AS AN ACCIDENT VICTIM, YOU’RE NOT ALONE. MARATHON LAW IS HERE TO GO THE DISTANCE.
As car accident attorneys, we know that it feels like your world is literally falling apart after you’ve survived a car crash. You can’t work, you’re trying your best to get better, and you’re going all over the place for doctor appointments. So, as a car accident victim, where do you start?
First, unless the car accident claim is a “property-only” claim and you weren’t seriously injured, you’re going to want to hire – not only a car accident attorney – but a TRIAL LAWYER. Anyone can shuffle files around, but when you’ve been seriously injured you need a car accident lawyer who knows the inside of a courtroom and knows how to present automobile accident cases to a jury.
Meanwhile, while you’re looking for an auto accident lawyer, the insurance company is low-balling you on the replacement price of your car, you’re getting bills from the hospital, your boss is calling wondering when you’re coming back to work, and – surprise – your kids still have to go to school, your pet still needs to be fed, and the world hasn’t stopped.
You’re angry. Confused. Upset. The whole experience of a car accident lawsuit is an emotional whirlwind, not to mention physically painful. It’s overwhelming.
At Marathon Law, it’s our job as car accident attorneys to take your burdens on our shoulders and let you focus on what matters most – your family and your health. No one should ever have to deal with the aftermath of a car accident alone.
Once we’re on the case, we handle the entire negotiation process from start to finish, including getting the insurance companies and bill collectors off your back and getting you a meaningful settlement. The last thing you need after you’ve been injured in a car accident is navigating the complex ins and outs of a car crash lawsuit. That’s why you hire an injury lawyer.
And the best thing is that if the insurance company doesn’t wanna play fair, we set your case for trial. It’s what we do. We’re attorneys after all.
THE NUMBERS: DENVER & COLORADO CRASH STATISTICS
When you’re going through the aftermath of a driving accident, we know it can feel very lonely and isolating. You’re not alone. In 2018, there were 121,922 auto accidents in Colorado. Of those, 27,346 people were injured, and, worse, 585 people died.
What is causing these car accidents? Let’s take a look at the numbers:
COMMON CAUSES LEADING TO A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
Colorado has over a thousand traffic laws that our General Assembly has passed in order to hopefully reduce the number of car accidents in any given year. Nevertheless, we still continue to see tens of thousands of crashes every year. Let’s talk about some of the causes:
How often do you see a person in front of you and you think, “Wow, that person is wasted. I should call the cops before that drunk driver kills someone.” Then you try to get around that person as soon as possible, look over, and the driver is looking down at his phone. He’s not drunk; he’s texting.
Distracted drivers caused 87,274 auto accidents in Colorado between the five-year period spanning 2012-2017.
And if you look at the numbers , the problem doesn’t appear to be getting better. In 2017 alone, there were 15,523 auto accidents involving distracted drivers. Which age group is the worst offender? Shame on you if you said, “teenagers.” Actually, it’s the 21-30 age group that’s the worst offender. The 31-40 age group is a close contender.
Drunk or Drugged Driving
The Center for Disease Control reports the following staggering statistics on drunk and/or drugged driving:
- In 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
- Of the 1,233 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2016, 214 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
- In 2016, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
- Drugs other than alcohol (legal and illegal) are involved in about 16% of motor vehicle crashes.
In 2018 in Colorado, there were 5,020 car crashes that involved at least one person who was charged with a DUI. The #1 offending county was, predictably, Denver, but #2, surprisingly, was Adams.
You know that guy. He’s come up behind from nowhere on I-25 and starts riding your bumper and flashing his lights. Don’t engage. Safely move out of his way. And, please, whatever you do, keep your middle finger to yourself. It’s not worth it.
Aggressive drivers caused more than 64,000 car crashes in Colorado between 2005 and 2018. That’s an average of roughly 5,000 crashes per year – 14 per day – caused by aggressive driving. As of 2016, Colorado ranked second in the nation for road rage fatalities.
Asleep at the Wheel and Drowsy Driving
People driving drowsy or, worse, people falling asleep at the wheel caused nearly 31,000 accidents in Colorado between 2005-2018.
COMMON CAR CRASH INJURIES
Force equals mass times acceleration. Any honest accident reconstruction expert will tell you that we still don’t know a lot about how the human body is affected in a car crash. Any number of car accident attorneys will tell you that they have seen low impact crashes with serious injuries and high impact injuries with relatively minor injuries.
But common sense tells us that the heavier the vehicle and the faster it’s going, the higher the probability that the injuries involved are going to be more severe (although not always the case). But these days, even minor injuries can result in major medical bills.
And while each one of us is unique and every car crash is its own animal, there are injuries that we, as car accident attorneys, see on a fairly frequent basis:
- Head injuries, including concussions and TBI
- Neck, back, and spine injuries
- Shoulder injuries, especially from seatbelts
- “Soft tissue injuries” a/k/a/ bruises, sprains, or strains
- Bone fractures
If you can prove that another party was at fault for your injuries, they are responsible to cover your injury-related medical bills as part of your total “economic damages”. In every accident case, this includes both past medical bills, which covered the immediate medical help after the crash, as well as future medical bills, which might include corrective surgeries, physical therapy, or ongoing needs for medication.
After having represented hundreds of injury victims, we can tell you that everyone gets injured differently; everyone heals differently; and everyone responds to treatment differently. While physical therapy may be the right path for one person, another person might need back surgery for a very similar injury. Every car accident case is different.
CAR CRASH TIPS
When you get into a car wreck, especially a severe car wreck, your adrenaline’s rushing, your head’s spinning, and you’re not quite sure what just happened. This assumes your lucky enough to still be conscious and somewhat aware of your surroundings.
For a more detailed guide on what you should do after a car accident, click here . But our two main tips for you are (1) put your health first; and (2) document everything!
If you feel like you need to go to the hospital, go. Don’t worry about the ambulance or ER bills right now. While we know it’s easier said than done, your health is what’s important here. Besides, you probably have medpay which means you’ve got at least $5,000 you can put toward your treatment. Even if you don’t, the person that hit you is going to have to pay your medical bills.
If you’re healthy enough to stay on the scene, take pictures and videos of everything you can think of – the other driver’s license, at least 8 angles of the crash, the road conditions, weather conditions, everyone’s insurance card, license plates, etc.
PERSONAL INJURY LAW IN COLORADO
There are literally hundreds of traffic laws your auto accident attorney is charged with knowing. If you’ve sustained a car accident injury, there are a few things you OR your attorney know before taking on a personal injury case:
Statute of Limitations
“Statute of Limitations” is just fancy way of saying deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit stemming from an auto accident is three (3) years. That said, we don’t recommend you wait to get an attorney. The sooner we’re on your case, the better it is for you.
Your insurance company is required to offer you “medpay” or medical payments coverage for at least $5,000. This is money that you can use toward your medical bills and your insurance company CANNOT cancel your policy or raise your premium if you use it. If your insurance company says that you rejected medpay, demand to see your signed medpay waiver form. If they can’t produce it, they have to pay $5,000 of your medical bills.
In our opinion, there is almost never a good reason not to file a medical payments claim with you insurance company. Even if you decide not to hire a personal injury lawyer, at least call your medpay insurance adjuster and let them you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident and that you need to file a personal injury claim against your medical payments policy. You’ll thank yourself later.
Mandatory Liability Insurance
In the State of Colorado , car accident law says you must carry $25,000 in auto insurance for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident; $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any single accident; and $15,000 for property damage in any one accident.
So, imagine you’re in a car wreck and you accidentally injure two people. One person has injuries that result in $25,000 in medical expenses and another person files an insurance claim for $15,000. In this case, you’re covered if the police determine you’re the negligent driver.
If you ask any honest personal injury attorney, (s)he will tell you that Colorado’s minimum insurance requirements are way too low. recommend that you have at least a $100K/$300K policy. In anything but a minor accident, the economic damages – meaning medical expenses, lost wages, etc. – will likely exceed the Colorado State insurance minimums (especially in a pedestrian accident).
Damages in a Car Accident Case
When you’re the victim of an automobile accident, you are entitled recover what we call “damages.” Damages is just another way of saying money. Without going into too much detail, there are two categories of damages: (1) economic damages; (2) noneconomic damages; and (3) exemplary damages, or what are commonly referred to as “punitive damages.”
Economic damages often include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, property damage, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost earning capacity.
Noneconomic damages can include but are not limited to: pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, the worsening of prior injuries, and loss of consortium.
Referred to as “exemplary damages” in Colorado, punitive damages are awarded in cases where the injury claim involve some sort of fraud, malice, or willful and wanton conduct. The process for obtaining exemplary damages is a much more complex process than obtaining economic or noneconomic damages in a car accident case which is why, again, we recommend you hire an actual trial lawyer, not just a file-shuffler or paralegal to handle your injury case.
Call Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Malissa and Jeff Today!
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Colorado, do yourself a favor and contact Denver-based car accident attorneys Malissa and Jeff at Marathon Law. We are a no-frills, highly experienced law firm that truly values and respects each client we represent.
We don’t have a catchy mascot. We don’t air cheesy commercials during Judge Judy promising to make you an overnight millionaire. And you won’t change lawyers five times while your case churns through the big law machine.
We are a boutique firm with a limited number of clients so that we can focus on what matters most – you.
Whether you hire Jeff or Malissa, those are your personal attorneys. You will work with two experienced car accident attorneys to get the highest quality results possible. And, of course, we don’t get paid unless you get paid.
Our consultations are free and we set them up to match your busy schedule even if it means the weekend. Call us today at 303-704-1222. We’ll cross the finish line together.
-Jeffry Dougan & Malissa Williams
We’ll Go The Distance – Together.
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