Getting A Lawyer For A Car Accident
Car accidents in Denver are common. In a typical year, there are more than 20,000 car accidents in Denver. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries. These types of injuries are life-altering and financially devastating, as the injured person will require a lifetime of medical care and therapy. Negotiating a settlement with an insurance company is challenging, and it is imperative that you have an experienced injury attorney fighting for you and protecting your interests. The insurance company will undoubtedly have experienced lawyers on their side. In order to receive fair compensation, you should speak to an experienced Colorado and Wyoming car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
Distracted Driving Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 16% of all motor vehicle crashes are caused by distracted driving. In 2012, there were more than 3,000 people killed and more than 400,000 people injured in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted driving. With the proliferation of cell phones and texting devices, there are more distracted drivers on the roads than ever. In addition to talking on the cell phone or texting, many drivers end up in an accident as a result of other distractions including adjusting the radio, eating, talking to other people in the car, or adjusting the heat or air conditioning. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, the Colorado car accident attorneys at The Mahoney Law Firm, P.C. can help you receive compensation and allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
Medical Doctor and Lawyer with Experience in Car Accident Cases
Dennis Mahoney, M.D., is not only an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney; he is also a licensed medical doctor. We understand the nature of the physical injuries caused by the accident and can explain the science and medicine to the jury. Our attorneys are also skilled at cross-examining the doctors who are hired by insurance companies and who will try to minimize your injuries. We have achieved successful judgments and settlements on behalf of hundreds of injured victims.
The Mahoney Law Firm, P.C. Has a Proven Track Record of Success
The Mahoney Law Firm, P.C. obtained a 5.2 million dollar judgment for a young man who sustained a brain injury while riding as a passenger in a rental car that was involved in an accident on the highway. Passenger injured or rental cars involved in accidents? Cases involving rental cars often are more complex because there are usually multiple insurance policies involved. In addition to the driver’s liability insurance policy, sometimes there will be additional insurance purchased through the rental car company. Additionally, if a credit card was used to pay for the rental, many credit card companies provide additional coverage. Our law firm has experience in sorting out these issues and finding all available insurance coverage, so that our clients are adequately compensated for their injuries.
Why Hire Us for Your Injury Case?
Your car crash case will get the personal attention it deserves. We do not take dozens of personal injury cases like other Denver law firms. Nor do we advertise on television or the radio. We believe that the best results are achieved by only accepting a limited number of cases and giving those cases the attention that is warranted. When you call us, your call will be returned by an attorney, not a paralegal or a secretary. Once your case is filed, all of the attorneys in our firm will be intimately familiar with the status of your case, and we will keep you informed about what is going on. You will not get lost in the shuffle.
Why Hire a Lawyer if I Can Just Negotiate Directly with the Insurance Company?
Some people who have been injured in a car accident wonder if they even need an attorney. Oftentimes, the insurance company will make an offer to you to settle your case before you have even talked to an attorney. The reason that the insurance company will try to settle your case right away is because insurance companies know that they can negotiate a cheaper settlement with someone who does not have legal representation. Moreover, the insurance company will ask you to sign paperwork giving up your rights, or they might ask you to give a recorded statement which may end up being used against you in a lawsuit. The legal system is complicated. If you have been hurt in a car accident, do not make a bad situation even worse by trying to handle the case on your own. You should consult with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible.
The Mahoney Law Firm, P.C. Does Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
What does this mean? You do not have to pay The Mahoney Law Firm, P.C. unless we obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf. We do not bill you by the hour. You do not pay any attorney’s fees unless and until a recovery is made on your behalf. Contact us for a free consultation at 303-800-3168.
Dangerous Road Conditions are a Cause of Car Accidents in Denver
Many of the car accidents in Colorado happen in the winter when snow and ice conditions make driving treacherous. Anyone who has lived in Colorado knows how quickly the weather can change. Colorado also has, on average, more than 300 days of sunshine per year. Glare from the sun, especially when combined with icy or snow-packed roads, leads to many car accidents in Colorado.
Dangerous Intersections in Denver
In addition to weather-related car accidents, many accidents in Denver occur at dangerous or busy intersections. The Denver Regional Council of Governments identified the eight busiest intersections in Denver as follows:
- University Boulevard and 1st Avenue: 21,940 vehicles per day.
- University Boulevard and Hampden Avenue: 20,439 vehicles per day
- Colorado Boulevard and Hampden Avenue: 19,397 vehicles per day
- Monaco Parkway and Hampden Avenue: 18,490 vehicles per day
- Colorado Boulevard and 6th Avenue: 18,248 vehicles per day
- Colorado Boulevard and Hampden Avenue: 18,074 vehicles per day
- Colorado Boulevard and Mexico Avenue: 17,705 vehicles per day
- Colorado Boulevard and 17th Avenue: 17,387 vehicles per day
Dangerous Intersections in Colorado Springs
According to a 2011 story from KOAA Channel 5 News in Colorado Springs, the most dangerous intersection in Colorado Springs was Interstate 25 and Woodman Road, where 59 accidents occurred during a 9 month period. Six of the ten most dangerous intersections were along Interstate 25. The top ten most dangerous intersections in Colorado Springs were as follows:
- I-25 and East Woodmen Road
- I-25 and West Cimarron Street
- I-25 and West Bijou Street
- I-25 and West Fillmore Street
- East Platte Avenue and North Academy Boulevard
- East Pikes Peak Avenue and North Academy Boulevard
- Austin Bluffs Parkway and North Academy Boulevard
- I-25 and S. Nevada Avenue
- I-25 and West Garden of the Gods Road
- North Academy Boulevard and North Carefree Circle
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents
What should I do if I am in a car accident?
You should try to document as much information as possible. Obviously, you need to get the name and insurance information of the driver of the other car. You should also get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. In addition, obtain the names of the paramedics and police officers who show up at the scene of the accident. Do not leave the scene of the accident, as this can actually be a crime. Call the police and file an accident report. If your car is drivable, move it to the side of the road, so that other cars don’t crash into it. Take photographs of your car, the other cars involved in the accident, as well as any skid marks on the road.
Should I be seen by a doctor if I don’t think I have been hurt?
Yes. It is not uncommon for people to feel okay immediately after an accident, but then begin to notice an injury days or weeks later. If you have just been in an accident, you will be full of adrenaline which can mask the full extent of the injuries that you have sustained. Also, signs of a concussion cannot be easily diagnosed by a lay person. Only a health care provider is qualified to test you for signs and symptoms of a concussion.
What if the other driver doesn’t have any insurance?
If your own automobile insurance policy provides uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to receive compensation if the at-fault driver doesn’t have any insurance. There are other situations where coverage may be available when the other driver doesn’t have car insurance. For instance, if the at fault driver was employed and was acting within the scope and course of his or her employment when the accident occurred, the employer may have insurance coverage for the accident. It is best to consult with an experienced Denver personal injury attorney in order to make sure that you are aware of all available insurance coverage.
Do I need to report the accident to my insurance company?
Yes. You are under an obligation to cooperate with your own insurance company. If you don’t notify them of an accident in a timely manner, they might deny coverage.
Should I call the police?
Yes. It is a good idea to call the police, even if you do not think that you have been seriously injured. If you begin to notice your injuries a few days after the accident, it will be helpful to have a police accident report which documents the details of the accident and which confirms that the other driver was at fault.
Should I give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company?
No. This can only result in you hurting your own case. Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster’s job is to resolve your case for as little money as possible. The insurance adjuster is experienced at getting people to make statements that can be used to minimize the value of your case. Before you talk to anyone from the other driver’s insurance company, you should have an experienced attorney advising you. If the insurance adjuster from the at fault driver’s insurance company contacts you, you have no obligation to speak to that person. You should politely inform the insurance adjuster that you are represented by an attorney and ask that they call your attorney directly.
If I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, can I still bring a lawsuit?
Yes. If the other driver was at fault, you can still be entitled to compensation even if you were not wearing a seatbelt. However, the fact that you were not wearing a seatbelt can be used to show that your injuries are more severe than they would have been if you had been wearing a seatbelt.
Will I have to go to court in order to get a fair settlement?
Statistically speaking, most cases settle before they go to trial. However, you will usually have to file a lawsuit and proceed with litigation before you will be offered a fair settlement by the insurance companies. Moreover, even in cases where the other driver was clearly at fault, it is not uncommon for the insurance company to refuse to offer a reasonable settlement without going to trial.
If I was a passenger, can I make a claim against the driver of the other car or the driver of the car that I was riding in?
Yes. If you were a passenger in one of the cars involved in the accident, you can file a claim.
What if the insurance company is disputing the extent of my injuries?
In virtually every case, the insurance company will take the position that your injuries are not as severe as you believe. Indeed, insurance companies will often accuse you of outright faking your injuries or “malingering.” The insurance company will usually hire a medical doctor of their choosing to examine you and then testify that your injuries are not as serious as you are claiming them to be. Insurance companies are in business to make money. They do not make money by being fair to injured people. Rather, they make money by trying to settle claims for as little money as possible.
Do I need a lawyer?
Yes. In particular, you need an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases and who has experience fighting insurance companies. You are likely to be unwittingly taken advantage of by the insurance company if you do not have someone with legal training advising you.
The Mahoney Law Firm, P.C. provides a free initial case review with one of our lawyers. Call now to speak to a Denver personal injury attorney today about your auto accident injury claim at 303-800-3168. You may also contact us online.
Steps to Take if You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident
If you have been in an automobile accident, there are certain steps that you can take to help your case against the negligent driver who caused the accident:
1. Write down important information regarding the accident. Make sure to get the name, address, telephone number, and insurance information of the other drivers involved in the accident. You should also obtain contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident, as well as the contact information of any paramedics or police officers who come to the accident scene. You can also obtain a copy of the accident report once it is processed.
2. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your first priority is your health. Make sure that you are seen by a qualified health care provider, and make sure that you do so without delay. Depending upon the type and severity of your injuries, you may need to be seen by an orthopedic surgeon, a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, or a pain medicine specialist. Make sure that you go to all of your follow up appointments and that you listen to your doctor’s advice and instructions. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy in order to treat your injuries, and it is important that you attend your physical therapy sessions so that you can make as complete a recovery as possible.
3. Do not sign anything before you talk to an attorney. Insurance company representatives may try to get you to sign documents when it is clearly not in your best interest to do so. In order to protect your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated, you should contact an experienced Colorado car accident attorney before signing anything. In addition, insurance company representatives may ask you to give a recorded statement to them. Do not do so unless you have consulted with an experienced personal injury attorney first.
4. Report the accident to your insurance company. Automobile insurance policies require that you notify your insurance company in a timely manner. Make sure that you contact your insurance company soon after the accident and tell them that you were involved in an accident.
5. Contact an experienced attorney who specializes in personal injury cases. There are a lot of attorneys out there, but only a small percentage of those attorneys specialize in the personal injury field. You want a lawyer who has obtained large settlements and has tried cases and achieved successful verdicts. The attorneys at the Mahoney Law Firm, P.C. are all experienced in the field of personal injury. All of the attorneys at our law firm have been chosen as Colorado Super Lawyers. We have the experience to obtain the best possible outcome for your injury claim.
How to Avoid a Car Accident
Car accidents are common. Most people will be involved in a car accident at some point during their life. But there are certain steps that one can take to reduce the chances of being in a car accident:
- Before you even leave the driveway or garage, make sure that your tires are inflated to the proper pressure and that all of the engine warning lights are off.
- Always check your “blind spots” before changing lanes. This is especially important at night, when there is reduced visibility.
- Do not tailgate. Following the car in front of you too closely makes it harder to stop in time if the car in front of you suddenly reduces speed.
- Do not text and drive. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents.
- Obey the speed limit. Statistics show that the faster you are going, the more likely it is that you will be involved in an accident.
- Use extra caution when the weather is bad. Heavy rain or ice/snow on the road makes it more difficult to control your vehicle.
- Always use your turn signal lights before making a turn.
- Use your eyes to scan the area of road in front of you. Don’t just fixate on the back of the car in front of you. Make sure you are aware of what is happening several hundred feet in front of you.
- Make sure that your side mirrors and rearview mirrors are positioned properly.
- Do not drink and drive. This safety tip is obvious, but it is alarming the number of people who get behind the wheel after they have been drinking.
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