If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, you can qualify for financial compensation from one or more parties. To increase your odds of receiving fair compensation, work with a Westminster drunk driving accident attorney at Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. We are dedicated and experienced personal injury lawyers in Westminster who can help you with a drunk driving accident case.
Despite known risks to others, hundreds of drivers get behind the wheel while intoxicated in Colorado every year.
What Can a Westminster Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Do for You?
With a Westminster drunk driving accident lawyer representing your interests during a drunk driving accident claim, you can rest assured that a car insurance company won’t take advantage of you. Your lawyer will prove your losses and fight for the full value of your claim from an insurer after suffering devastating injuries in a drunk driving crash.
Obtaining fair compensation is especially important if your accident gave you serious injuries that will require future foreseeable medical care. Your Westminster car accident lawyer will passionately advocate for your rights, investigate the crash, seek evidence against the drunk driver, file claims paperwork and take your car accident case to trial in Westminster, if necessary, for the results that you deserve.
Compensation Available From a Drunk Driver in Colorado
In Colorado, the fault-based car accident law states that the driver or person who is at fault for causing a crash must pay for the damages, typically through his or her automobile insurance. All drivers in Colorado are required to maintain minimum amounts of liability insurance to pay for any accidents that they cause. It is up to you or your lawyer to prove that a drunk driver caused your crash to be eligible for coverage.
If you succeed in proving drunk driving – such as by using evidence like blood alcohol tests, a confession by the driver, eyewitness statements, expert testimony and a DUI criminal conviction – you could receive financial compensation for several economic and noneconomic losses. This includes the cost of your medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and an amount deemed appropriate for your pain and suffering. If a loved one lost his or her life because of a drunk driver, your family may also be eligible for death benefits.
Common Injuries Sustained in Drunk Driving Accidents
Because alcohol consumption negatively impacts reaction times, coordination, and judgment, drunk drivers cause car accidents that range from minor to catastrophic. Poor decision-making due to inebriation results in accidents such as head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, wrong-way accidents, and pedestrian impacts. These accidents result in many types of injuries from mild to severe and cause many wrongful deaths. Some injuries commonly resulting from accidents caused by drunk drivers include:
Whiplash and neck injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) ranging from concussions to severe brain damage, permanent impairment, and death.
Drunk drivers cause accidents that are otherwise preventable, often resulting in severe injuries and death for innocent drivers and pedestrians.
Proving Liability in a Drunk Driving Accident Case
Drunk driving is a crime, but that doesn’t automatically make a drunk driver liable in a civil case even when they’re found guilty of vehicular assault due to drunk driving in a criminal court and face criminal sentencing. In order to gain damages in a civil case, the injured party or family member must prove liability and also prove the negative impacts on their life physically, financially, and emotionally to show they’ve sustained damages from the plaintiff’s actions.
For successful accident claims, the victim’s lawyer must prove the at-fault driver was negligent. Under Colorado’s Negligence Per Se Law, a drunk driver is presumed negligent because they’ve violated the law. This legal standard requires proving the following:
That the drunk driver violated a safety law or ordinance
That the safety law’s design was meant to prevent the type of damages suffered by the injured party
That the plaintiff is an individual the law was meant to protect from this type of harm
That the driver’s conduct in violating the critical safety law directly caused the injuries suffered by the victim
A Westminster drunk driving accident attorney knows exactly how to meet this standard of evidence for the highest likelihood of a successful drunk driving accident claim or litigation in court. Your attorney can show that the driver’s act of negligence in getting behind the wheel of a car while drunk breached the duty of care that others on the road have the right to expect and that your injuries resulted from this breach.
How Long Do I Have to File a Drunk Driving Accident Claim?
In Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing an accident claim is 3 years from the date of the accident for those who sustained injuries, regardless of the cause of the accident. If the accident resulted in a death, a qualifying family member has 2 years to file a wrongful death claim in a drunk driving accident case. Other drivers, injured passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists injured by a drunk driver must comply with this time limit. Filing a claim too late will result in the court throwing out the case.
The time limit for filing accident claims helps to minimize the degradation of evidence over time so Colorado’s justice system can decide cases while the evidence is still available and fresh. One exception to this rule applies in cases where an injury wasn’t discovered until later, in which case the 3-year limit begins on the date of the discovery or when the victim should reasonably have discovered the injury.
For victims under age 18 or mentally incapacitated victims, the law may allow time beyond the statute of limitations to file a claim.
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident in Westminster
If you get injured in a car accident and you believe that the other driver is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, take the following steps to protect yourself:
Notify the police by calling 911 right away. Explain that you believe the driver is drunk.
Check yourself and others for any injuries.
Exchange information with the drunk driver, but don’t try to confront or detain the driver.
Take photographs and videos of the scene of the accident before you leave.
Capture images that may help prove drunk driving, such as alcohol containers in the front seat.
Speak to any eyewitnesses and get their contact information.
Visit a hospital in Westminster immediately for medical care for your injuries.
Obtain copies of your medical records and the police accident report.
Call the drunk driver’s car insurance company to initiate a claim.
Contact a drunk driving accident attorney for assistance protecting your rights.
Get help after a drunk driving accident in Westminster by calling our firm to speak to a Westminster drunk driving accident attorney at Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C.
Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Westminster Today
Driving under the influence is a highly dangerous driver behavior that can result in poor judgment and decision-making, reduced reaction times, slowed reflexes, and reckless driver errors. If a drunk or drugged driver caused your recent car accident in Westminster, Colorado or the surrounding area, contact Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. to request a free legal consultation about your options. We are leading DUI car accident litigators in Colorado who can help you seek justice by holding a drunk driver accountable. Call us today to speak to a Westminster drunk driving accident attorney.