Were you injured in a car accident in Colorado? If so, you are surely feeling frustrated and overwhelmed as you try to pay bills, keep up with medical appointments and deal with life’s other hassles. When you add the rollercoaster of emotions that most accident victims feel, every day can feel like an impossible struggle. Trying to seek compensation can seem like a puzzle with missing pieces. Our team at Zaner Harden Law understands this and can help you make sense of the process. While you focus on your life, we handle the hard work and fight for a favorable outcome.
In 2019, there were 22,085 automobile accidents in Denver County alone. The adjoining counties in the metro area also had significant numbers. Adams County had 12,650 crashes, Arapahoe County had 12,887 and Jefferson County had 10,187. Among the national average, Colorado ranks around the middle for vehicle deaths per 100,000, with 11.1 reported in 2018. These are some recent statistics:
The Colorado Department of Transportation collects information about the contributing factors in fatal and non-fatal accidents. These are some of the most common causes:
Showing the significance of how dangerous the errors or negligence of others can be, over 1,000 crashes in Colorado in 2019 were due to distracted drivers using their cellphones. More than 1,000 crashes were due to distractions from passengers, and nearly 500 were due to drivers being distracted by the radio. A total of 11,393 crashes happened because of other distractions.
More than 10,000 2019 Colorado car accidents were due to inexperienced drivers, and more than 4,000 happened because of drivers who were unfamiliar with the area. An alarming trend is the growing number of accidents due to aggressive driving. In 2019, 6,896 accidents were attributed to aggressive drivers, compared to 3,975 10 years ago.
Despite more people staying home throughout 2020, the Colorado State Patrol reported more traffic deaths in October than they did during the same period in 2019. Statewide fatal crashes totaled 455 by October of 2020, and all related fatalities from accidents totaled 501. In comparison, the totals were 458 and 505 in 2019.
After an increase of accident-related deaths in 2016, Denver’s mayor launched a plan to reduce the number of fatal crashes in the years ahead. Historically, fatal accident averages have been higher in Colorado from June through October since 2002. A growing challenge that Denver faces is the use of bike lanes and more cyclists on the road. Also, the entire state is facing more challenges as traffic deaths are up since the legalization of recreational marijuana.
With higher speed limits and greater impact, non-fatal car accidents tend to be associated with severe and permanent injuries. These are some of the common temporary and long-term injuries associated with Colorado car accidents:
In addition to the physical injuries that linger from accidents, many people suffer emotional or mental health decline. They may develop anxiety and have nightmares about the accident, and some people become afraid of driving. This can make the roadway even more dangerous for them. Others may develop depression after becoming disabled, losing a limb or suffering from chronic pain. Some people develop substance abuse disorders after being prescribed pain pills as well. The potential for physical and emotional damage is extensive. However, our attorneys consider all these factors when working toward a fair auto accident settlement.
Accident attorneys understand that it is common to experience financial difficulties after an accident, and most people who are recovering from injuries or emotional trauma do not have extra money to pay an attorney upfront. We do not collect money initially, and our team does not charge you unless you win a settlement. At that point, we take a modest amount that we discuss with you beforehand. There are no surprises in our process. Rest assured that we will be upfront with you about what to expect every step of the way.
Since Colorado is considered a “fault” state, anyone who seeks compensation must be under 50% liable. Your percentage of fault reduces your compensation. For example, if you were 40% liable, your award would be lower than it would be if you were 10% liable. Fault is determined with the following:
If fault is unclear or determined unfairly, experts may be called in to develop a detailed reconstruction of the accident. In addition to the information above, they may use information about weather conditions, lighting, road conditions and other factors at the time of the accident.
Recovering damages is a complex topic that varies for each person. The extent of your injuries, the impact they have on your life, the impact they have on your family and your prognosis are all important considerations. Your current health is also important. We take the time to learn about your unique situation. Based on your individual needs, these are some of the types of damages that we may seek:
Yes, there is a time limit. This is called the statute of limitations. In Colorado, you must file a lawsuit within three years of an accident’s occurrence. Because of this, we encourage you to contact us as quickly as possible. Again, remember that you may still be able to file a lawsuit even if you were partially at fault in the accident.
If you are in an accident and are uninsured, you could face serious consequences. As it is with all states, Colorado has minimum liability insurance requirements. However, they differ from the limits in some other states. To help protect yourself and others, it is important to ensure that your insurance meets these requirements:
Most insurers recommend raising those numbers if your budget allows. For example, if you caused an accident and four occupants in another car were injured, the $50,000 limit may not cover all four individuals’ medical expenses.
It is easy to feel panicked and confused immediately after an accident. If you have injuries, the pain can make it harder to think. These are the recommended steps to take if you are able:
Even with the greatest care and caution, accidents can still happen because of the negligence of others. However, there are ways that you can limit your risks and keep yourself and any passengers in your vehicle safer. These are some helpful tips:
If another driver was involved in the accident, the only information you should give to the other driver or that person’s insurer is your insurance information. If they can, insurers may try to pressure involved parties to accept small settlements. They often have them sign waivers to limit their ability to collect anything more in the future. For this reason, contact an attorney, and the insurer can direct all contact to your attorney instead of pestering you.
Without the help of a knowledgeable auto accident attorney, Denver residents put themselves at risk for not getting compensation or receiving an inadequate settlement. Insurance representatives only seek to limit the amount of compensation to help the insurance company avoid paying more. However, they do not consider all the long-term effects on you. For example, if you were injured badly enough that you need to quit working, you may need full income replacement indefinitely. If your family depends on you and your income, an attorney will take that into consideration in forming a settlement goal.
Filing a lawsuit is a complex and time-consuming process. An attorney can help you navigate the process, explain every step to you and help you understand what to expect. Your attorney handles all the legal paperwork and proceedings, giving you more time to focus on the other responsibilities and challenges you face. Also, an attorney handles all correspondence for you, relieving you of the anxiety that insurers or other parties in the accident may otherwise create for you.
When it comes to protecting your financial security or the security of your family’s future, it is important to choose a law firm that puts your needs first and empathizes with you. At Zaner Harden Law, we understand that each person’s needs and situational factors are unique. We treat you with the care and respect that you deserve and fight for the most optimal outcome for your case. Our team has handled many complex auto accident cases, and you can rest assured that we are sensitive to your needs. Please contact us for a free consultation.
Marc and his team provided a level of service that goes beyond words, yet a few come to mind: Compassionate and caring. Professional yet personal. Outstanding Excellence on all accounts. Marc’s hard work saved me the grief of having to navigate the confusing legal maze and saved me from having to relive painful details. And though I lived out of state, Marc was only a phone call or e-mail away. He always returned calls and e-mails promptly, often after hours.