In 2009, automobile accidents were among the leading causes of death in the United States, and over 2.3 million U.S. adults were treated with emergency medical care as a result of auto accidents1. Despite our public transportation infrastructure being improved continually, Denver is no exception to this unfortunate reality. If you have been injured in a car accident in the Denver-metro area, it is critical that you understand the proper way to move forward so that you can have the best chance possible at receiving the greatest possible settlement. Below, we have detailed some of the most important things for you to know in the time following a car accident.

If you still have questions regarding your case, we are here to help. We always offer complimentary case consultations, so give a Denver car accident attorney a call today at (303) 321-3272 to schedule an appointment at our Denver meeting location.

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What is a Personal Injury?

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What to Do after Your Accident

The first thing to understand is that it’s in the best interest of your insurance company, and the insurance company of the responsible party(s) to do everything in their power to insure the lowest possible settlement. One of the ways they do this is by encouraging quick settlements, as quick settlements mean that the full cost of your injuries are not able to be realized. They will also try to make you make a statement or take actions that will harm your ability to receive a fair settlement. The following steps will help you avoid these tricks and ultimately receive a fair settlement:

  1. Get any necessary medical attention

    This should be a given, but before you do anything else, ensure your safety and the safety of anyone you are with by seeking medical attention for any injuries.

  2. Report the accident to the police

    Typically, the police will come to the scene of the accident, and you will be able to report the accident from your perspective. If for whatever reason you are unable to file a police report at the time of the accident, be sure to contact the Denver police department so that your side of the story becomes official.

  3. Document critical information from the site of the accident

    The more information you can document from the site of the accident, the better your attorney will be able to achieve a fair settlement. Always get the insurance information from all of the involved parties, and if you can, it is also beneficial to get photos, as well as the names and contact information of any witnesses.

  4. Talk to a car accident attorney, not to insurance reps

    Remember, it is the job of the insurance reps to try and minimize the amount that they actually pay out. The best way to make sure that you ultimately receive a fair settlement is to talk to an attorney before making any statements to anyone involved with the insurance companies.

  5. The statute of limitation in Colorado is 3 years

    From the time of your accident in Denver, you will have 3 years to file a lawsuit. It is important that you consult an attorney soon after your accident to ensure that your time to file does not run out, causing you to miss out on a fair settlement.

Colorado Liability Insurance Laws

In Denver, and throughout Colorado, drivers are required to maintain liability insurance including proof of said insurance in their vehicle. Colorado’s minimum liability insurance requirements are as follows:

  • $25,000―per person for bodily injury
  • $50,000―per accident for bodily injury
  • $15,000―per accident for property damage

What does this mean for your case? It means that if the costs of your injury or damage to your property exceed these coverage amounts, it is up to your attorney to prove this, and take the case to trial in order to secure the settlement you are entitled to.

Who is Liable?

In a given auto accident case there may be one or more people or entities who are liable for paying damages. First and foremost, the driver whose negligence caused the accident may be liable. In the case that the person who caused the accident was on the job, their employer (and their employer’s insurer) may be responsible. Additionally, if the accident was the result of an element for which a government agency is responsible (ie. damaged roads, unsafe or improper demarcation of construction, etc.) the responsible agency may be liable for damages.

Proving Liability

In Colorado, it is the responsibility of the victim of an auto accident to prove liability. This is why having an experienced attorney with a reputation for taking cases to trial is so critical in securing the maximum settlement for your injuries. In order to prove liability, your lawyer must be able to prove negligence, and that the negligence caused (at least in-part) the accident.

Our Client’s Stories

Brian’s Story

Brian was involved in a serious accident when a car pulled in front of him causing him to collide with that car. Brian’s car was totaled and he was rushed to the ER where he was treated for a severely broken leg which required extensive surgery during which a metal was rod was placed in his leg. Even with the rod Brian’s injured leg ended up being shorter than his other leg. The injury required extensive therapy. See More

Brian was an executive with a local television station at the time of the accident and as time went on he noticed increasing difficulties with his memory, concentration and ability to process information. Brian was eventually diagnosed as having a closed head injury. As a result of these cognitive difficulties Brian eventually lost his job.

McCormick & Murphy brought suit against the other driver, and her insurance company paid their insurance policy limits of $100,000. McCormick & Murphy then brought suit against Brian’s own insurance company for underinsured motorist benefits, and his insurance company eventually settled his claim for $1,000,000.

Lionel’s Story

Lionel, who was only in his 20’s at the time of the accident, was injured when he was rear-ended in his low-rider pickup truck while stopped at a stop light. He suffered a bulging disc in his low back as a result of the accident. See More

Since the driver of the car that ran into Lionel’s car lived in another state, the case was litigated in Federal Court in Denver. The insurance company for the other driver only offered $15,000 to settle Lionel’s case and so the case proceeded to trial. Lionel’s doctor appeared on his behalf, and another doctor from Florida, where Lionel lived for a period of time, testified by video tape on his behalf. After a week in trial the jury found in Lionel’s favor, and a judgment was entered in his favor of over $170,000.
Kit’s Story

Kit was injured in a very serious car accident when a young girl ran a stop sign and hit Kit’s car broad side. Kit suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and back. Kit had her seat belt on, and the force of the impact also caused a re-tearing of a prior hernia repair. As a result of this hernia re-injury, Kit’s surgeon recommended that Kit give up her part time business of hanging wall paper. Kit was the mother of 3 young children at the time, and the loss of the part time income was a serious setback financially for Kit and her family. See More

The other driver’s insurance company took the position that the hernia tear was not related to the auto accident since Kit had a prior hernia tear. The insurance company made a very low offer. The case proceeded to a jury trial and a jury found in Kit’s favor, and a judgment including interest and costs was entered for over $140,000.
Kathleen’s Story

Kathleen, a 36-year-old married professional woman at a high-tech company, was seriously injured in a rear end motor vehicle collision on the Fourth of July weekend. The right lane of highway traffic was closed for construction and Kathleen slowed and stopped behind another vehicle. See More

The driver of a motor-home slammed on his brakes too late and demolished the back end of Kathleen’s Honda. Kathleen suffered a temporary loss of consciousness, TMJ, neck, and back injuries. Her worst injuries were those associated with a mild traumatic brain injury.

She developed severe headaches and eventually lost her job at the high tech company. She no longer could participate in her hobbies such as crochet work. She and her husband tried to settle her claims on their own, without an attorney. The motor-home driver’s insurance company only offered $24,000 to settle her claims.

She hired Denver car accident attorneys McCormick & Murphy. Suit was filed and the insurance company only increased their settlement offer to $60,000. The case proceeded towards trial and, five years after the accident, on the day before trial, the defense attorney offered payment of the full liability policy limits of $250,000 to settle Kathleen’s claims.

Subsequently, McCormick & Murphy needed to file an insurance bad faith civil action against her auto insurance company in order for Kathleen to obtain payment of her auto insurance benefits. Prior to trial, the claims for insurance benefits were settled for $320,000.

Denver Car Accident Client Review:

Once again, thank you and your staff for an excellent recovery on my case of $200,000, and thank you for getting the liens down so low that I got a fair amount of the settlement. I really appreciate all you have done for me.

Reviewing: McCormick & Murphy’s Car Accident Legal Services
Date published: 2012-07-30
Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars

Talk to an Attorney

McCormick & Murphy operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only collect attorney fees if there is a recovery in your case. If you are in need of a Denver car accident lawyer, please contact us in any of the following ways:
Phone: (303) 321-3272
At our Denver meeting location:
1547 Gaylord Street, Suite 303
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 321-3272

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Disclaimer: Information provided on this site is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information. Under no circumstances should the information on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal action. Always get a formal case evaluation from a licensed attorney if you think you might have a personal injury lawsuit.