Pedestrians in Colorado are all too often involved in accidents with motor vehicles. These accidents can lead to very serious injury or even death. When that accident is caused by another driver's negligence, you can hold that driver responsible for the costs of your injuries. Unlike the driver of the car, a pedestrian is not protected by airbags and seat belts. They are left to the mercy of drivers doing what they should do, driving safely. Sadly, too many drivers do not operate their vehicles safely, and the pedestrian suffers as a result.
If you or someone you love has been injured as a pedestrian in an accident with a vehicle, the highly experienced attorneys at accidentdenver.com are here to help. We will put our knowledge and years of training to work for you to get the financial compensation you deserve.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Denver, Colorado
When you are involved in a pedestrian accident with a motor vehicle in the greater Denver, Colorado area, you need an experienced legal team to fight for you. Injuries sustained from pedestrian accidents can negatively affect your life in both the short term and 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 Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can be caused by a great number of things. When a negligent driver causes your injuries, that driver should be responsible for their actions. Severe injuries or even death can result from these pedestrian accidents. If you were injured, or a family member was killed, you deserve to be financially compensated for your losses, no matter how large or small your damages may be.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents include, but are not limited to:
- intoxicated drivers (alcohol, over the counter drugs, prescription drugs, illegal narcotics);
- failure to yield to a pedestrian;
- inattentive drivers (watching videos, texting and driving, kids in the back seat, looking at a billboard or ad, playing with the radio, etc.);
- impatient drivers;
- defective brakes;
- asleep at the wheel;
- medical conditions (epilepsy, diabetes, etc.);
- failure to see crosswalk;
- poor weather conditions (slippery roads, low visibility, night driving);
- unsafe sidewalks;
- obstructions of view (for drivers and/or pedestrians); and/or
- improperly marked crossways.
One of the most common ways pedestrians are injured is through the negligence of drivers on Colorado roads. A negligent driver who is the cause of your injuries can be held responsible through a personal injury lawsuit. This legal action can help you to get the costs of your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
Defective sidewalks and other conditions that lead to injuries unrelated to a motor vehicle can also be the cause of your injuries as a pedestrian. When this is the case, it is important to have a qualified attorney identify who is the responsible party for your injuries, whether it is a private company, private individual, or even the government itself. Even in cases such as these, you can recover for your injuries.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
A pedestrian can suffer extremely terrible injuries as a result of an accident with a motor vehicle. The human body is rather fragile and can be hurt even by slow-speed collisions with cars or trucks. When that collision happens with a full-speed vehicle, the injuries can be catastrophic.
Common pedestrian injuries include, but are not limited to:
- head trauma
- traumatic brain injury
- road rash (skin damage from contact with the road)
- broken bones
- organ damage
- damage to eyes, including blindness
- spinal injury (disc bulges or ruptured discs)
- coma or vegetative state
- soft tissue injuries
- puncture wounds
- neurological damage (brain damage)
- heart injury or cardiovascular damage
Pedestrians who are injured by motor vehicles commonly require hospitalization, even including surgery. Even a simple broken bone can cost tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Surgery or long-term care can cost into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. When diagnostic tools such as MRIs and CT scans are used, the costs also quickly add up.
The costs of these procedures, along with your other damages, should appropriately be borne by the negligent party, not you. To make sure the proper party pays for your injuries, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help.
How Auto Insurance Affects Pedestrians
Pedestrians who are injured by a driver of a motor vehicle may be compensated by that driver's insurance company. Colorado drivers are required, by law, to carry at least minimum amounts of insurance coverage. This is intended to protect others from negligent driving and conduct of those on the road.
However, insurance adjusters for the other driver's insurance company will work to minimize the amount of money they pay out. They may call you, ask you a lot of questions, and hope they find something they can use to excuse paying you less than you deserve, or even not at all. They can be tricky to deal with, but with experienced legal counsel at your side, you can go into this process with confidence that you will not be taken advantage of.
Personal Injury Claims for Pedestrian Accidents
Filing a personal injury claim for a pedestrian accident is the best way to seek financial compensation for your injuries caused by another person or a company. The purpose of these money damages are to compensate you for your losses, your injuries, and any pain and suffering you dealt with. There are different types of damages under the law, and each has its own methods of proof. Personal injury claims related to car accidents must be brought within three years of the accident.
"Economic damages" are the type of damages more easily proven with a specific dollar amount. The purpose of these types of damages is to compensate you for the out of pocket costs you suffered as a result of the pedestrian accident. This not only includes your past expenses already incurred, but any future costs you are likely to have to spend in the future.
Economic damages include but are not necessarily limited to:
- past and current medical bills
- rehabilitation costs
- future medical bills
- loss of future earning capacity
- damage to property (vehicle destruction, repair costs, property contained in the car that was damaged)
- lost wages
- psychological treatment costs
Economic damages can usually be proven through documentary evidence such as receipts, bills, invoices, or other "paper trail" evidence. They can usually be identified with a very specific dollar amount. For future costs, such as lost wages and lost earning capacity, expert testimony is likely required to show the amount of damages you are owed.
Even though a specific number can be attached, proving economic damages can be tricky for a person representing themselves, or even for an inexperienced lawyer. You need a competent, experienced personal injury attorney to make sure your case is properly proven.
Non-economic damages are more subjective. They are not as easy to identify with documentary evidence. However, just because they are more subjective does not mean they are any less important.
Non-economic damages include, but are not limited to:
- pain and suffering
- loss of consortium
- mental suffering
- psychological damage and harm
- loss of enjoyment
Proving non-economic damages requires a great deal of experience. Because these damages are subjective, it is crucial to convince the jury that a fair money award is appropriate in your case. Helping the jury understand the costs of these types of losses can better compensate you for your injuries.
Caps on Damages in Colorado
Damages can be limited or "capped" in certain cases. Economic damages are not generally capped, and any amount proven can be awarded.
However, under Colorado law, limits are placed on pain and suffering damages. The Colorado legislature has determined that the cap on non-economic damages is $250,000, adjusted for inflation from the date the law was adopted. To know the specific cap as of the date of your case, you should consult with your personal injury attorney.
What this means is that if the jury awards more than the $250,000 cap for pain and suffering, the damages will be reduced to the level of the cap, unless an exception applies. When a person suffers permanent physical impairment as a result of a pedestrian accident, the pain and suffering limitation does not apply.
Personal Injury Case v. Insurance Settlement
In a lot of cases, the negligent driver's insurance company will come to you with a settlement offer in order to resolve the case. A lot of times, it is tempting to just take the offer and run. However, the insurance company is usually trying to save money and typically offers far less than the actual cost of your injuries. It also will rarely compensate you for any future costs that you may carry.
On the flip side, a personal injury claim lets you better control the settlement negotiations and can get you to a number that better reflects your actual damages suffered. With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can review the specific facts of your case and analyze both what you have suffered and may suffer in the future.
This can provide a much better settlement offer, or even a jury verdict if the case goes to trial. You deserve to be fully compensated for the injuries you suffered.
Wrongful Death Actions in Pedestrian Accidents
A wrongful death action is a case brought by the family members of a person killed in an accident. When a pedestrian accident causes the death of a family member, the pain can seem impossible to bear. On top of this grief, the medical bills, costs of the funeral, and the loss of an income can greatly harm the family. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the family members for the damages they have suffered.
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 designated beneficiary.
Damage Caps in Wrongful Death Cases
Like a personal injury case, economic damages are typically not capped in wrongful death cases. A rare exception applies 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) limits the economic damages in wrongful death cases.
Non-economic damages are still limited in these types of cases, capped at $250,000 (adjusted for inflation) or as much as $500,000 if clear and convincing evidence is shown that a higher amount is appropriate.
Consult an Experienced Denver Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
The injuries you suffer from a pedestrian accident can be very serious. The incredible costs that can add up due to a pedestrian accident is not a burden you should have to handle yourself. 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 pedestrian 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.