minimizing your pain and saying “I’m OK” or something similar. This is a mistake in a car accident, as such statements can be used against you later to try to say that your true injuries aren’t from the accident, or aren’t as serious as you claim
- Failing to Call the Police—It is the law in Colorado that any accident with injuries or that has a certain level of property damage must be reported to police. Doing so keeps you on the right side of the law and also gives you an official record of the accident and its circumstances.
- Accepting a Quick Settlement—Insurance companies and their attorneys will put a lot of pressure on you to take a low settlement offer right away, and it can be tempting to do so. But you could be shortchanging yourself. What if you can never return to work? What if your pain continues? It is important to take the time to decide what your real needs are, now and in the future, and not settle for less.
- Talking About the Accident on Social Media—The best policy when it comes to talking about your accident is not to, unless you are speaking with your own insurance company, your own attorney, or the police. Postings on social media can be taken out of context and used against you in court.
- Failing to Hire an Attorney—You may think that you will save money by not hiring an attorney, but chances are, you will get a much lower settlement or compensation package without one. The insurance adjuster may tell you that you don’t need a lawyer, but that is because they know that it will cost them less if you don’t have a skilled car accident attorney on your side.
Why Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney?
If you have been injured in a car accident, you need time to rest, recover, and get your life back on track. The last thing you need is to be tracking down witnesses, doing paperwork, and dealing with insurance companies. Hiring a skilled car accident attorney can give you peace of mind knowing that your case is being handled by a professional so that you can concentrate on healing. An experienced car accident attorney can investigate all aspects of the accident by interviewing witnesses, recreating the events that led up to the accident and the accident itself, and taking statements from the other driver, for example. We can help you determine a fair amount of compensation for your economic and non-economic damages and can negotiate with the other driver’s attorney or insurance company. Sometimes, we can come to an out-of-court settlement agreement that will take care of your needs, but if not, we can represent you in court with all the knowledge and professionalism you expect in a trial lawyer.
When you make a damages claim in a car accident, most often, you will be going up against a big insurance company. Those companies have lawyers—sometimes whole teams of them—whose sole job is to fight against paying claims. To try to stand up for yourself against a giant corporation and its lawyers on your own would be stressful and probably foolish. The laws surrounding personal injury in Colorado are complex, and trying to represent yourself without the education and experience of a skilled car accident attorney is not likely to get you the outcome you want and deserve.
Often, the opposing insurance company or the other driver’s attorney will hound you with questions and phone calls, trying to get you to admit fault in some way. If that happens, it is a great feeling to be able to say, “I’m sorry, you’ll have to speak to my attorney.” A skilled car accident attorney can be your advocate, your advisor, and your voice with the opposing attorney or insurance company and in court. You don’t have to do it alone.
At Greer Law Group, our car accident attorneys have years of experience representing clients in Denver and the surrounding areas. We know how to fight for you to get you what you need and deserve after being injured in a car accident. Call us today to get started on the road to recovery. 303-331-6460