Denver Car Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a car accident? The experienced car accident lawyers at Bachus & Schanker will fight for the maximum compensation as possible.
How Much is the Average Car Accident Claim Worth?
According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the average car accident settlement claim for bodily injury is $15,400 and around $3,000 for property damage claims. Generally, average auto accident settlement amounts are between 1.5 and two times the amount of your economic damages. In cases with severe, life-altering injuries, you may receive up to 5 times the amount of financial losses. Additionally, factors such as clarity of fault, and admissibility of evidence can affect how much your case is worth. However, it’s important to remember that no two car accident claims are the same. The amount you can expect for fair compensation will depend on the specific facts of your case. Your settlement will be based on the actual losses of your case. Your settlement could potentially be much higher or lower than the average settlement. Working with a skilled personal injury lawyer is the best way to get a better understanding of what your case may be worth. 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 costs related to physical impairment and disfigurement
- Non-Economic Damages: pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, physical impairment, and other similar losses
Victims of Colorado car accidents can claim a host of damages after the crash when working with a Denver car accident lawyer. These damages can include any of the following:
- Medical expenses (ambulance fees, medical tests, prescriptions, medical equipment, hospital bills, doctor visits, etc.)
- Lost wages (current and future lost wages)
- Pain and suffering (mental distress)
- Loss of companionship (loss of a loved one)
The dollar value of these categories of damages can add up quickly. 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. 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.
Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney?
Our attorneys understand a car accident can change your life. Medical bills and other resulting expenses can be a significant burden on you and those you care about. Similarly, if someone you love is killed or injured in a car accident, the emotional and financial distress can be overwhelming. Let our accident attorneys help you get the money and support you deserve. At Bachus & Schanker, LLC, our lawyers stand ready to consider the potential cases of 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 other harm and losses. We serve all of Colorado, so whether you live in the Denver area, Fort Collins, or Boulder, we can help.
Car accident cases are our specialty. When our lawyers take on an auto accident 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. The experienced Denver car accident attorneys from Bachus & Schanker LLC will treat you like family and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Can I File a Claim Without a Police Report?
Yes, you can file an insurance claim without a police report. A police report is not required to file an insurance claim after a car accident in Colorado. Insurance policyholders retain the right to recover compensation after an accident. Accident victims simply contact their insurance company and inform them that an accident has happened. You can still look to either your own insurance policy or the other party’s to seek compensation for any losses incurred.
However, there are some reasons you may want a police report after a crash. Police reports offer a neutral, third-party account of the facts related to the crash, and opinions about who is at fault. Without a police report, the insurance company may question your account of the events leading to the crash. You may be required to provide additional evidence or information to justify your request for compensation. Without the benefit of a police report, it can be challenging to prove fault in your personal injury claim.
Steps to Filing an Insurance Claim
- Contact the Police
- Take pictures of the damage to the car
- Contact your insurance company
- Ask if you have rental car coverage
- Schedule a call with the insurance adjuster
- Schedule an inspection of the vehicle’s damage
- Get a repair estimate from the repair shop of your choice
- Adjuster review
- Receive initial insurance offer
Colorado Car Accident Laws
Under Colorado law, the person who causes a car accident is financially responsible for all of the provable damages related to the accident. Colorado car accident laws also put into place the statute of limitations that victims have to file a lawsuit against at-fault drivers involved in accidents. The statute of limitations in Colorado is three years from the date of the action that caused the injury or loss. The statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party who killed a family member in a car accident in Colorado is two years from the date of the person’s death, which could be a different date from when the accident occurred.
What is Colorado’s Proportional Fault Model?
Proportional fault, also known as comparative fault, is a model used in Colorado to determine the amount of liability a driver has in a car accident. Comparative fault (negligence) is when more than one person is liable for the accident. According to Colorado Revised Statute 13-21-111, you are legally allowed to recover compensation from any party who is at least more at-fault for the accident than you. However, the damages you recover for the other party’s fault will be reduced by the percentage you were at-fault in the crash.
What do Do After an Accident
The moments immediately following a Denver driving accident can make or break your claim for compensation. Never leave the scene of a crash, even if you weren’t at fault or because you want to transport yourself to the hospital for medical attention. It’s always best to remain at the scene and wait for police, fire, and medical personnel to respond. If at all possible, move your vehicle out of the travel lanes to a safe place. If not, safely exit the car and stand off the roadway. Use your mobile phone or tablet to take pictures of your vehicle, the other cars involved, the road conditions, debris, traffic signals and signs, and anything else you think a car accident lawyer can use as evidence when building a case.
Be sure to complete the following after a crash:
- Exchange information with all other drivers
- Give a statement to the police
- Ask witnesses to talk to the police
- Do not move any evidence
- Let medical personnel evaluate you on the scene
- Accept medical transport to the hospital
- Refrain from speaking to any insurance agents until you talk to an attorney
What Are Colorado’s Car Insurance Requirements?
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 requires the following coverage minimums:
- $25,000 for injury or death to another driver in an accident
- $50,000 for injury or death for all persons in an accident
- $15,000 for damage caused to property in an accident
There are supplemental insurance policies offered by insurers in Colorado, and they include the following:
- MedPay: At least $5,000 coverage for medical bills for you and any passengers in your vehicle during an accident
- Underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage: Protects you when involved in an accident with a driver who is either underinsured or uninsured
- Collision: This coverage pays for damage to the vehicle no matter who was responsible
- Comprehensive: Coverage for flood, fire, theft, and falling objects
Three exclusions could prevent you from receiving compensation after a car accident, and they include:
- Damage caused to your own vehicle by another one of your own vehicles
- Driving for a ride-share service or private taxi service
- If you caused damage deliberately to your vehicle or property with your vehicle
The do’s and don’ts of insurance following an accident include the following:
- Do take photos
- Do review your policy
- Obtain a copy of the police report
- Don’t admit any fault
- Don’t give a statement that is recorded
- Don’t accept the first offer from the insurance company
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents, no matter the severity, can leave you with serious injuries that prevent you from working, from feeding yourself, from getting dressed, and from being able to walk. The most common injuries our Denver car accident attorneys see include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Sprains, strains, and muscle tears
- Soft tissue injuries
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Spinal cord and other back injuries
- Injuries to knees and legs
- Chest injuries
- Internal injuries, such as internal bleeding and damage to organs
Causes of Car Accidents
The Colorado State Patrol records the causes of car accidents it investigates across the state, including in Denver. The CSP has released information regarding the leading causes of car accidents between the years of 2011 and 2014. The data shows that the following causes lead the way when it comes to car crashes in Colorado:
- Inattentive driving
- Exceeding the legal speed limit
- DUI/DUID/Drunk Driving
- Lane violations
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Talking on cell phone
- Following too close to another vehicle
Car Accident Statistics
2017 was a bad year for traffic fatalities in the United States as well as throughout Colorado, according to data released by the National Safety Council. A total of 648 people were killed in traffic accidents across the state in 2017, which marks the highest total since 667 were killed in 2004. 2018 saw a drop in traffic deaths in the state to 630, but numbers have steadily been over 600 since 2016 after dipping as low as 447 people killed in 2011. Since 2000, the worst year for Colorado motorists was 2002 when 743 people died on the state’s roads, according to date from the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Consider that, in 2018, there were 25,421 police-reported motor vehicle accidents, according to the City and County of Denver. Of those, 691 were DUIs involving at least one drunk driver, 6,764 hit-and-runs, 306 serious bodily injury, and 242 police-involved accidents.
Car Accident FAQs
What do I need to Establish an Injury Claim After a car accident in Denver?
To establish a claim for your personal injuries related to a motor vehicle accident, four requirements must be met:
- Fault for the car accident must be proved, and it must be clear that the at-fault driver is responsible for causing the accident
- You must have incurred damages
- Your injuries must be medically documented, so you should seek immediate medical care
- You must prove that the automobile accident caused the damages being claimed
You should NOT give a recorded statement or written statement of any kind to an insurance company about your injuries or sign any insurance documents without first speaking to a lawyer about your claim.
What can be recovered in a Denver car accident claim?
Recoverable bodily injury damages can be divided into different categories:
- Economic damages, which include past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, impairment of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket expenses
- Non-economic damages, which include inconvenience, loss of quality of life, emotional distress, pain and suffering
- Physical impairment and disfigurement.
Who will pay for medical expenses after an automobile accident?
After being injured in a car accident, many people first wonder who will pay for any medical expenses incurred. 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 costs are incurred. You will need to work with your attorney to use factors, such as the location of car accident damage, to determine fault.
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 vital to have an experienced personal injury attorney 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 an investigation of our clients’ own car insurance coverage to see if the policy covers “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 costs, 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 Denver car accident lawyer?
People often wonder if their accident or their injuries are big enough to even justify hiring an attorney. This is especially true in seemingly minor accidents, like a rear-end collision. Given all the complexities that may be involved in handling injury claims, it is essential to consider having any type of injury claim reviewed by a reputable accident lawyer.
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 considered to be uninsured motorists. Sometimes in these cases, the uninsured driver may even leave the scene of the accident. 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?”
According to Colorado Statute 10-4-609 consumers are legally owed the coverage they pay for when an uninsured or under-insured motorist injures them. 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 an auto accident lawyer, we can help.
What Documents Do I Need for Medical Expenses to be Paid?
Be sure to provide your Denver car accident attorneys with copies of your medical tests, records, doctor’s notes, prescriptions, and any other medical document you think will be useful.
How are My Wages Reimbursed?
You will need to provide your attorney with copies of your most recent tax returns or pay stubs. These documents will help determine your current income and how much you should ask when filing a claim for lost wages.
Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney?
Even if you believe you haven’t been injured, it is essential to schedule a free consultation with a Denver auto accident attorney. An attorney will be able to investigate your case, gather evidence, negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company, and file a lawsuit on your behalf. Your attorney can also help you with additional factors, like if you have been in a crash in a company vehicle, an Uber or Lyft crash, or an accident in a leased car.
How Can a Denver Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
The experienced Denver car accident attorneys from the law firm of Bachus & Schanker, LLC are here to fight for your rights when injured in a car accident. We will treat you like family as we understand how challenging it can be to pay the bills when not working due to an injury suffered in an accident. Give us a call today to schedule a free case evaluation in our Denver, CO office at (303) 222-2222.
Serving All Areas of Denver Colorado
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"You made a process that could have been a terrible experience due to the situation, so much easier. I am so thankful for everything you did for me. Well beyond 5 stars! Again thank you for everything that you've done for me and my family, I am more than happy to close this chapter of my life." - Julian D.