Colorado’s Premier Car Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a car accident? Do you live in Denver, Colorado Springs, or anywhere in between? Our accident and personal injury lawyers will fight for you.
Why You Need An Accident Attorney
Our attorneys understand an auto accident can change your life. Medical bills and other resulting expenses can be a huge burden on you and those you care about. Similarly, if someone you love is killed or injured in a car crash, the emotional andfinancial distress can be overwhelming. Let our attorneys help you get the moneyand support you deserve.
At Bachus & Schanker, LLC, our lawyers stand ready to consider the potential casesof car accident victims and their families. We help victims recover their losses, whether it is to compensate for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering or otherharms and losses. We serve all of Colorado, so whether you live in Denver or FortCollins, we can help.
In Colorado, car accidents result from a number of common factors: speeding,texting and cell phone usage, careless driving, reckless driving, negligence, failing toobey traffic signals, drugs, alcohol, Defective Products, and other factors.
Consider that, nationwide, in 2007 there were 6.2 million police-reported motorvehicle crashes. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 41,000 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes. That’s an average of 112 lives lost every day in 2007. Someone died in a motorvehicle crash every 13 minutes.
According to statistics compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 554 people were killed in car accidents in Colorado in 2007, and thousands more suffered serious injuries.
Car accident cases are our specialty. When our lawyers take on a case, they strive to understand the unique challenges presented in each case to better assist our clients with questions they may have and ensure their legal rights are protected.
Colorado Accident Law
Under Colorado law, the person who causes a car accident is financially responsible for all of the provable damages related to the accident. Typical damages following an accident may include damages to property (such as a car), and bodily injury (damage to the vehicle occupants themselves). For legal purposes, a bodily injury claim is generally sub-divided into two categories:
- Economic Damages: past and future medical expenses, wage loss, and additional expenses related to physical impairment and disfigurement
- Non-Economic Damages: pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, physical impairment, and other similar losses
The dollar value of these categories of damages can add up quickly. Thankfully, Colorado law requires every owner of an automobile in the State of Colorado to buy a minimum amount of car insurance to pay for these categories of damages. There are two types of mandatory car insurance in Colorado:
- PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY COVERAGE- this coverage pays for the damage to the automobile involved in the accident and is paid out on behalf of the at-fault driver.
- BODILY INJURY LIABILITY COVERAGE- this coverage pays on behalf of the at-fault driver for bodily injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision. The State of Colorado requires that every owner of an automobile have at least $25,000.00 in bodily injury liability insurance coverage.
In Colorado, the person who caused the accident (the at-fault driver) and/or their insurance company is financially responsible for all of your accident-related injuries, damages, and losses.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to establish a right to a Colorado car accident claim
To establish a claim for your personal injuries related to a motor vehicle accident, three requirements must be met: 1) Fault for the car accident must be proved, and it must be clear that the at-fault driver is responsible for causing the accident; 2) you must have incurred damages; and 3) you must prove that the damages being claimed were caused by the automobile accident.
What can be recovered in a car accident claim?
The recoverable bodily injury damages can be divided into different categories:1) economic damages, which include past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, impairment of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket expenses; 2) non-economic damages, which include inconvenience, loss of quality of life, emotional distress, pain and suffering; and 3) physical impairment and disfigurement.
Who will pay for medical expenses after an automobile accident?
After being injured in a car accident, the first question many people want answered is “who will pay for my medical expenses?” The person who causes the automobile accident (or their insurance company) is ultimately financially responsible for all of the reasonable and medically necessary accident-related medical expenses. In most cases, the medical expenses are not paid by the at-fault driver (or their insurance company) at the time the medical expenses are incurred. Instead, in most cases, reimbursement for the medical expenses is one part of a single lump sum settlement fund that is negotiated only after all accident-related medical care is complete. Therefore, in the short term, (before the final settlement) in most cases, the medical expenses need to be covered by some other source. The choice made among potential payment sources for medical care may have different implications on the personal injury case.
In most injury cases it is important to have a practiced lawyer examine all of the potential insurance sources that may provide coverage to you as a result of your accident. At Bachus & Schanker, LLC, we may examine several different interim medical bill payment sources; this examination may include examination of our clients’ own car insurance coverage to see if the policy includes “medical payment” benefits. A “medical payment” benefit is an optional form of coverage that may require our clients’ own auto insurance company to pay some portion of our clients’ medical expenses. If no medical payment coverage exists, our lawyers may look to our clients’ health insurance to cover medical expenses. If there is no health insurance available to help cover medical expenses, we may work with the health care professionals chosen by our clients to see if the providers are willing to provide medical care through an agreed upon “medical lien.” A medical lien means that you pay the medical provider once you receive your personal injury settlement.
Should I hire a Colorado car accident lawyer?
People often wonder if their accident or their injuries are big enough to even justify hiring an attorney. Given all the complexities that may be involved in handling injury claims, it is very important to consider having any type of injury claim reviewed by an accident and personal injury attorney.
An initial consultation with Bachus & Schanker, LLC regarding injuries sustained in a car accident is always free. If we agree to take the case, most clients will be offered the opportunity to have us work on a “contingency fee” basis. This means the law firm is paid a percentage of what is recovered, rather than charging by the hour for our legal services.
What if the at-fault driver is uninsured?
Although Colorado law requires every automobile owner in Colorado to maintain insurance on their vehicle, many drivers who cause accidents do not have car insurance and are therefore “uninsured motorists. In other cases, the driver who causes an accident may be insured but may not have enough insurance coverage to pay for all of the medical expenses and lost wages incurred due to the accident and is therefore “under-insured.”
When contacted by people injured in car accidents, we are frequently asked “What happens to my case if the person who caused the accident is uninsured or doesn’t have enough insurance?”
A new law, effective January 1, 2008 changes Colorado’s uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) coverage so consumers finally get the coverage they pay for when they are injured by an uninsured or under-insured motorist. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to uninsured motorist law in Colorado so you can learn more about this law and how it affects you and your family. If you’re in need of a free consultation from a lawyer, we can help.
Additional Resources & Information
- United States Department of Transportation : The United States Department of Transportation is the federal government agency that regulates and administers all of the transportation rules and regulations in the country. This website provides reports and statistics about all of the transportation carriers, including semi-trucks, airplanes, and trains. It provides information about transportation safety and transportation security issues. The site also provides links to many other transportation-related websites and agencies. www.dot.gov
- Bureau of Transportation Statistics : The Bureau of Transportation Statistics is a clearinghouse for all transportation related statistics. The site offers information about state transportation statistics, airline financial data, fuel consumption data as well as other resources. www.bts.gov
- Colorado Department of Transportation : The Colorado Department of Transportation is the state government agency that regulates and administers all of the transportation rules and regulations for Colorado transportation systems, including Colorado highways. The site provides up-to-date travel advisories, local road and weather conditions, lane closures, construction information, as well as tips and resources for safe driving and transportation to help Colorado citizens avoid collisions and personal injury. www.dot.state.co.us/
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration : The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a government agency dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards, and enforcement activity. The NHTSA provides transportation statistics and information as well as consumer tips and resources for safe transportation. The site also includes information about vehicle and equipment defects, and sections about relevant transportation laws and regulations. www.nhtsa.dot.gov
- Federal Highway Administration : The Federal Highway Administration is a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Administration provides financial and technical support to state, local, and tribal governments for construction, preservation, and improvement projects to America’s highway system. The website provides information on highway projects and safety resources. www.fhwa.dot.gov
- TRIP : TRIP is a nonprofit organization that promotes transportation policies that relieve traffic congestion, improve air quality, make highway travel safer, and enhance economic productivity. The website provides data about roads and bridges, traffic congestion, traffic safety, and environmental concerns related to transportation. The website contains Colorado-specific data and information. www.tripnet.org
- Book: The Traffic Accident Manual: The Only Step-By-Step, How-To Book That You Absolutely Need But…Hope You’ll Never Use
- Book: Surviving an Auto Accident
- Book: Crash Course: A Self-Healing Guide to Auto Accident Trauma and Recovery
- Book: Investivation of Road Traffic Fatalities: An Atlas