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Hire a Denver Car Accident Attorney to Defend your Rights
Automobiles can be deadly when operated improperly. Every motorist is responsible for being a safe and careful driver, but they are often not. Serious car crashes can leave victims with brain injuries, whiplash, lacerations, broken bones, paralysis, and in tragic cases, result in death. When an accident like this occurs, it is crucial that you fight to recover what you have lost with an experienced Denver car accident lawyer.
The team at Springer & Steinberg is prepared to advocate for your rights and help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. Together, we will ensure that you receive the fair financial compensation you deserve – and that you are not victimized by the auto insurance companies and lawyers that don’t have your best interests at heart.
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Why Do I Need a Denver Car Accident Lawyer?
According to data from the Colorado Department of Transportation, 60 people were killed in fatal car accidents in Denver in 2018 alone. Of these fatalities, 29 were the result of crashes involving an impaired driver. Early fatal accident statistics indicate that this number is likely to be even higher in 2019, with 40 deaths already recorded through August. Fatal crashes in Colorado have been steadily rising over the past decade, jumping from 407 in 2011 to 588 in 2018.
Every day, car wrecks occur as thousands of people commute throughout the Denver area. One reason is that Denver is a major hub intersecting thousands of roadways. Interstate 70, running east to west, and Interstate 25, running north to south, run through Denver and the surrounding counties and move tens of thousands of drivers through the city and state every day. US Highways 6, 36, and 285 (Hampden Avenue) are also popular roadways to take when traveling outside the metro area; these too are densely populated highways that present a high level of danger.
Colorado is a “Tort State” for Car Accidents
Colorado changed from being a no-fault car insurance state to a traditional tort system in regards to car accident claims in 2003. Under the original system, drivers would turn to their own insurance companies for compensation after a collision regardless of who was actually at fault for the crash. Only if a person’s injuries reached a certain threshold could they file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Now, under the tort system, injured parties may file claims against the responsible driver or drivers without limits.
In Colorado, you may seek compensation after a car accident in any of the following ways:
- Filing a claim with your own insurance company
- Filing a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance, or
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Types of Car Accident Claims in Denver, Colorado
There are many different types of auto accident claims, many of which accident victims are unaware of. When you choose a Denver car accident lawyer from Springer & Steinberg, you’re gaining a knowledgeable partner with extensive expertise in automobile accident claims that include:
- High-speed car crashes
- Low-speed car crashes
- Side impact crashes
- Head-on collision accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Passenger injury accidents
- Uninsured motorists
- DUI/drunk driving accidents
- Reckless driving accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Hit-and-run car accidents
- Parking lot accidents
- Dram shop liability car accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Uber/Lyft car accidents
Regardless of the type of accident and the circumstances of your case, our legal team conducts a thorough investigation to gather all the evidence needed to file a strong claim.
Can I File A Car Accident Claim After Insurance Pays?
Most likely, no. Most insurance companies include in their settlement offers that no additional compensation beyond the initial settlement amount can be collected after an agreement is signed. This remains true even if injuries become more serious in the following weeks and months after your accident, as is common with soft tissue injuries often sustained in car accidents. If you have been offered a settlement, or if you have already signed one, call Springer & Steinberg, P.C. today to talk about your case.
Comparative Negligence in Colorado
Fault laws after a car accident are fairly straightforward when only one party is at fault, but it’s true that many accidents can find more than one party at fault, even in the smallest way. Colorado deals with these cases with a rule called “modified comparative negligence.” This rule states that an injured party can still file a car accident claim against a negligent party as long as they are 50% or less at fault for causing the accident. Additionally, the percentage of responsibility an injury victim is found to bear will also be deducted from the overall compensation awarded to them. For example, if you are found to be 10% at fault for the accident, the total compensation awarded to you will also be reduced by 10%.
Examples of Negligent Driving
There are many different types of negligence when it comes to operating a motor vehicle. Any of these can result in a serious collision that leaves one or more persons seriously injured:
- Aggressive Driving: Tailgating and speeding are the most common here. When someone is following too closely behind, their ability to stop becomes nonexistent. The result is that you get rear-ended. Speeding drivers can cause a deadly accident. Failure to obey speed limits puts all other drivers on the road at risk. Limits are put into place because vehicles traveling well above them are likely to be in less control.
- Distracted Driving: Texting while driving is an extremely dangerous recent trend. Sending a message while driving takes away all capacity to lawfully operate your vehicle. Not only does it put you at risk, but it can hurt those around you. Other forms may include talking on your phone, eating, and performing other tasks unrelated to driving.
- Violating Traffic Laws: Failure to stop at a stop sign or running a red light presents an incredible threat to other drivers. Saving time is never as important as someone’s life. Traffic laws are there for everyone’s protection, and we assume they will be obeyed. When no one sees an accident coming the parties are often left with devastating injuries.
- DUI: Driving under the influence is illegal and can result in a fine and jail time. Regardless of whether you had alcohol, marijuana, or prescription painkillers in your system, it is illegal to drive intoxicated. Even with the new marijuana laws in place, it is still illegal to drive high.
- Defective Auto Parts: Sometimes it is the automobile that was at fault, not the operator. A failure of your vehicle can be deadly. If an auto accident is caused by a malfunction in your automobile, such as a brake pad, accelerator, or tire, the manufacturer may be liable too. This is called a product liability claim, and at Springer & Steinberg, P.C. we specialize in these cases too. We can help you bring about a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the failed part.
To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Denver car accident lawyer, call us at (303) 861-2800 or contact us online.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Auto accidents are among the leading causes of serious injuries and death in the US. In addition to severe injuries, even minor injuries and emotional trauma can have lasting impacts.
Some of the most common motor vehicle accident injuries in the Denver area include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Bone fractures
- Internal injuries
- Facial injuries
It is also possible for victims to experience catastrophic injuries in a car accident, such as:
- Burn injury
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lost limbs
- Full or partial paralysis
- Fatal injuries
In addition to the common injuries listed above, many individuals also experience delayed car accident injuries. These include symptoms and medical issues that can appear hours, days, or even weeks after an accident, such as:
- Numbness or tingling
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Stomach pain
Often, the signs above become apparent after the shock of the accident has worn off. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact a doctor immediately. Even if you aren’t sure if your symptoms are related to the accident, it is crucial that you are examined promptly.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Denver
Knowing the proper steps after an auto accident can make a world of difference for your safety and your legal rights. You can avoid common mistakes and protect yourself from the notoriously aggressive insurance companies defending CO car accident claims.
1. Seek medical attention. First and foremost, you need to ensure the safety of yourself and everyone involved in the accident. If you sustained any injuries, you need medical attention. Severe injuries require immediate care, while seemingly minor injuries may be treated at an appointment soon after the accident. It is important to understand that unless your injuries and medical expenses are properly documented, you will not be able to bring a car accident injury claim.
2. Report the accident. Under Colorado state law, you are required to report an accident if there were any injuries or a minimum of $1,000 in property damage. The responding officer will write an official crash report and provide critical documentation of the scene and all evidence.
3. Secure as much evidence as possible. It is also up to you to make sure that all evidence is properly documented, regardless of whether you may be the victim or the party at fault. Take photographs of the accident and scene, request contact information from any witnesses, and ask for the contact/insurance details of all involved parties. Contact a Denver car accident attorney immediately if you are unsure about any part of the evidence documentation process.
4. Contact an experienced Denver car accident lawyer. You don’t have to fight for your rights alone when you’ve been involved in an accident. Instead, hire the best car accident lawyer Denver has to offer – a member of the legal team from Springer & Steinberg. Do not give any statement to the insurance company or discuss settlement offers until you have retained a skilled lawyer to protect your interests.
Colorado Car Accident Reporting Requirements
In Colorado, you are legally required to report a car accident in the event of property damage or injury. Generally, it is always a good idea to contact law enforcement; that way, you have the proper authorities there to help mitigate the scene in whatever way necessary.
Do I Need a Police Report for a Car Accident in Denver, CO?
Yes. If you were involved in a car accident, you need to contact law enforcement to file a formal report. Additionally, be sure to request a copy of the police report as soon as possible. Reviewing the report will allow you to make sure it is accurate and comprehensive and provides you with a legally viable document to document your case and establish a claim.
Our attorneys and legal team can help you obtain a crash report after an accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable for the Car Accident?
In any accident, there may be several parties that can be held liable. Identifying all liable parties (and all potential sources of rightful compensation) requires intensive investigation, which is yet another reason why hiring a skilled Denver, CO accident attorney is so essential.
In a car collision, liability may belong to one or more of the following:
- Other drivers
- A commercial trucking company
- The entities/governmental unit involved in road maintenance or design
- Vehicle manufacturer
- Vehicle parts manufacturer
How to Determine Liability after an Auto Accident
Colorado is considered a “fault-based” state, which means you must prove that another party committed reckless or careless conduct to hold them liable for your injuries. This means that you need an experienced attorney to sort through the case details and pinpoint key evidence.
With decades of combined experience and expertise in a diverse range of case types, our Denver auto accident firm is extensively well-equipped to win your case. Whether that means obtaining a successful settlement or taking your case to court, you can be confident that a Denver car accident lawyer at Springer & Steinberg will fight for you.
Compensation You Can Recover in a Car Accident Claim
In the aftermath of a car accident, dealing with the physical and emotional repercussions can be life-altering. You may have been forced to miss time at work, face expensive medical bills, or experience a decline in your quality of life. But you don’t have to suffer the burden alone – and you have a right to maximum compensation.
People who have been harmed due to negligence can recover fair compensation from the at-fault party. With car accidents, this may be another driver, an auto manufacturer, or other individual or company who caused the collision through negligence or wrongdoing.
Springer & Steinberg, P.C. can help you recover fair compensation for such expenses and damages as:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical care
- Physical therapy
- Medication and medical supplies
- Lost earnings
- Loss of earning potential
- Property damage
- Emotional trauma
- Permanent impairment
- Funeral costs and loss of companionship (wrongful death)
Colorado Auto Accident and Insurance Laws
Understanding CO car accidents and insurance laws are important because they can drastically affect you in the event of an accident. The full text can be found in Title 42, Article 4 of Colorado’s Revised Statutes. Our accident attorneys are also available to help you better understand any part of the CO state laws if needed.
Colorado Auto Insurance Minimums & Requirements
Colorado requires every vehicle owner to purchase insurance and maintain a minimum amount of liability coverage.
As of 2019, Colorado’s auto insurance minimums are as follows:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $15,000 per accident for property damage
This basic coverage will help to cover the medical expenses, property damage, and other costs suffered by other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are injured in a collision. Unfortunately, these policy limits are often woefully inadequate to cover the costs of a serious crash, as a single day in the ICU of a hospital can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Our experienced Denver auto accident attorneys can help maximize your potential recovery in the face of minimal insurance policy limits. If you were hit by a driver with inadequate or no coverage, our attorneys can help you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in pursuit of additional damages.
Car Accident Statute of Limitations in Colorado
It is important to remember that lawsuits related to car accidents are subject to a “statute of limitations,” which limits the amount of time you have to pursue legal action. In Colorado, car accident injury and property damage lawsuits must be filed within three years of the date of your collision. If a loved one died as a result of the collision, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Keep in mind that insurance claims are not subject to this time limit; in many cases, you will have to notify your insurance company within a few days or weeks of the crash to be eligible for coverage.
Filing a car accident lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed will almost certainly result in your case being dismissed, permanently ending your ability to seek damages. It is also good from a strategic standpoint to act quickly after a collision to give your attorney the proper time to investigate the crash and build a strong case.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Not all car accident cases are cut and dry; in fact, it is quite common for multiple parties to be found to be at fault for a collision. In situations like this, Colorado employs a “modified comparative negligence” rule which allows injured plaintiffs to still recover compensation even if they are found to be partially at fault for the collision that caused their injuries, though their maximum eligible damages will be reduced by a percentage equal to their proportion of fault.
For example, say you were driving a few miles over the speed limit when another car suddenly made a left turn into your vehicle’s side, causing you to suffer $10,000 worth of damages. While the other driver shoulders the majority of the blame, because you were speeding, the jury concludes that you are 15% at fault for the crash. Because of modified comparative negligence, you would only be able to recover $8,500 in damages (or $10,000 less 15%).
With that being said, you must be found to be less than 50% at fault to recover any damages. Insurance companies know this rule well and will likely attempt to exaggerate your share of the blame for the crash to minimize their financial liability. Our attorneys can make sure you are treated fairly and help you negotiate for the compensation you deserve.
How to File a Denver Car Accident Lawsuit
It is essential to remember that you have three years after an accident to file your claim; any claim filed after this period will most likely be dismissed. If you need to know how to file a car accident lawsuit in Denver, the legal team at Springer & Steinberg can help. We recommend contacting us as soon as possible so that our experts can assist you every step of the way.
In many cases, you don’t need to worry about immediately filing a lawsuit. Instead, many cases may be able to be successfully settled out of court. Should the insurance company be unwilling to provide rightful compensation, then we can move forward with legal action.
Typically, the process for filing a car accident claim (and a lawsuit, if necessary) looks something like this:
- We will complete a comprehensive investigation of the accident, thoroughly documenting all evidence and relevant details.
- Your attorney will file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, including a request for compensation.
- Your attorney will then negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, representing your best interests to secure a fair settlement offer.
- If the insurance company refuses to make a satisfactory offer, your attorney will advise you about potentially moving forward with a lawsuit.
Why Choose Us
After an accident, you have enough to deal with – you shouldn’t have to worry about going head to head with an insurance company or opposing legal team. The law firm at Springer & Steinberg has extensive experience in litigating auto accident claims and cases, and we have successfully obtained excellent compensation for countless clients. When you choose our car accident attorney team, you can rely on us to:
- Provide a free initial consultation
- Investigate the accident
- Clearly communicate with you at all times
- Harness the resources needed to build an excellent case/claim
- Manage all negotiations with the insurance company
- Work with the relevant experts to support your case
- Serve you with integrity
Contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
Our skilled and dedicated Denver car accident lawyers are here to help you after a collision, regardless of the circumstances of your accident. If you or a loved one has experienced injuries – including emotional or physical trauma – after a collision, our legal support can help you achieve a fair outcome. We proudly serve clients in Denver and the surrounding area, including communities throughout the state.
For more information about how we can help you, call Springer & Steinberg at 303-861-2800 for your free legal consultation today.