Denver Auto Accident Attorneys
Car accidents are not rare. Especially in the busy city of Denver, these accidents happen every day – sometimes with minor injuries and sometimes with life-changing ones. Sometimes a car accident leads to death. As the family member of a deceased car accident victim, or for yourself after a car accident that left you with an injury, you have legal rights that may result in compensation to help you pay bills and move on with your life. If you or someone you love has been hurt in an automobile crash, Denver car accident lawyer Jordan Levine will explain your legal rights and fight to get you maximum compensation for your injuries.
We Help Denver Residents After a Car Accident Impacts Their Life
You are likely confused and overwhelmed. Maybe the insurance company keeps calling and you’re not sure what to say. Perhaps the stack of medical bills on the counter is starting to keep you up at night. Maybe you are struggling to complete household chores with your limited mobility after the accident. Our job at Levine Law is to help with all of the above and more. First, we want to help you understand your legal options. It’s free to call and there’s no obligation. Call and ask our experienced Denver car accident lawyers your questions. If we can help you, we will. We will answer your questions. Help you get a rental car. Explain the legal process. Serve as a point of contact for insurance companies. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
Throughout the state of Colorado, drivers are expected to behave in a reasonably safe manner, which means avoiding aggressive driving, staying within the speed limit, paying attention to what other drivers are doing, and obeying all safety rules. A Denver-area driver who fails to drive in a reasonably safe manner puts others at risk.
Breaking the rules of the road or driving in an unsafe or careless way is considered a breach of legal duty and is called “negligence.” When a person is legally negligent, he or she can be held responsible for the costs of all injuries that occur due to that negligence. In other words, if a person’s carelessness causes a car wreck, the careless driver must pay damages to the injured victim(s). A negligent driver is likely to cause the following types of accidents:
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Rear-End Collisions
- Winter Weather Accidents
- Head-On Collisions
- Multi-Vehicle Crashes
- And more…
In Colorado auto accident cases, the injured person (or the injured person attorney) must prove that the other driver was negligent and that the negligence caused the crash that resulted in your injuries. The injured person’s lawyer must also show how severe the injuries are in order to recover compensation. A victim receives compensation for his or her auto accident injuries either by settling in an out-of-court agreement with the responsible driver’s insurer or by filing a lawsuit with the courts.
Remember to Take Action within 3 Years of the Car Accident
What is the statute of limitations in Denver for a car accident lawsuit? Car accident cases in Denver and across the state of Colorado are subject to a three-year statute of limitations. You will only have three years from the date of the crash to file your claim (with a few limited exceptions). If you fail to act within the three-year deadline, you could be permanently barred from pursuing legal action.
Additionally, if the car crash resulted in death, under Colorado law, you will generally only have two years to file a wrongful death action. Because the statutes of limitation can be confusing and so much is at stake, it is important to seek advice from a competent attorney as soon as possible after your accident. A Denver car accident attorney experienced in handling fatal accident cases can make sure that you will not be stopped from pursuing a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
Compensation Available for Auto Accident Victims
There are two types of compensation that crash victims may be eligible to receive: Economic damages, and non-economic damages. Economic damages are losses that are financial in nature. In a typical case, these damages will consist of:
- Medical Expenses – All medical expenses you incur in relation to your auto accident injuries.
- Lost Income – Wages, salary, tips, benefits and any other forms of compensation you are unable to earn due to your injuries from the crash.
- Loss of Earning Capacity – Future loss of income due to inability to work or being forced to take a lower-paying job.
- Other Out-of-Pocket Costs – Gas; ridesharing costs; payments to landscapers, cleaners, nannies and other service providers; costs to modify your home or vehicle; and, all other costs you incur as a result of being injured.
Non-economic damages are losses that are not financial in nature, but for which financial compensation is still available under Colorado law. Possible non-economic damages in an auto accident claim include:
- Emotional Trauma – Fear, anxiety or other psychological trauma you experience as a result of being involved in a serious auto accident.
- Pain and Suffering – Physical pain and suffering you experience as a result of your injuries.
- Scarring and Disfigurement – Permanent scarring and disfigurement due to burns, severe fractures, loss of limbs and other accident-related injuries.
- Loss of Society, Services, Support, Companionship and Consortium
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Many of these types of non-financial losses will have financial aspects as well. For example, you may need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist for treatment of emotional trauma or anxiety, you may need to buy pain medications, and you may be unable to work as a result of significant scarring. When this is the case, you are entitled to just compensation for your out-of-pocket financial losses as well as the non-financial impacts of your injuries.
Denver Car Accident FAQs
What happens if you get into an accident and it’s your fault?
If someone else was 100 percent at fault in the accident, then he or she (or his or her auto insurance company) is liable for 100 percent of your accident-related losses. But, what happens if you were partially at fault in the collision?
In Colorado, an accident victim’s percentage of fault plays an important role in determining the compensation available. When it comes to a partial fault in an auto accident, Colorado follows a rule known as “modified comparative fault.” This rule states:
- If you are 49 percent or less at fault in an accident, then your award of compensation will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault; and,
- If you are 50 percent or more at fault in an accident, then you are not entitled to any financial compensation.
Let’s say, for example, that an investigation finds you were 10 percent at fault in an accident and your total losses amount to $200,000. Under Colorado’s modified comparative fault rule, you would be entitled to recover $180,000. However, if the investigation reveals that you were 50 percent at fault, then your damages would be $0.
Establishing fault is a critical step in the legal process. In order to prevent the insurance companies from unfairly reducing or denying your award of compensation, it is important that you hire experienced Denver automobile accident lawyers who can present the evidence you need to prove your claim for damages.
What is “just compensation”?
Auto accident damages fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Within each of these categories, accident victims can seek just compensation for their current and future losses. Depending on the victim’s injuries and when their accident claim settles (or goes to trial), current losses resulting from an accident can pale in comparison to the losses that the accident victim will continue to sustain in the future.
How much do Denver car accident lawyers cost?
A lawyer costs you nothing out-of-pocket. When you hire a lawyer to handle your claim, your attorney will represent you on a contingency-fee-basis. This means that you will not have to pay anything out of pocket, and you will not be responsible for reimbursing any costs or paying any legal fees unless you receive a settlement or court award. If you receive just compensation, the expenses incurred pursuing your claim will be deducted from your award, and your auto accident attorney’s legal fees will be calculated as a percentage of your financial recovery.
Unfortunately, many people incorrectly believe that this type of contingency-fee arrangement means that their attorney will end up receiving the bulk of their award. In reality, even when factoring in legal fees and costs, the amount you recover with the help of an attorney is likely to far exceed any amount you might have been able to secure on your own. At Levine Law, whenever we receive a settlement offer on behalf of a client, we help our clients understand exactly how much they will take home so that they can make an informed decision about how and when to resolve their claim.
Do I need to report my accident to my auto insurance company?
Yes, you need to report the accident to your insurer (it is most likely required under the terms of your policy). However, you do not have to give a statement, and you should be careful to avoid saying anything the insurance companies might be able to use against you. The best thing to do is to simply report the bare facts of the accident and then say that you need to speak with your attorney before saying anything further.
The other driver’s insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I accept?
After a serious or fatal crash, there is a good chance that you will receive a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This is not a “win.” In fact, we can almost guarantee that the insurance company’s offer is far less than you deserve. You need to avoid settling too soon, and this starts with gaining a basic understanding of your legal rights.
Though it may seem biased to say, you should avoid accepting a settlement without speaking to a Denver car accident lawyer. Insurance companies typically offer much less than the actual value of your case to make the case go away before you have the opportunity to fully treat your injuries. You may not have had enough for other symptoms or injuries to appear. Only under very limited circumstances should you settle your claim without receiving clearance from a doctor — or having spoken to an experienced law firm.
Will health insurance cover medical bills from a car wreck?
Yes, if you have health insurance, you can (and should) use it. If you are entitled to compensation from one or more auto insurance companies, your health insurer will seek subrogation as part of the claims process.
When is it okay for me to go back to work?
It depends on what your doctor says. If your doctor says you need to rest, then you should rest. If your doctor says it is okay to resume light work, then you can resume light work. While we understand that you may not want to miss a paycheck, returning to work too soon could have even greater negative financial ramifications.
Should I hire an attorney to handle my insurance claim?
Yes. At most Colorado car accident law firms, it costs you nothing out-of-pocket to hire an attorney, and our Denver car accident lawyers will only take your case if we believe we can help you secure compensation that you would not be able to secure on your own. If you have been seriously injured and you want to make sure the insurance companies treat you fairly, the best way to protect yourself is to hire experienced legal representation.
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Denver for Motorists
Congestion, construction, poor visibility, failure to yield and lack of signage are some common reasons that accidents are more likely at intersections, but one could argue driving in Denver is dangerous regardless of the intersections with a particularly accident rate. According to data from the Colorado Department of Transportation logging car accidents in 2019, Denver leads the state in total crashes by nearly 10,000 more accidents a year followed by Arapahoe and Adams counties.
The top three intersections in Denver with the most accidents include:
- S Santa Fe Dr & W Alameda Ave – this is located near the I-25 overpass just east of the South Platte River.
- E Colfax Ave & N Downing St – this is located hear the CIty Park West and Capital Hill neighborhoods
- W Colfax Ave & Speer Blvd – this is located near the Colorado Convention Center
If you’ve been in an accident at these intersections, or anywhere throughout the city, Levine Law can help you.
Seven Warning Signs of an Injury Following a Car Accident
When you are involved in a car accident, it can be difficult to figure out you need medical attention. Adrenaline and stress can mask the symptoms of many types of injuries, and some injuries will trigger gradually worsening symptoms. This is why our Denver accident lawyers always recommend seeking medical attention after a vehicle collision. But, if you are at home and wondering if you should see a doctor, here are seven signs that you may need treatment for a traumatic injury:
Your Pain Isn’t Going Away
If you were in pain but didn’t see any physical signs of an injury, you may have chosen to go home to rest instead of going to the hospital. But, if it has now been several days and your pain still isn’t going away, this is a sign that you should see a doctor for a diagnosis
Your Pain is Getting Worse
Likewise, if your pain is getting worse, this is a sign that you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Worsening pain can potentially be a sign of a serious internal injury and receiving treatment promptly could be critical to avoid long-term effects.
You are Experiencing Headaches
Concussions are common injuries in all types of auto accidents; and, if you have a concussion, it will be important for you to rest – both physically and mentally – until your brain has recovered. Whiplash, spinal cord injuries and various other potentially-serious injuries can cause headaches as well
You are Experiencing Stiffness or Limited Mobility
Stiffness and limited mobility can be symptomatic of a variety of different traumatic injuries. From your lower back to your wrists and ankles, any physical discomfort or limitations should be assessed for medical treatment needs promptly.
You are Experiencing Hearing or Visual Impairments
Hearing and visual impairments can be symptomatic of different types of injuries as well. While this includes direct damage to the eyes and ears, it also includes various types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and spinal cord injuries (SCI)
You are Having Difficulty Remembering, Concentrating or Sleeping
Difficulty remembering, difficulty concentrating, and other cognitive impairments are common symptoms of concussions and other forms of TBI. The same is true for sleeping. Even if you think it is simply your pain that is keeping you up at night, this may not necessarily be the case
You are Having Difficulty Using the Restroom
Finally, difficulty using the restroom can be a potential symptom of SCI, particularly in the lower back. Similarly, if you are experiencing a loss of bowel or bladder control after an auto accident, you should see a doctor promptly
The Next Steps After An Injury in a Car Wreck
You were injured in a car accident. You contacted your insurance company, and now . . . what? You know you need to make smart decisions, and you know you need to try to make sure your insurance company does not take advantage of you. But, how do you do this, exactly?
1. Make Sure You Have a Comprehensive Diagnosis
First and foremost, you need to make sure you have obtained a comprehensive diagnosis of your accident-related injuries. Ideally, you would have seen a doctor immediately following the accident. If you have not yet seen a doctor, you should do so as soon as possible, and you should be sure to make clear which of your symptoms are accident-related.
2. Make Sure You Understand the Long-Term Impacts of Your Injuries
As part of seeking a diagnosis, you should also seek to gain an understanding of the long-term impacts of your injuries. How many procedures will you need? How long will you need to undergo physical or occupational therapy? Are you likely to experience chronic pain or permanent limitations? These are all critical factors for calculating the amount of your financial recovery.
3. Avoid Talking to the Auto Insurance Companies
Once you report the accident, you should avoid providing any statements to the insurance companies. You need to be very careful to protect yourself, and this includes making sure you do not unknowingly say something that the insurance companies can use against you. There are a number of other mistakes you need to avoid as well, and knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do after being injured in a collision.
4. Don’t Get “Claim Fatigue”
Securing just compensation after an auto accident takes time. Dealing with the insurance companies is a challenge; and, from attending doctors’ appointments to meeting with your attorney, it is easy to get fatigued or feel overwhelmed. If you start to experience these feelings, you need to remember why you filed your claim in the first place: You were injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, and you need to make sure you have the financial resources to cover your losses now and in the future.
5. Get Help from Experienced Denver Car Accident Lawyers
From assessing the quality of your medical care to collecting evidence and negotiating with the insurance companies, every aspect of recovering from a car accident involves challenges that are best handled by an experienced professional. To ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your losses, you should contact a reputable law firm promptly and let your legal team handle these challenges on your behalf.
Navigating the Do's and Don'ts of Auto Accidents in Colorado
After an accident, you may seek the advice of a lawyer in order to learn more about your legal options and protect your rights. While an experienced attorney will do everything possible to protect you, a few key mistakes on your part early in the process can limit your ability to obtain the full compensation you deserve.
What should I NOT do after a car accident?
If you are in a car accident, avoid making these mistakes. Protect yourself and those you love by knowing what NOT to do after a crash:
- Do NOT ignore the time limits set by your policy. Many auto insurance policies require you to complete certain steps in the claims process within a certain time limit. Know when these time limits are and stick to them.
- Do NOT give any statements to your insurer until you are sure you understand your coverage. Take time to review your auto insurance policy before giving a statement about the accident – either spoken or written – to your insurer. If you have questions about any part of your policy, talk to an attorney.
- Do NOT sign any release or waiver before talking to an attorney. A release or waiver may require you to give up valuable legal rights. You should always speak to your own attorney before signing any release or waiver, and both you and your attorney should read the document carefully.
- Do NOT automatically accept your insurer’s appraisal of your losses. Insurance companies must protect their own bottom line, so their appraisal of your losses in the crash will likely be lower than the value of your actual losses. Get your own appraisal before talking to the insurer about their number.
What should I DO after a car crash?
If you have been involved in an accident, be sure to complete the following steps:
- DO get immediate medical attention if needed, including emergency care.
- DO talk to witnesses, take photographs, or make a sketch of the accident scene if you can.
- DO contact your insurance agent promptly after an accident. Be forthright when sharing information, but do not admit that the accident was your fault – even if you think it was. Stick to the facts until you talk to your lawyer.
- DO cooperate with any police officers who respond to the accident scene. Get the contact information for officers who respond, so you can contact them later if needed.
- DO check your insurance policy to refresh your memory on the types and amounts of coverage you have. Contact an attorney if you have questions or need help obtaining compensation.
What if I’ve already made one of these mistakes after my car accident?
Don’t give up. Even if you’ve accidentally done one or more of the “do not do” tasks, you still have the right to seek compensation. A Denver auto accident lawyer can help you protect your legal rights and limit or eliminate any damage that would harm your chances of recovery.
Contact Levine Law to Speak with Our Experienced Denver Car Accident Lawyers
For legal advice and assistance in your case, call Levine Law at 303-333-8000 to speak with an experienced Denver auto accident lawyer today, or contact us online now. Our accident attorneys manage a wide variety of motor vehicle accidents including truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, rideshare accidents, bus accidents and more. Consultations are free and our firm handles cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not be responsible for any fees unless we win your case. Our other locations include Loveland and Fort Collins.