Have you been injured in a car accident that was not your fault? Are you facing mounting medical bills, lost wages, and the prospect of a long recovery and no idea how to pay for all of it? Personal injury lawyer Patterson Weaver and his compassionate staff can help. Whether your case is in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Teller County, or the surrounding area, Patterson Weaver Law will help you fight to be fairly compensated for your suffering and losses.
Why do I Need an Accident Attorney?
A car accident can change your life. In addition to physical injury and often long recovery, financial impact of your injuries on yourself and your family can seem overwhelming. Sometimes, the injury is so severe that complete recovery will never happen—your life has been changed forever. Moreover, if someone close to you died in the accident, the emotional trauma can feel debilitating. Auto Accident attorney Patterson Weaver and his capable and caring staff can help you navigate an intimidating and complicated process to help you regain financial security and compensation for what you have lost.
Car accidents in Colorado happen for many reasons. From texting while driving, drunk driving, reckless driving, equipment failure, to a driver simply not being attentive to the road and vehicles around them, severe accidents can have many causes. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 2017 saw more than 600 traffic fatalities in the state. But as tragic as that number is, it represents only a small portion of injury crashes in Colorado. From 2012 to 2017, there were nearly 57,000 crashes in Colorado resulting from distracted driving alone, with nearly half of those resulting in some degree of injury.
While Colorado requires every driver to carry insurance to at least minimum levels, it is not in the interest of insurance companies to pay victims (claimants) fairly for their damages. Insurance companies can be reliably expected to minimize their payouts wherever they can get away with it. In many cases, insurance companies will try to improperly deny responsibility for a claim altogether. An experienced personal injury and auto accident attorney understands how to demonstrate liability, establish damages, and help you get fully compensated for your losses. Simply put, you stand a much better chance of being fairly compensated for your losses if you have the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover?
In Colorado, the driver who causes a car accident is financially responsible for all of the damages resulting from the accident. Common damages resulting from an accident often include property (such as the value of the damaged or destroyed car itself), bodily injury, and lost wages resulting from work time lost.
Legally speaking damages are normally divided into three categories, Economic Damages, Non-Economic Damages, and Punitive Damages.
Economic Damages relate to verifiable monetary loses such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, future lost productivity, the economic value of lost domestic services, and loss of employment or business opportunities.
Non-Economic Damages relate to subjective non-monetary losses such as for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, emotional distress, and loss of consortium (the fancy attorney word for loss of companionship and association with one’s spouse or loved one).
Punitive Damages are damages awarded to punish and deter intentional, reckless behavior, and/or malicious behavior. Punitive damages, when awarded, are not to compensate for a loss and therefore do not qualify as economic or non-economic damages.
The value of damages resulting from a car or auto accident can add up very quickly. Even a single trip to the emergency room can result in thousands of dollars of medical bills. But with ongoing treatment, lost time at work and missed paychecks, and sometimes permanent disability, damages resulting from a car crash can quickly reach tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars. And if your family tragically lost a family member, especially a bread-winner, in an accident, your family may not just be looking at a mountain of bills but the loss of the income of the loved family member that lost their life.
What if the Person at Fault Doesn’t Have any Money to Pay My Damages?
Colorado law requires every driver to carry at least a minimal amount of automobile insurance. Colorado requires two types of mandatory car insurance, Property Liability Coverage and Bodily Injury Coverage. Therefore, even if a person that was at fault does not have much money themselves to pay for your injuries and damages, so long as they carried the mandatory insurance, there should be at least some coverage available to pay your losses.
Property Liability Coverage pays for property loss suffered in an accident and is paid out on behalf of the at-fault driver. So this type of coverage can help pay for your lost vehicle and other property damage suffered in the accident.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage pays for bodily injuries sustained in in an automobile accident and is also paid out on behalf of the at-fault driver. This type of coverage is what helps pay for the medical bills to treat the injuries you suffered as well as needed ongoing treatment.
What if the Person That Caused the Collision Did Not Have Insurance?
Insurance policies in Colorado must offer customers the option of including Uninsured and Underinsured coverage in the policy. This type of insurance can be included in your own policy and becomes important if you are hit by someone that either did not carry the required automobile insurance, or perhaps carried insurance but with limits inadequate to cover the damages you suffered. If your policy does not include Uninsured or Underinsured motorist coverage, you should talk with your insurance agent about adding it, as it can be invaluable if the at-fault driver did not carry proper insurance himself or herself.
These various types of insurance policies protect everyone involved in a collision. They protect the at-fault driver through providing an entity to pay the damages for which they are responsible and thus often preserving their own economic livelihood, and they protect the victim of an accident by ensuring that the victim is justly compensated for the damages they suffered due to the fault of someone else. However, because insurance companies are for-profit entities, it is not in their own economic interests to easily and willingly pay out what may be a fair amount to compensate a victim for losses. Therefore it is crucial that you have a quality legal team on your side to help you navigate the process and receive the compensation for your injuries that you deserve.
While no one can heal the trauma you may have suffered, a dedicated and capable personal injury and auto accident attorney can help you receive just compensation to relieve the financial burden on your family. Call car accident attorney Patterson Weaver today for a free case evaluation. Life happens. Let us help.