In recent years, automobile accidents have been on the rise in the state of Colorado. An influx of out-of-state drivers combined with congested roadways and hazardous conditions can cause accidents in an instant.

Being involved in an accident can be traumatizing and may leave you with all manner of physical and emotional impairment issues. That’s why injured victims have rights. In Colorado, minimum insurance coverage prerequisites such as bodily injury liability are mandated by law. Colorado drivers are required to carry $50,000 per accident and a $25,000 minimum of bodily injury liability coverage per person, effective in the event of an accident.

However, just because at-fault drivers are required to carry insurance to pay for damages after a crash does not mean that you will always automatically have your injuries or pain and suffering paid for. That is where personal injury attorneys come in. It’s also why it is so important to understand how to file claims, protect your rights, and seek compensation after an accident.

To help you better understand how the personal injury process works after an accident in Colorado Springs, Parker, or any of the nearby areas, we have created this “Ultimate Accident Guide”. Below, you will find everything you need to know about automobile accidents and personal injury claims work here.

Were You in Colorado Injured Due to The Reckless Driving of Another Person? Our Colorado Personal Injury Team is Here to Help!

If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision, hit by a car as a pedestrian, involved in a motorcycle accident, or hurt on the road in some other way, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Injured victims have the right to claim damages in Colorado! Here at Matlin Injury Law, our team of seasoned personal injury attorneys is here for you. Call 720-464-3600 now for your free case consultation!

Automobile Accidents Are On the Rise in Colorado

In the state of Colorado, many circumstances can lead to automobile accidents. In 2022, reports came in showing that motor vehicle collisions in the state had increased significantly. In fact, in 2021, 672 people were killed on Colorado’s roadways. This is the most deaths annually since 2002.

With that number expected to increase as Colorado Department of Transportation data continues to trickle in, it has never been more important to know what to do if you have been in an accident. By the end of 2022, the state expects a final estimated increase of 50% in automobile fatalities since the year 2011.

Bearing these statistics in mind, the Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Springs Police Departments are urging citizens to avoid risky behaviors when on the road. This goes for drivers, cyclists, and motorcycle riders. However, despite numerous available safety resources, some people still choose to drive recklessly in Colorado.

According to 2022 data from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), fatalities involving impaired (DUI and DWAI) drivers increased by more than 16% in 2021compared to the fatalities recorded in 2020. This worrisome trend of automobile-related fatalities is present in rural and urban areas alike. Preliminary data statistics suggest that fatalities are up 29% in Denver County and 37% in Pueblo County.

Knowing these statistics, you can see why having an understanding of personal injury law is so important these days. Being aware of how to stay safe on the road is the first priority. Nevertheless, sometimes, no matter how safe you drive, someone else decides to get behind the wheel and make poor judgment calls. If this happens, you should know your rights and be ready to take action to get your life back.

Personal Injury Law at a Glance: Here’s What to Know

So exactly what is personal injury law and how does it apply if you are involved in an automobile accident in Colorado? Well, first let’s go over what personal injury law is in the simplest possible terms.

The Definition of Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law involves injuries to your person. These injuries can include every variety of injuries to an individual’s emotions, reputation, body, or property. Personal injury law is based on certain principles.

These principles may include:

  • Grounds
  • Causes of Action
  • Damages
  • Neglect / Negligence
  • Wrongful Intent
  • Liability

Understanding Grounds in a Personal Injury Case

In the realm of law, the term “grounds” refers to a basis for belief or conviction, rational motive, actions that are taken, or causes, of a corresponding legal event. Basically, grounds are the foundational basis that legal cases or claims are built around.

For instance, in a divorce case, you would need to state “grounds” for requesting a divorce. Having irreconcilable differences would count as the grounds (or reasons)that two spouses would want to separate.

In personal injury cases, grounds work similarly. Grounds for an accident will be used to sue the defendant (the person who allegedly caused an accident to occur) for damages. There are three primary grounds on which a personal injury claim will usually be based. These grounds are negligence, strict liability, and intentional wrongs. Here’s a breakdown of each one.

1. Negligence

Negligence is the most common ground for a personal injury claim. The basis for personal liability under negligence comes from an individual’s failure to behave using a level of caution or care that someone of ordinary Prudence would regularly exercise in similar circumstances.

For instance, a distracted driver who recklessly crashes their car into someone else’s has behaved with serious negligence toward the safety of others.

2. Strict Liability

The second most common ground for a personal injury lawsuit is Strict Liability. Strict Liability is used to hold a defendant liable after they have committed a specific action, regardless of what their intent or mental state was when the action was committed.

For instance, if an automobile manufacturer put defective airbags in their manufactured vehicles, they would be responsible for any injuries that occurred when those airbags malfunctioned. Although the manufacturer did not act negligently or mean for their automobile to cause harm, they can still be held to the principle of strict liability.

3. Intentional Wrongs

Intentional wrongs usually result from an act committed by the defendant intentionally. Common intentional torts include false imprisonment, battery, trespass to land, trespass to chattels, or intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Causes of Action in Personal Injury Cases

When it comes to personal injury claims, claimants can file based on various reasons revolving around harm done to the body. Therefore, a personal injury claim could be filed by a plaintiff (victim) against a defendant for things like accidents, motorcycle accidents, defective products, and more.

Examples of Physical Causes of Action:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Defective product accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Commercial vehicle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Toxic torts
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Assault

However, personal injury claims can also come from incidences of non-bodily harm. Emotional distress, malicious prosecution, invasion of privacy, and defamation, are just a few types of Action Causes that may be covered in a personal injury case.

Examples of Non-Bodily Causes of Action:

  • Emotional distress
  • Mental health damage
  • Defamation
  • Invasion of privacy
  • False arrest
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Malicious prosecution

Receiving Damages in a Personal Injury Case

If a plaintiff successfully wins their personal injury claim lawsuit, they will be awarded monetary damages for their injuries. This means that they will get a payout, settlement, or a certain amount of money, at the end of their case. Damages are intended to compensate the injured victim for their suffering and losses. In a personal injury case, damages can include (but are definitely not limited to) things like medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and emotional distress.

Damages May Include:

  • Medical expenses and hospital bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of the ability to earn money
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental distress
  • Emotional distress
  • Court costs
  • Household assistance
  • Travel expenses
  • Legal fees

How Personal Injury Law Applies to You

In Colorado, personal injury means physical injuries, property damage, or mental injuries, caused by someone else’s negligence, failure to be responsible, or intentional wrongdoing. These types of injuries can necessitate the filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the person at fault. That way, the victim can recover the compensation they need to pay for some of the negative consequences caused by the person who hurt them.

So, if you were here in a car accident in Colorado and it wasn’t your fault, you may have a solid personal injury case on your hands and be owed a settlement. If you decide to go after the at-fault party for compensation or monetary reimbursement for damages in a personal injury lawsuit (or by filing an insurance claim), you and your lawyer usually must be able to prove that the party at fault:

  • Owed you a certain standard of care
  • Failed to meet that standard
  • Cause your injuries negligently
  • Forced you to deal with financial repercussions

This is just an overview of personal injury law and how it works on paper in the legal system. To really understand how these processes work, it is best to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney experienced with automobile accident cases.

Here’s a Personal Injury Accident Example:

Let’s say that a man named Tom is driving on the I-25 toward Denver to see a Rockies game. Suddenly, a vehicle comes flying down the on-ramp and smacks into his sedan. Tom’s car spins off the road and hits the median. The airbags deploy and Tom suffers lacerations, whiplash, a broken arm, and damage to his back. Not to mention, his new Honda Civic is totaled. An ambulance arrives and takes Tom to the hospital where he is treated. His car is towed to a junkyard. While in the hospital, Tom finds out that the driver who hit him was heavily intoxicated. In fact, they are in a hospital room nearby getting their DUI ticket. This means he’ll definitely get damages paid to him, right?

Well, things can be more complicated than you’d think. Tom has many questions. So what should Tom do? Well, most importantly, Tom should contact a personal injury attorney that specializes in automobile accidents right away. Better yet, he should talk with a qualified lawyer before speaking to anybody about what happened. Even though Tom is clearly not at-fault, an attorney will protect him and help him through each stage of his case to get the highest amount of damages. That way, Tom can get everything he deserves. The earlier he calls, the higher his settlement amount could be. Here’s why.

If you are in an automobile accident, a personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through all of the many complex legal processes you are sure to face. This can include talking with the police, speaking to (or not speaking to) insurance companies, filing a police report, and more.

Not only will your personal injury attorney help you keep track of your financial expenses and medical bills, but they will keep you from saying anything that can be used against you. Then, your claims can be filed correctly and within the statute of limitations. If the insurance company tries to deny your claims or reduce your settlement, your attorney will be on top of it right away. With a skilled lawyer helping him, Tom can get peace of mind and focus on what’s most important, recovering.

FAQs On Personal Injury Accidents

Now that you have an example of what a personal injury accident looks like and how personal injury claims and damages work, let’s go over some frequently asked questions on the topic. The following are some of the most common questions that clients ask about their personal injury claims case.

• What to do immediately after a car accident?

There are a few steps that you can take immediately following your accident to ensure that your claims will ultimately result in a favorable outcome. First of all, you should get to safety. Then, make sure everyone else around you is safe as well. From there, you need to have your injuries treated. As soon as you are in stable condition, you should try to contact a personal injury attorney.

If you can speak with an attorney before filing a police report, try to do so. However, sometimes, attorneys prefer that a police report is filed first. Either way, you absolutely must call the police if you have been in an automobile accident that resulted in injuries. Even if the accident is minor and there aren’t any particularly serious injuries that you can see, you should call the police and make sure that a report about your incident is filed.

When the police arrive, do not say anything that could be used to incriminate you. Saying things like “maybe it was my fault” or, “I’m not sure if I was going too fast” are not advisable. Remember, if your case ends up in court and doesn’t settle, the other party can use this against you.

While you wait for the police to arrive, you can start gathering photographs and videos of the accident. Most people have smartphones with this capability. If you are not seriously injured, snap photos of the area around the accident, your vehicle, and the other person’s vehicle. You can also take pictures of your injuries. If you are too hurt to take photos, you should focus on getting to the hospital. You may want to make some calls to see if a loved one can take pictures for you on the scene.

It can also be helpful to get the contact information of everybody on the accident scene. You should also ask for the business card of the responding officer. After you get in touch with a personal injury attorney, they can guide you through everything else. Don’t speak with an insurance claims adjuster or sign anything in writing without legal guidance!

• Will insurance companies fight a personal injury claim?

Sometimes, dealing with insurance companies can be a complicated process. In fact, one of the main jobs of a personal injury attorney is to go to bat for you when dealing with corporate insurers. Anytime you have been involved in an automobile accident, you have a responsibility to your own insurance company to inform them about the wreck. However, you don’t have to call them right away. In fact, you have every right to defer any and all communications to your lawyer.

Speaking with a personal injury attorney that specializes in automobile accident insurance claims is a wise move. Remember, insurance companies do not always represent your interests. In fact, the other party’s insurer has one goal in mind: giving you the smallest settlement possible. If the details of the collision or who is at fault happens to be contested, it’s more important than ever to speak with an accident attorney right away.

• What kind of settlement comes from a Colorado car accident?

In the state of Colorado, the average car accident settlement secures about one and a half times (150%) the total amount of the original damage. However, every car accident claim is different. Your individual circumstances are sure to be unique.

Key case factors like the injuries you sustained, your medical expenses, suffering, and any impact on your ability to live life as you normally used to, must be considered. To find out how much your settlement is worth, calling a personal injury attorney and scheduling a consultation is your best option.

• How much is a personal injury attorney?

Some personal injury attorneys, like Matlin Injury Law, offer free initial accident case consultations. In addition to this, many personal injury case attorneys charge contingency fees. These fees are usually taken out of the settlement after you win your case. This means that in many instances, personal injury attorneys do not get paid until after you do.

• How to tell who is at fault after an accident in Colorado?

In some car accidents, figuring out who is at fault is very easy. This is especially true in cases involving DUI or DWAI. However, Colorado follows comparative negligence laws. This means that to get compensation for your losses after an accident, you must be less than 50% responsible. This is just another reason that contacting a lawyer right away is so important!

If You Were in a Colorado Automobile Accident, Don’t Wait – Call Matlin Injury Law Now!

We will work together with you to review the details of your case and determine how best to proceed. With years of experience helping injured victims of automobile accidents in Colorado, we will treat your case with the consideration and attention it deserves.

For your free personal injury accident consultation, we encourage you to call our team at 720-464-3600 during business hours. Or, after hours, you can follow this link and fill out a fast form online for a free case consultation. Then, a member of our team will get back to you right away and help you review your case. Matlin injury law will do everything in our power to ensure that you get your life back after an accident in Colorado!

Let the Team at Matlin Injury Law Fight for You! Call 720-464-3600 or Learn More Here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]