Car accidents happen every day throughout Colorado. Some of these accidents result in severe injuries, expensive medical bills, and missed time at work. Colorado state law requires the parties involved determine responsibility for the incident when a car accident occurs. The state upholds a fault-based system for determining liability for car accidents. If one driver causes an accident that injures another driver, the at-fault driver is liable for the damages resulting from their actions.
Representing Car Crash Victims in Boulder, CO
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be more difficult than many drivers realize. Therefore, it’s essential for all Boulder, CO, drivers to not only have auto insurance coverage that meets Colorado’s minimum coverage requirements but also to have a firm understanding of their legal rights when another driver has injured them. If you are unsure what to do after a car accident caused by someone else, you need to speak with an experienced Boulder car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Why Should I Hire a Boulder Car Accident Lawyer?
You might assume that you will have a relatively easy time holding an at-fault driver accountable for the damages they have caused if they are clearly at fault for your recent accident. However, the process of securing compensation for your losses is likely to be more difficult than you expect. This is especially true if the accident resulted in devastating injuries and expensive economic losses.
If you were to attempt to handle your recovery entirely on your own, you would risk overlooking crucial details that could significantly influence the outcome of your case. Even if proving fault seems simple enough, navigating a car insurance claim and building a personal injury case against the at-fault driver would be very challenging while managing your injuries and the other effects of the accident. Hiring a Boulder car accident attorney to represent you will make the entire recovery process much more manageable. You will not need to manage a complex series of legal proceedings on your own while simultaneously trying to recover. Your legal team can handle your case proceedings on your behalf, providing you with updates as your case unfolds. This allows you to rest and recover with the reassurance of knowing your case is in trustworthy hands.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has years of experience representing clients in Boulder, CO, and surrounding areas in a wide range of personal injury claims. Car accidents are one of the most commonly cited causes of personal injury cases in Colorado, and we have the resources and experience necessary for handling these cases effectively.
Common Causes of Car Accident Personal Injury Claims in Boulder, Colorado
The first step toward recovery after any car accident in Colorado is typically an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. Colorado law requires every driver to have an auto insurance policy that includes at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, at least $50,000 in total accident bodily injury liability coverage, and at least $15,000 in property damage liability coverage. These coverage minimums may sound generous, but a severe car accident can easily cause damages that quickly eclipse an at-fault driver’s auto insurance coverage limits. Additionally, if the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance, the injured driver may only rely on their own auto insurance policy for limited compensation following their accident.
If another driver is clearly to blame for your recent car accident, you would first file an auto insurance claim to recover as much as possible through their liability coverage before proceeding with a personal injury claim. A successful personal injury claim can yield compensation for the damages their auto insurance can’t cover. Some of the most common causes of car accidents that generate personal injury cases in Colorado include:
- Distracted driving, which is the top-cited cause of all car accidents in the US. A momentary distraction can potentially be enough to cause a devastating accident. Operating a vehicle while distracted is a clear example of negligence. In addition, cell phone use, eating while driving, and “rubbernecking” to look at things on the sides of the road are all potential causes of a serious accident.
- Impaired driving. It is illegal for any driver to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime in every state. When an impaired driver causes an accident, they are not only likely to cause severe injuries to the other parties involved but also face criminal penalties for violating Colorado DUI law.
- Speeding. Unfortunately, many drivers do not heed posted speed limits. Accidents that occur at high speeds tend to result in severe injuries. It’s possible for a driver who causes an accident due to speeding to face criminal penalties depending on how significantly they exceeded the posted speed limit.
- Moving violations. Failure to stop at red lights and stop signs, illegal turns, U-turns, and other moving violations can startle drivers and easily result in accidents.
- Vehicle malfunctions. Drivers must address known mechanical problems with their vehicles as soon as they discover them. Failure to do so could easily result in an unexpected mechanical failure at the worst possible time. It is also possible for a vehicle or parts manufacturer to face liability for an accident if their product was defective, leading to a product liability claim.
More than one party can bear liability for a car accident. It’s also possible for the plaintiff in a car accident claim to absorb some level of fault if they contributed to the accident in any way. Colorado’s modified comparative negligence law would come into play in this situation. The plaintiff would lose a percentage of their case award equal to their percentage of fault for causing their damages, but only as long as the plaintiff’s fault is less than 50% or lower than the defendant’s.
A successful car accident claim can potentially yield compensation for the plaintiff’s medical expenses, long-term medical costs for treatment of severe injuries, lost income during recovery, and lost earning potential when an accident is severe enough to prevent the plaintiff from returning to work. Colorado law also allows personal injury plaintiffs to seek pain and suffering compensation up to $250,000 in most claims or up to $500,000 in cases where the defendant’s fault is proven by clear and convincing evidence.
Car Accident Claim FAQs
Q: Is It Worth Getting a Boulder Car Accident Lawyer?
A: Hiring an attorney significantly increases your chance of success with a car accident claim, and your attorney is also more likely to maximize your compensation to the fullest extent possible under Colorado law. While you may be hesitant about the potential cost of legal fees, you stand to lose much more by trying to manage your case without legal representation.
Q: What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident in Boulder?
A: If you are seriously injured, call 911 if possible or wait for paramedics to arrive. If you can move, do so carefully and check on your passengers and the occupants of the other vehicles involved in the crash. Colorado law requires drivers to report accidents that cause injuries, death, or significant property damage. Once you report your accident and the police allow you to leave, seek medical treatment immediately before consulting a Boulder car accident attorney about your options for legal recourse.
Q: What Information Do I Need to File a Car Accident Claim?
A: Your own auto insurance company will require you to report an accident very soon after it occurs, typically within a few days. Even if you intend to file a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance policy, this is true. You should also contact the other driver’s insurer to notify them of your intent to file a claim. However, you should wait to file your claim until you can have a Boulder car accident lawyer assist you. You will need to provide details of where and how your accident occurred and documentation showing the extent of the damages you suffered.
Q: How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in Colorado?
A: The statute of limitations for filing a civil claim for a car accident in Colorado is three years, starting on the date the accident occurred. This may seem like more than enough time in which to file your claim, but it is always best to start the legal process as soon as possible after your accident. Working with an experienced Boulder car accident attorney is the best way to streamline this process.
Boulder Car Accident Lawyers, Free Consultation
It’s natural to have lots of questions about your options for legal recourse after a damaging accident that someone else caused. If you or a loved one is struggling in the wake of a serious accident caused by another motorist, you need legal counsel you can trust to help you recover your losses. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal can provide the meticulous and compassionate legal representation you need in this challenging situation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services in Boulder, CO.