Car accidents happen every day throughout Colorado for many reasons. While some of these incidents result in only minor losses that are easily addressed between the parties involved, others are more damaging and lead to protracted legal proceedings. If you have recently been involved in a car accident, it’s natural to wonder how much your settlement could be worth.
There are generally two options for recovering from a car accident, and some accident victims may need to pursue both to maximize their recoveries. The first is filing an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver. Every Colorado driver must have auto insurance coverage that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. The second is a personal injury claim. You may need to file a civil action against the driver responsible for your recent accident if they do not have enough insurance to fully cover your losses or if they do not have insurance at all.
Every car accident claim is unique, and various factors come into play to determine the exact value. If you have recently been injured and suffered economic losses due to the negligence of another driver, it’s vital to know how to hold them accountable and what type of compensation you can reasonably expect from your claim.
How Do Car Accidents Happen?
When car accidents happen due to a driver’s actions, the situation can easily escalate into a complex legal matter. Some of the most commonly reported causes of car accidents that lead to civil claims in Colorado include:
- Distracted driving. When drivers ignore their surroundings, they put themselves and others at severe risk. Even a few seconds of distracted driving can cause a devastating accident.
- Drunk driving. It is illegal and dangerous for any driver to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A driver who causes an accident due to intoxication faces criminal prosecution in addition to civil liability for victims’ damages.
- Moving violations include illegal turns, improper lane changes, driving on road shoulders, and running red lights. Unfortunately, other drivers typically don’t anticipate these actions, resulting in severe accidents in some cases.
- Speeding. Exceeding the speed limit reduces the time and space necessary to slow down or stop in time to avoid a collision.
There are many other ways for negligent drivers to cause accidents. If you believe another driver is responsible for your recent car accident, it’s vital to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. They will help you determine your best options for securing the compensation you deserve for your damages.
What Can I Recover After a Car Accident?
Colorado’s personal injury laws uphold that a driver responsible for causing an accident is liable for all resulting damages. You have the right to hold the defendant accountable for the economic damages they caused and your pain and suffering. Colorado state law allows for pain and suffering compensation up to $613,760, which may be increased by the court upon clear and convincing evidence to a maximum of $1,227,530. Your compensation may be capped based on the date your injury occurred. The amount you receive hinges on the severity of your damages.
When it comes to your economic damages, you can claim:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of any ongoing or long-term treatment you require of severe injuries.
- Lost income, including lost future earnings if you cannot return to work due to the severity of your injuries.
- Property damage, such as vehicle repair or replacement costs. You can also claim the cost of replacing any other property in your vehicle that was destroyed in the accident.
While the other driver’s auto insurance policy may cover some of these losses, you will likely need to file a civil claim if they do not have enough coverage to fully compensate your damages. Again, a Colorado personal injury attorney will help you navigate your case. Economic damages have no cap in Colorado. Colorado also has a third category of damages called physical impairment. There is no cap on the category of damages.
Q: How Much Are Most Car Accident Settlements?
A: When you calculate your total damages from a car accident, you are likely to obtain merges for medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and physical impairment. The old rule used to be that the value of a claim was 1.5X-3X of the Economic Damages to account for the pain and suffering the other driver’s actions caused you. But there is no such calculation today and every case is judged on its own merits. Serious injury accidents are generally worth much more than just your economic damages when the case is properly handled. Therefore, an experienced attorney with proven top shelf results is the best asset to have in a car accident case if you want to maximize your recovery as much as possible.
Q: How Much Is Pain and Suffering in Colorado?
A: Colorado state law allows for pain and suffering compensation up to $613,760, which may be increase by the court upon clear and convincing evidence to a maximum of $1,277,530. If you are unsure how much you can claim in pain and suffering, your attorney will help you decide on a reasonable amount based on your economic damages, medical bills, future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering and physical impairment.
Q: How Much Should I Expect in Settling My Car Accident Claim?
A: It’s common for car accident claim plaintiffs to initially undervalue their claim, not realizing the true potential value of their cases until they have legal counsel. Experienced attorneys know the various channels of compensation available in these cases. Your car accident lawyer will assist you in determining the total amount of compensation you could potentially secure from a successful case.
Q: How Long Will My Case Take to Resolve?
A: Some car accident claims can be resolved quickly if the fault is apparent and the defendant accepts responsibility for their actions. However, if liability is not immediately clear or a defendant contests liability, it could take several months of legal proceedings to resolve the matter. Your attorney can provide you with a reasonable estimate of the timetable you face in your impending car accident claim.
Car accidents can be damaging and traumatic experiences. If another driver caused your recent accident, it’s vital to hold them accountable for the damages they caused. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has the resources and experience you need to navigate your car accident claim successfully. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about the legal services we provide.