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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 huge 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 Denver or Fort Collins, 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.
Car Accident Statistics

2017 was a bad year for traffic fatalities in 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.

 

2018 Denver Car Accidents by Offense

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, 6,764 hit-and-runs,  306 serious bodily injury, and 242 police involved accidents.
What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents?

The Colorado State Patrol records the causes of car accidents it investigates across the state, including 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
  • Lane violations
  • Failure to yield the right of way
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 a driver 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 Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident?

For legal purposes, a bodily injury claim is generally sub-divided into two categories:

  1. Economic Damages: past and future medical expenses, wage loss, and additional expenses related to physical impairment and disfigurement
  2. 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 attorney. 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.
What Are Colorado’s Car Insurance Requirements?

There are two types of mandatory car insurance in Colorado:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 any 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 insurance
Common Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents, no matter the severity, can leave you with 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
What to Do After an Accident

The moments immediately following a Denver car 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. 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 vehicle 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 attorney 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
Steps to File an Insurance Claim
  1. Contact the police
  2. Contact your insurance company
  3. Schedule a call with the insurance adjuster
  4. Schedule an inspection of the vehicle’s damage
  5. Adjuster review
  6. Receive initial insurance offer
  7. Negotiate
  8. Resolve
Denver, CO Car Accident FAQ’s

What do I need to establish for a car accident claim in Denver?

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 automobile accident caused the damages being claimed.

What can be recovered in a Denver 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, 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.

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 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 an investigation 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 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. 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 car accident 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 considered to be 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 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 a 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 that you consult with a Denver car 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.
How Can a Denver Car Accident Attorney Help Me?

The experienced Denver car accident attorneys from 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 consultation in our Denver office at (303) 222-2222.

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Super Lawyers - Kyle Bachus
Super Lawyers - Darin Schanker
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer
5280 Top Lawyers of Denver
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
Super Lawyers - Kyle Bachus
Super Lawyers - Darin Schanker
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer
5280 Top Lawyers of Denver
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence