Our Westminster car accident lawyers will stand with you, advocate for your best interests and treat your case as if it were our own. We are dedicated attorneys helping you fight for justice. Contact us now for a free car accident case evaluation.
Getting into a car accident is a frightening experience that can have wide-ranging repercussions on your life. You may suffer serious and painful injuries, but a car insurance company may not help you get back on your feet. The law firm of Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. is different. We deliver high-quality legal services and exceptional client care, with a proven track record of success.
Because Colorado is not a no-fault state, the insurance company of the person responsible for the accident must pay the damages, even if it means you need to demand a settlement or go to court. In Colorado, an accident victim is entitled to recovery of economic damages and pain and suffering. If you’ve been injured in an accident and the other driver was at fault you are entitled to compensation for certain economic damages including:
In cases of severe injuries, you may also be entitled to compensation for estimated future medical expenses for surgeries, physical therapy, and at-home care.
In Colorado, you may also file emotional damage claims after an accident including:
Colorado allows for damages for loss of enjoyment of life after catastrophic injuries that significantly impact the quality of your life in a negative way. The amount of damages awarded for loss of enjoyment of life depends on the seriousness of the injury and the age of the accident victim or how many years the person will likely have to live with physical impairments.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages based on an accident victim’s financial loss and pain and suffering, punitive damages are aimed at the at-fault party as a punishment and a deterrent from acting in the same manner again. Colorado law doesn’t allow an accident victim to ask for punitive damages in their complaint. However, in rare cases when an at-fault driver’s behavior was particularly egregious, such as cases of willfully risking the lives of others or acting with intentional malice, a judge might instruct a jury on the possibility of awarding the victim punitive damages as well as compensatory damages.
In most cases of punitive damage awards, Colorado law limits the monetary amount. This type of award may not exceed the amount awarded for compensatory damages unless the defendant has since repeated the willful misconduct or caused further injury or aggravation to the victim, in which case they may award up to 3 times the amount of the compensatory damages.
Every accident claim is unique. The amount of damages you can recover depends on the extent of your injury as well as your portion of the fault in the accident. Your compensation should be enough to cover all of the medical expenses related to your accident as well as money to replace your lost earnings.
Damages awarded for loss of enjoyment of life can’t bring back the life you knew before your accident and injuries, but they can help to ease the financial burden so you can focus on your recovery.
In Colorado, the average financial damages amount is 1.5 times a victim’s financial loss with the additional amount awarded for pain and suffering. If there are questions about your portion of the fault in the accident or your injuries were relatively minor, you’ll recover less, while serious injuries resulting in impairment or disability will gain victims much larger amounts.
Speaking to an attorney about your case can help you to get a better idea of what you could gain from your unique accident claim.
Colorado’s no-fault laws work on a modified system of comparative negligence. While previously victims couldn’t recover damages if they were even partly at fault, that pure comparative fault system was found to be unfair to accident victims. Now Colorado’s modified comparative negligence laws allow accident victims to still recover some financial damages even if they bear a portion of the responsibility for the accident as long as their share of the fault is less than 50%. This modified rule allows many victims to recover at least some of their financial damages from an accident. The Colorado court first decides on the monetary amount of the damage a victim sustained. Then a judge or jury determines the amount of fault each party holds in the accident based on collected evidence. Finally, they reduce the monetary amount by that percentage. For example, if a jury finds that you’ve lost $500,000 in damages and also learns that you were 20% at fault, you’d receive $400,000 after reducing the amount by 20% which would be $100,000.
Because insurance companies understand how this process works, they are likely to offer a claim based on your percentage of the fault, so the amount you’d receive in a settlement out of court would also reflect your portion of the fault in the accident just as it would if the case went to court.
No. Colorado is a fault-based or tort-based car accident state, meaning the driver or party that caused your crash must pay for your related medical bills and vehicle repairs. In a no-fault state, all involved parties file claims with their own insurance providers, regardless of fault. You will need to file a claim against the at-fault driver and prove that he or she caused the crash to recover third-party insurance benefits.
In no-fault states, an injured person’s own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance pays for the medical expenses. Colorado is one of 38 states with at-fault policies, also known as a tort state. This means an accident victim must file a claim for medical expenses against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
On the other hand, if you cause an accident, your property damage liability insurance pays for damages to the other vehicle and your body injury liability insurance pays for medical expenses for the injured person. If the victim’s injury claim extends beyond your coverage limit, you may be personally liable to pay out of pocket.
In order to file a personal injury claim after an accident in Colorado you have to meet the following conditions:
If you meet these conditions, you may file a claim. Your best chance of settling your claim out of court or winning in court is to come prepared with a skilled legal team representing your interests.
If you’ve suffered significant injuries and lost time at work, you should ask your medical team to keep detailed records of your injuries, treatment, and expenses. Together with your accident report and any other relevant information, your Westminster car accident attorney will begin the paperwork process of letting the insurance company involved know you intend to file a claim.
After filing a claim, the process of discovery begins, when both sides investigate every detail of the accident. This may involve reconstructing the event, taking depositions, and interviewing witnesses. When your legal team feels confident about your case, they issue a demand letter to the insurance company. Typically there follows back-and-forth negotiations until both sides reach an acceptable agreement.
The vast majority of claims settle out of court. If the insurance company doesn’t agree to a settlement, the case goes to court where both sides present their case in front of a judge and a jury decides the outcome unless the insurance company agrees to a settlement at any time during the process.
At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., our Westminster car accident attorneys are passionate about helping the injured. Our injury and Westminster wrongful death lawyers have what it takes to help you with any type of injury, including:
We know how to achieve the results that an injured client needs to pay for required medical care and move forward with his or her life. Our Westminster car accident lawyers will pursue maximum financial compensation for your injuries and other losses, even if this means taking your car accident case to trial. We can also represent your family if a loved one passed away in a fatal motor vehicle accident in Westminster.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, a total of 92,510 traffic crashes were reported in 2021, 542 of which were fatal. The most common type of accident was a rear-end collision, followed by a T-bone collision and sideswipe accident. The county with the highest number of traffic accidents was Denver, with 16,237. The top causes of traffic accidents in Westminster and throughout Colorado are:
Driver error is the number one reason behind serious injury and fatal motor vehicle accidents in Colorado. Other risks include dangerous road conditions, such as potholes and missing guardrails, defective vehicle parts, and poor vehicle maintenance. It is important to understand who or what caused your car accident in Westminster before you file an insurance claim.
If car insurance companies had your best interests at heart, you wouldn’t need an attorney to advocate for you after an accident. Unfortunately, as private businesses for profit, insurance companies have profit gains as their motive, not philanthropy. This means their quarterly goal is to bring in more money in premiums than they pay out in damages. Insurance companies hire adjusters whose sole job description is to find ways to minimize payouts or deny a claim completely. Some grounds commonly used by insurance companies to deny claims include:
If your insurance claim was denied on these or any other grounds, you need knowledgeable legal representation to aggressively seek a settlement in your claim even if it means going to court to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
If you’ve been in a car accident, are physically able to operate your vehicle, and your car is still operable, pull over to the shoulder of the road and out of traffic. Call 911 immediately to report the accident. If you are severely injured, remain in place until help arrives. If you are able to move out of the vehicle, you should do so, moving as far away as safely possible if there is any smoke, fire, fumes, or leaking fluid. If you are physically able to give aid and comfort to other injury victims, you should do so. Use your phone to take photos of all involved vehicles and the scene of the accident. Take the names and contact information of all involved drivers and any witnesses to the accident.
Do not answer any questions about your condition, except to the medical professionals assisting you. You should always go to the hospital and have a thorough examination. Tell your doctor about every symptom in every affected part of your body. Be sure to ask your doctor and supporting staff to carefully document your injuries and keep records of all of your related medical expenses.
If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a car accident in Westminster, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation with a Westminster car accident attorney. You may be eligible for financial compensation for your past and future losses. Working with our lawyers can give you greater peace of mind during this difficult time. Learn more by calling Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. for a free case review. We serve clients in Westminster, Denver, Broomfield and throughout Colorado.