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Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyers

100+ Years' Experience Representing the Injured in Colorado

Every year, it is estimated that between 2 and 3 million Americans are injured in a motor vehicle accident. That is separate from the tragic 34,000 that sustain life-ending injuries in a car accident. Statistics like these prove to show that as common as car accidents are, their potential to cause damage and injury should never be underestimated.

According to these figures, an injury car accident is likely to occur every 14 seconds on average. Each one of these accidents involves its own victims, unique difficulties and a separate set of damages. The costs of car accidents can increase exponentially when injuries are involved as the victims now face the cost of medical expenses and the loss of wages on top of the property damage to their vehicle.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, we are here to help. Clawson & Clawson, LLP is a team of skilled car crash attorneys that have been serving residents of Colorado Springs, Parker, Pueblo and surrounding cities for years. We bring more than 100 years of collective experience to the table that we use to secure maximum financial compensation for you. We have been honored by many local and national legal organizations due to our experience and skill.

5 / 5 stars

“I have used Micheal for my auto accident. I wish Michael and I would have crossed paths many years ago! He is a down-to-earth lawyer, very trustworthy, and affordable! His attention to detail is outstanding and he communicates effectively. Michael is an aggressive lawyer who is knowledgeable in all areas of law he practices. I am very SATISFIED with the outcome of my case and will continue to use Michael.”

- Rich

Call (719) 602-5888 or complete an online form to make an appointment with our Colorado Springs car accident lawyers.

Why Do You Need an Auto Accident Lawyer?

Many people wonder why they need a car accident attorney if they can just go through their car insurance. While you do not have to retain an attorney for an auto accident claim, doing so can be extremely beneficial. Far too many car accident victims receive settlements that are much lower than they deserve, or could have been achieved help from legal counsel. Additionally, car insurance claims can become highly complex, and having an advocate by your side who can explain and guide you through this situation could make all the difference in your case.

Unfortunately, insurance companies are not on the driver's side and will do whatever it takes to reduce the value of your claim. Our Colorado Springs car accident attorneys can investigate your case and advocate on your behalf so that you receive maximum compensation for any vehicle damage, medical expenses, and even emotional suffering such as PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder).

Money won in a car accident settlement can be used to pay for dozens of items, including:

  • Past, present, and future medical bills
  • Any necessary surgeries
  • Lost wages
  • Rehabilitation
  • Car repair/a new vehicle

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Colorado Springs

Nearly 10 million people are involved in car accidents on an annual basis, and almost all of them could have been prevented. According to the Centers for Disease Control, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States.

While there are dozens of issues and events that can lead to car accidents, the top three causes of car accidents in America are:

Thousands of people get behind the wheel after consuming alcoholic beverages on a daily basis. In 2010, more than 1.41 million drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Accidents caused by drunk driving are 100% preventable, but continue to occur due to people's irresponsible behavior. Speeding is another common issue that leads to a majority of car accidents in the United States. It contributes to one third of all car accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Not surprisingly, distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents. Drivers tend to partake in various activities while behind the wheel, including:

  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Texting
  • Eating
  • Talking to other passengers
  • Applying makeup

While individuals may think it will save them time to partake in such activities while driving, it can cause a serious, and often deadly, car accident. Those who use cell phones and other hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into a car accident than those who strictly pay attention to the road.

Types of Car Accident-Related Injuries

When it comes to car accidents, the types of injuries that are likely to occur depend on how serious the accident was. Factors that may contribute to the seriousness of an automobile accident involve the speed of the vehicles, the direction of impact and the size or weight of the injury victims. With all of these factors contributing, even seemingly minor fender benders can result in subtle and unseen injuries.

Even if you were involved in a minor collision, you may find yourself suffering from the following injuries:

  • Whiplash
  • Headaches
  • Neck Pain
  • Seat-Belt Burns
  • Lower-Back Pain
  • Muscle Sprains and Strains
  • Vertigo (Dizziness)

While these may not seem like they are serious injuries, they can be very burdensome and it is important that you seem medical or chiropractic treatment so that they do not become worse. If you are being held back from seeking treatment because of the prospect of having to pay the expenses, you should know that even minor injuries can be included as damages in your car accident claim.

Catastrophic Car Accident Injuries

Unfortunately, car accidents do not always limit their damage to minor injuries. Every year, thousands of lives are permanently ruined and even lost due to serious car accidents. These injuries are considered catastrophic because of the extent of damage to the body, to the victim's life and to their ability to live independent of outside help.

As mentioned before, a car accident can either cause minor injuries or major injuries depending on a few determining factors. For example, a rear-end accident can either be a minor "fender-bender" or a major fatal accident depending on how fast the car came from behind to collide with the other car.

Injuries that are often associated with serious car accidents can include:

When injuries such as these occur, it increases the size of damages in the car accident. Since the impact, cost and duration of these catastrophic injuries is much greater than minor injuries, the potential amount of compensation one can claim is much larger. Injuries such as traumatic brain injury or limb amputation can change one's life forever, keeping them from an independent lifestyle and from their ability to work. Such impacts increase the long-term costs of injuries.

If an accident caused by someone else leads an innocent victim to sustain these serious injuries, that driver will be liable for the costs and damage. Likewise, if an accident leads a victim to lose his or her life altogether, it can be considered a case of wrongful death. In either situation, the victims and their families have the right to seek compensation to help them cover the cost and adjust to their life with injuries.

Understanding the Car Accident Claims Process

Auto Accident Statistics for Colorado

The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) records more than 25,000 car accidents in the state every year. Not all accidents are investigated by the CSP; most are investigated independently.

The statistics compiled from the 30% of car accidents the CSP does investigate indicated that the most common causes of accidents are:

  • Exceeding a safe speed - accounts for over 5,000 accidents annually
  • Inattentive to driving or "distracted driving"- accounts for over 4,000 accidents annually
  • Animal caused- accounts for over 3,000 accidents annually
  • Lane violations- accounts for over 2,000 accidents annually
  • Following too closely or "tailgating"- accounts for over 2,000 accidents annually
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI)- accounts for over 1,000 accidents annually and the highest number of traffic fatalities in the state, about 70 annually.

El Paso County has one of the highest car accident rates in the entire state of Colorado. According to data from the CSP, there are more than 2,000 car accidents in El Paso County annually, coming in only second to Jefferson County. No matter what the cause or type of accident you were involved in, we encourage you to seek legal counsel from our law firm as soon as possible.

What If I Was Hit By Someone Without Insurance?

Colorado law regarding uninsured and underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage changed in January 2008. According to the Colorado Revised Statutes § 10-4-609, all drivers with UM/UIM policies will notice the following major changes:

  1. Auto insurance companies can no longer "offset" (reduce) the amount they give you by deducting the amount of liability insurance the at-fault driver has.
  2. Auto insurance companies can no longer include "anti-stacking" language in their uninsured motorist policies. This means that people (particularly families) who have multiple auto insurance policies can add UM/UIM coverage to each individual policy.

A majority of Colorado insured drivers are covered by UM and UIM policies, which is extremely beneficial considering one out of every seven drivers on the road does not have auto insurance (national statistic). Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage works by making up the difference between the cost of accident-related expenses and the at-fault driver's insurance coverage.

Say for example you were injured in an auto accident and your medical bills total $35,000. Since the minimum liability coverage required for bodily injury in Colorado is $25,000, the accident victim's UIM policy could make up the difference- $10,000.

At this point you may be wondering if you have UM / UIM coverage. By law, unless you expressly waived your right to this coverage, your auto insurance policy will automatically include this. To learn more, speak directly with a car accident lawyer from our firm. Call (719) 602-5888 today.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Colorado Springs

If you were injured in an auto accident because of a negligent or careless driver, or your accident was caused because of an outside factor such as a mechanical defect or road defect, contact a car crash attorney at Clawson & Clawson, LLP. Our injury lawyers have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients, and we can fight to ensure that you get what you deserve. Initial consultations are free! We have locations in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Parker.

Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who can recover damages in a motor vehicle accident?

Anyone who is not found to be at fault for 50% or more of the incident can claim damages. That includes the driver of the vehicle, his or her passengers, victims of pedestrian accidents and victims of motorcycle accidents.

2. What kind of damages can I claim from a car accident?

Generally speaking, any damages that can be quantified in a monetary amount can be claimed in a car accident insurance claim. The damages in an insurance claim are usually divided into two categories. The first category is known as the category of special damages. These are expenses and losses that have directly resulted from the car accident. Any money that was lost due to the incident is included in this category. This applies to emergency medical response costs, medical treatment, cost of surgery, cost of prescription medication and the predicted future costs of treatment and care.

Furthermore, this also includes any money that is lost by the inability to work for earnings. Many car accident injury victims are unable to work for a period of time or even permanently due to their injuries. This lost income can also be added to the special damages in the claim. The other type of damages is known as general damages. These are not necessarily financial losses but can be compensated with financial awards. For example, a victim can claim damages for the experience of past, current or future pain and suffering, for the loss of enjoyment of life due to catastrophic or permanent injuries and the loss of independency due to a permanent disability. While money cannot take these difficulties away, it is an attempt to compensate the victim in a practical manner.

3. How is fault determined in a car accident claim?

Since there are at least two sides to the story, fault in a car accident is usually determined based on a compilation of all the facts. This includes an investigation of the scene and the damaged property, collecting eye-witness testimonies and even involving expert witnesses such as accident reconstructionists.

4. If I was partially at fault for the car accident, can I still claim damages from the other driver?

Yes. In Colorado, there is a standard for car accident claims that is known as comparative fault. This rule states that an individual cannot claim the percentage of damages that they were at fault for causing. In practice, this is carried out by the following process: a percentage of fault will be assigned to both the plaintiff and the defendant. Once the percentages are established, the plaintiff will be responsible to cover the percentage of damage he or she was at fault for and the defendant will pay the plaintiff the remaining percentage.

For example, if Jack was involved in a car accident with Jane and he was given 25 percent of the fault because he was driving ten miles over the speed limit at the time, Jane will be responsible for the remaining 27 percent. Therefore, if Jack's damages totaled $100,000, he will be expected to pay for $25,000 himself and Jane will be compelled to give the remaining $75,000. This is the principle of comparative fault. The only restriction that Colorado places is if the plaintiff is found to be 50 percent or more at fault for the accident. In that case, the plaintiff would not be permitted to claim damages from another driver. (The example was intended as an illustration and it does not reflect real results. The judge or jury will determine fault on a case by case basis.)

5. What sort of information should gather from the scene of the car accident?

The first thing to point out here is that, if you are injured in the accident, your first priority should be to seek out medical attention at once. If you are able to remain at the scene and gather evidence, it will be helpful to your car accident attorney and your future claim if you are able to take pictures of the scene, record the number of eye witnesses, collect their contact information and collect the information of the other drivers involved. If the police are present at the scene, they will compile a police report themselves which can then be used for your future claim as well.

6. Do I need an attorney to make a car accident claim?

It is not required by law that you retain legal representation when filing a car accident claim. However, it is universally agreed that having a legal advocate can significantly increase your chances of making a successful claim and of recovering the full amount that you are owed. Insurance adjusters will attempt to settle at a lower amount by claiming that you were at more fault than you were or by stating that the damages do not fall under the coverage. A car accident lawyer can see past these tactics and fight for the amount that you are rightfully owed. Furthermore, if your case goes to trial, then you will need to have a legal representative appear and argue on your behalf.

7. The insurance company has offered a settlement, should I accept it?

It is highly advised that you consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement from an insurance company. As mentioned before, the insurance adjuster will use a number of tactics to get you to settle at a lower amount of what you are owed. If an insurance company has offered a settlement, contact a Colorado Springs car accident lawyer and ask them to review your case before you accept the offer. Many times, your attorney may be able to get you a larger award than what you were initially offered.

8. What should I say to my insurance claims agent?

After a car crash, here are important tips for dealing with insurers:

  • Avoid accepting the insurance company's first offer
  • Refuse to give a verbal or written admission of guilt
  • Seek necessary medical attention immediately
  • Follow through with your physician's treatment plan
  • Keep adequate records of all accident-related expenses
  • Do not sign anything without consulting a car crash attorney

9. Can I sue the driver of the vehicle if I am a passenger?

There is no law barring injured passengers from making insurance claims against the driver of their vehicle. As a passenger, you have rights and your safety should be a priority for the driver. Regardless of personal ties, if the driver acted negligently and it resulted in injury to you, you have the right to seek compensation.

Call Clawson & Clawson, LLP today for more information about passenger rights and how you can recover damages as the passenger of a vehicle involved in a car accident.


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