Automobile accidents can lead to serious injuries that could cost you a great deal of money. Most of us get into a car almost every single day, so the risk of a major accident is not a low as we might hope. The carelessness and negligence of other drivers are often the cause of motor vehicle accidents. When the accident is the fault of another driver, it should not be you who is responsible for the costs of any injuries or property damage you have suffered.
With a personal injury claim, you can fight to get the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries or the loss of a loved one. There are ways to get the compensation you deserve.
Understanding the ins and outs of personal injury cases is not something you should be expected to have to do. With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can rest assured that a knowledgeable, competent professional is fighting for your rights and with your best interests at heart. The experienced personal injury attorneys at accidentdenver.com are here to help you get financial compensation for your injuries.
Auto Accident Lawyers in Denver, Colorado
When you or someone you care about are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Denver, Colorado or the surrounding areas, you need an experienced legal team to fight for you. Injuries sustained from car accidents can negatively affect your life in the short-term and the long-term. If you suffered as a result of another person's negligence, you are entitled to financial compensation.
Our team at accidentdenver.com pride themselves on clear, honest, and open communication with each and every one of their clients. No matter how small or how big your case may be, the accidentdenver.com team will keep you informed every step of the way throughout the process and they will handle every detail seamlessly to put you on the road to recovery.
Accidentdenver.com takes cases on a contingency basis. This means that you pay nothing until your case has reached a favorable resolution. Let us put our years of experience to work for you and your loved ones.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Colorado
Motor vehicle accidents can be caused by a variety of different causes. However, when that cause is another person's negligence, you are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for financial compensation. Proving the cause of the car accident and that it was another person's fault is an important part of your legal case. It is crucial that you have an experienced lawyer at your side to guide you through the complicated legal and evidentiary process.
Common causes of car accidents include, but are not limited to:
- distracted drivers (texting, watching videos, playing with the radio, kids in the back seat, etc.)
- intoxicated drivers (alcohol, drugs, over the counter medications, prescription drugs)
- inexperienced drivers (minors, new drivers)
- poor weather conditions
- failure to yield right of way
- following too closely to other cars (rear-end collisions)
- failure to signal when changing lanes
- medical conditions (diabetes, epilepsy, etc.)
When the cause of the car accident is due to the negligence of another driver, a company, or even a manufacturer, you are permitted to seek financial compensation from the party responsible for your injuries. It should not be you on the hook for costs you did not cause. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Statute of Limitations in Colorado Auto Accidents
A "statute of limitations" is a law that sets forth a specific time limit in which an injured plaintiff must bring the lawsuit. Statute of limitation periods differ based on the type of harm suffered and the type of case a person wants to file in court.
Under Colorado law, a plaintiff is required to bring a lawsuit over car accidents for personal injury, damage to the motor vehicle, or both, within three years after the accident occurs. Specifically, the statute states: "All tort actions for bodily injury or property damage arising out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle" must be "commenced within three years after the cause of action accrues."
More simply put, this means that an injury claim that comes from any type of automobile or other motor vehicle accident must be filed within three years after the accident occurs. This applies to damages relating to personal injury as well as any property damage sought in the lawsuit as well. It is incredibly important to have your case filed before the deadline has passed.
What Happens if the Deadline Has Passed?
If a plaintiff files a lawsuit past the statute of limitations deadline, the defendant in the case (the person being sued) is sure to point this out to the court. Once this happens, they will file a motion to dismiss the case and it will almost certainly be granted. While rare exceptions sometimes apply to save the case, most cases filed past the statute of limitations are dismissed.
It is crucial that you address the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible with a tried and true personal injury attorney. Cases like these can take time to put together, investigate, and file. Waiting until the last minute can only hurt your case. Having your case assessed early allows time to investigate and strategize about the best way to protect your interests.
Damages in Colorado Personal Injury Cases
When you file a personal injury claim in Colorado, you are seeking money damages from the person or company that caused your injuries. This is to hold the person or company that caused the accident responsible for their actions, and their negligence. Understanding the different types of damages you can collect in a personal injury case can help you in understanding why filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the right choice in your case.
"Economic damages" are a type of damages to which a specific dollar amount can be more easily attached. This type of damages is designed to compensate you for out of pocket expenses you spent as a result of the accident, as well as future expenses you will likely have to spend in the future as a result of the accident.
Economic damages include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- past and current medical bills
- future medical bills
- rehabilitation costs
- damage to property (vehicle destruction, repair costs, property contained in the car that was damaged)
- lost wages
- loss of future earning capacity
- psychological treatment costs
These economic damages typically have some type of "paper trail" proof in the form of receipts or bills that help to prove them. Other costs, such as future costs of any kind, require expert testimony to prove to the jury that you are entitled to future compensation so that you are not on the hook long-term for injuries you did not cause.
Proving economic damages can be challenging without an experienced personal injury lawyer at your side. The rules of evidence require very specific methods of proof, and analyzing and presenting complex medical records requires experience.
Non-economic damages are those that are less easily identified by "paper trail" evidence but instead represent more subjective losses. Although more "subjective" they are no less important and can be proven at trial.
Non-economic damages include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- pain and suffering
- psychological damage and harm
- mental suffering
- loss of consortium
- loss of enjoyment
Proving these less easily identified harms can prove difficult for a non-lawyer, or even an inexperienced lawyer. However, proving losses such as pain and suffering can be done through certain practiced methods, showing the jury that not only did you suffer medical costs but that you endured pain that deserves financial compensation.
Non-economic damages are often substantial in many cases. This can be true even when the damage is not permanent and you have completely healed. You deserve compensation for the suffering you went through and any that you may continue to suffer in the future.
Caps on Damages in Colorado
Under Colorado law, there are certain "caps" or limitations placed on the amount of damages a person can collect in a personal injury lawsuit.
In a car accident lawsuit, there are no limits placed on the "economic damages" that an injured person can prove. Provable harm such as medical bills and others should not and are not limited. If they occurred, and you and your attorney prove them, you can receive them.
Limits are placed on pain and suffering damages, however. The cap on pain and suffering damages is set at $250,000, adjusted for inflation from the date the Colorado code section was put into law. You can speak with your attorney about what the adjusted cap is at the time of your accident and trial.
This means that if the jury awards more than the cap on pain and suffering damages, the court will reduce the award to the cap unless an exception applies. If a person suffers a permanent physical impairment as the result of a motor vehicle accident, the pain and suffering cap will not apply.
Wrongful Death Cases in Colorado
Wrongful death actions are brought by the family members of a deceased person to recover for damages caused by that person's death due to another person's negligence. When another person's negligence is the cause of the death of a family member, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the family members of the deceased person for their damages, including the suffering of grief they should not have had to bear, and lost income the family would have received from the deceased person.
There are specific rules that apply to who may properly bring a wrongful death action in Colorado. A person can file a wrongful death action if that person is:
- the spouse (or heirs with spouse's consent)
- if no spouse, the heirs of the victim (children)
- a designated beneficiary
The parents of the deceased person can only bring a wrongful death action if the victim left behind no spouse, children, or a designated beneficiary.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death
The statute of limitations period for a wrongful death claim is different than the limitations period for car accidents. Instead of the three-year period described above for car accidents, wrongful death actions must be filed within two years of the death of the victim.
This means that there is less time to file for wrongful death, so it is critical that you approach an experienced Denver accident attorney as soon as possible after the death of a loved one. If you fail to file in time, your case will likely be dismissed by the court.
Damage Caps in Wrongful Death Cases
As in other car accident cases, economic damages are not capped in wrongful death cases (with one unlikely exception). Whatever economic damages can be adequately proven to the Colorado jury, you are entitled to recover in the form of financial compensation. The only time economic damages are limited in wrongful death cases is when no widow, widower, minor children, or dependent mother or father exist. When this is the case, a cap of $250,000 (adjusted for inflation) exists.
Non-economic damages are limited in wrongful death cases, as pain and suffering is capped at $250,000 (adjusted for inflation) or $500,000 upon a showing of clear and convincing evidence that a heightened cap is appropriate. Proving that increased damages are warranted only tends to apply to the truly worst of cases, usually involving death or permanent and substantial disfigurement.
Consult an Experienced Denver Auto Accident Lawyer
The injuries you suffer from an automobile accident can change your life forever. The incredible cost that can add up due to a car accident is not a burden you should be required to bear. Instead, the burden of paying for your injuries should be put where it belongs, on the responsible party or parties.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any sort of motor vehicle accident in the greater Denver metropolitan area, please do not hesitate to contact accidentdenver.com today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation. We are here waiting for you.