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The biggest fear many people face when getting behind the wheel of a car is being involved in a car accident. There are over 100,000 car accidents and hundreds of deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents each year in Colorado, making this fear a valid fear for Colorado residents.

Even if you are the most defensive driver on the road and have a perfect driving record, you can't control those around you. One wrong move or driver error from someone else on the road can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property damage to your vehicle. This is, of course, dwarfed in comparison to the mental and physical damage that can be done, including PTSD, permanent disabilities, and even death. 

A mental or bodily injury may even sneak up on you, weeks or months after the motor vehicle accident. While a mechanic can tell you what's wrong with your car relatively quickly after an accident, what felt like a sore neck from a seatbelt rash can quickly become constant pain and a serious injury. Because of this, the statute of limitations is 3 years for car accidents in Colorado.

That means that you have a 3-year period of time after the accident to sue the at-fault driver for damages. Our Denver auto accident lawyers are ready to help you, no matter how far into that time window you are. 

What Can I Sue For After a Car Accident?

Colorado is an at-fault state, meaning that you are able to sue the at-fault parties or file a car accident claim with their insurance if you want.  If you feel as though the accident settlement given to you by insurance wasn't enough, or they refuse your claim altogether, you can still sue the other driver through the Colorado court system.

While most people know you can sue for damages to your vehicle, that's not all. There are many other types of damages you can sue for besides property damage, including

Damages You Can Collect For a Car Accident in Colorado

In extreme cases, as needed, you can also sue for the loss of life of a car accident victim, through a wrongful death claim. Fatal car accident settlements can reach up into the millions, depending on the circumstances of the accident. This claim can include any funeral expenses accrued from deaths caused by the accident. 

During car accident lawsuits, the judge may even add punitive damages onto your settlement, on top of the rest of your settlement. These extra damages are to punish the person responsible whose behavior was grossly negligent, or even intentional. 

What Kind of Injuries Can I Sue For?

You can receive financial compensation for all kinds of accident injuries after car accidents. Whether it was a minor rear-end accident, or you were t-boned and your car was totaled, you can be paid damages in a fair settlement for your medical costs. 

In smaller auto accidents this may only amount to a couple of hundred dollars for doctor visits and medication for a minor scrape, but for more serious accidents this could be the treatment of broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or even full or partial paralyzation.

Some car accident victims spend months or years attending physical therapy from physical damage caused by accidents. In these cases, you can and will be compensated for what can potentially be hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills. Law firms with extensive experience, such as the legal team at DCAL, can make sure you walk away from the courtroom with a fair settlement to cover the cost of your injuries and medical bills. 

No matter how large or small an accident is, it is a traumatic experience. Many drivers experience some type of nervousness when returning to the road, and in some cases, this can develop into a serious mental injury. Nearly 9% of drivers develop minor to severe PTSD after accidents, making it the number 1 cause of PTSD in the United States, outside of military service. This can include a fear of driving, flashbacks, night terrors, and panic attacks. In some extreme cases, the injured party may have difficulty driving at all, or being in a vehicle. 

Compensation if You Aren't Able to Work

Not everyone lives in an area with public transportation or ride-sharing services. If your vehicle is un-drivable, in a mechanics shop being repaired, or totaled, you may not be able to go anywhere, including to your job. While some people are able to work from home for short periods of time, many jobs don't have this option. This can mean missing out on days, weeks, or even months of income. The longer the time period, the more likely it is that you may even lose your job or be fired because of your inability to get back to work. 

In these cases, you are able to sue for the damages caused by your loss of income. This can be done in several ways, including suing for what your paychecks would have been if you had been able to go to work. These financial losses were through no fault of your own, and you shouldn't be punished through financial hardship because of something that was not your fault.

What About the Money I Spent While Waiting on a Settlement?

Out-of-pocket expenses can cover a range of other expenses and damages experienced after a collision. Accident victims often wait months and even years for their settlements, and someone has to pay for the things you need while you're waiting to be paid for your damages. The range of these damages is immense, as every person and every case is different. 

contact our attorneys to learn what damages you can recover after a car accident

Did you have to pay to rent a replacement vehicle after the accident? Did you have to buy a bus pass, or use a taxi or Uber? Did you have to pay extra fees for the delivery of groceries or necessities because you were unable to make it to the store without your car? Did you have to buy first-aid supplies to care for your injuries? Did you have to file a claim with your own insurance and pay a deductible while waiting for your settlement? The possibilities are endless. 

What About Insurance Costs? 

Colorado's minimum required automobile liability insurance is $25,000 for a single person who is injured or has died, $50,000 if there were several people in the no-fault party and $15,000 for property damage. That is a maximum of a $65,000 settlement if the at-fault party has minimum coverage. Medical expenses after a physical injury can easily double that number alone, not including damages to your vehicle or your out-of-pocket expenses.

If your accident was small, and there was minor mental or physical damage, filing accident claims with the at-fault party's insurance company may be the best plan of action. But if your damages were greater or it was a major collision, you have severe injuries, or the insurance policy refuses to pay out or settle, your best course of action would be to contact an accident attorney to ensure your settlement provides you fair compensation for your damages and medical expenses through an accident lawsuit. 

Some drivers are uninsured. In these cases, even if the damages are small, a civil lawsuit is the only way you will be able to see a return for your damages at all. In some extreme and special cases, like drunk driving or intentional accidents, or road rage accidents, courts are likely to award punitive damages to punish the responsible party for being a negligent driver. 

Be Prepared: What to do After a Car Accident in Denver

How do I Start a Car Accident Claim?

Your first step after an accident should be to call law enforcement to file a police report and report the accident if you are able to. An accident report can be imperative in helping prove your side of the story in court, and is normally required in all cases when filing a claim with auto insurance companies, or suing in civil court.

You should also get the license plate number, the name, and the insurance information from the at-fault driver. Any other information can help, such as the names of the officers on the scene, dashcam video if you have a dashcam or any witnesses who will be able to testify in your favor. Even what time of day it was and what the weather conditions were at the time of the accident can help you. 

The average car accident or personal injury lawsuit in Colorado is 1.5 times your damages, there's no reason to wait. Whether you need help filing an insurance claim, need to sue after a collision, are having issues with settlement negotiations, no matter your types of injuries or the damages you're seeking, call the experienced attorneys at DCAL to get started on your journey to your settlement.

During your initial consultation with the law firm, they will discuss with you your case, the type of claim you want to make, your evidence, and what they believe to be the best legal strategy for your case, as well as the legal process for your case. As experienced car accident and Colorado personal injury attorneys, the legal team at DCAL can help you no matter your circumstances. 

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