Pueblo CO Car Accident Lawyer
The aftermath of a car wreck can be difficult to handle, especially if you have injuries and are facing a long recovery. If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash, a Pueblo CO car accident lawyer can help. Instead of dealing with the insurance companies alone, our experienced injury attorneys will walk you through the car accident claims process and work to help you obtain a fair compensation for your losses. Call Brylak Law today at (866) 496-3815 for a free consultation of your case.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Colorado
Thousands of car crashes happen in Colorado every year. Most of those accidents occur due to the negligence of a driver. In order to prove that another driver was negligent, you must show the following:
- The other driver had a duty to operate their vehicle in a safe manner;
- The driver violated that duty of care;
- The driver’s actions or inaction resulted in a car accident; and
- You suffered losses because of the driver’s violation of the duty of care.
While driver error, or negligence, is a common cause of accidents, there are many other causes as well, including:
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
- Driving with a lack of experience
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving
- Traffic law violations, such as speeding, failure to stop, or unsafe lane change
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Fatigued driving
- Unsafe roadways
- Dangerous weather
- Defective auto parts
- Improper maintenance of the vehicle
An experienced Pueblo CO car accident lawyer can work to prove that your accident occurred due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
The aftermath of a car accident can be extremely overwhelming. Take these steps to avoid confusion and mistakes:
- Assess yourself and others for injuries. Seek medical assistance right away if you are injured.
- Call the police. The accident report and any citations issued will help you with an insurance claim.
- Exchange personal and insurance information with other drivers. Also, collect names of bystanders and witnesses.
- Take photos and videos of the scene. Make sure you record any damage to the vehicles, condition of the road, and placement of the cars. Take pictures of signs, injuries, and people standing nearby.
- Call a Pueblo CO car accident lawyer right away. The longer you wait to start an investigation, the less evidence will be available to evaluate.
After a car accident, it’s important to talk to your Pueblo CO car accident lawyer and avoid talking to insurance adjusters. Your attorney can handle the claim and any legal issues for you.
Common Car Accident Injuries
After a car accident, you may be seriously injured. However, some injuries can take time to develop. Soft tissue damage, nerve injuries, and other conditions can take days or weeks to show up. It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident, but you should also follow up with a doctor to fully document your damage.
Common injuries that people incur in car accidents include:
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Concussions and more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Bruises and lacerations
- Back and spinal cord injuries, including herniated disks
- Strains and sprains to muscles
- Broken bones
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems
A Pueblo CO car accident lawyer can review your medical records and help you prove to an insurance company that you deserve compensation for your injuries.
In most cases, you will file an insurance claim against the negligent driver after an accident. However, if the driver was uninsured or underinsured, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. If no insurance is available, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or company responsible for your injuries.
If you work with a Pueblo CO car accident lawyer, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Modifications to vehicles and your home due to disability
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial costs
- Punitive damages
Who Pays Out In a Car Accident?
Those injured in a car accident can make claims against a number of different policies. Let’s start with the obvious first.
The Other Driver’s Insurance Policy
If you’re injured due to another driver’s negligence, then you file a claim against their policy. You can report the accident to your own insurance, and they will follow up with the other driver’s insurance company. While this process is supposed to be easy, it sometimes isn’t. There may be questions as to how far the other driver’s liability goes, to what extent your negligence contributed to the accident, or the extent of your damages.
Insurance companies will demand proof for just about everything. They will interpret ambiguities in the facts against you. They will interpret a lack of information against you. In fact, the other driver’s insurance company has a fiduciary responsibility to limit their policyholder’s liability as much as possible. Not only that, but it benefits the insurance company to do so.
That, in essence, is why having an attorney to litigate large claims is necessary.
Your Own Personal Injury Protection Insurance Policy
Some elect to pay for their own “no-fault” insurance policy known as Personal Injury Protection or PIP. PIP insurance pays out regardless of who is at fault for an accident. If you are a driver who caused an accident with another driver, you can make a claim on your PIP policy even if you were completely to blame for the accident.
PIP insurance covers your medical expenses and a percentage of your lost wages during your recovery. In this case, you will likely need to prove the extent of your injuries and that you are unfit to return to work for a certain amount of time. PIP insurance generally pays out around 60% of your monthly wages on a monthly basis and covers your medical expenses.
Sometimes, however, insurance companies will deny your claim. If they do this, it may be time to involve a lawyer, have them go over your policy, and appeal the denial. If your claim was denied in bad faith or without investigation, you can sue the insurance company for punitive damages.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This type of insurance pays out in one of two instances. In cases where the other driver does not have insurance or flees the scene of an accident and cannot be found, your Uninsured Motorist Coverage will pay out. In addition, if the other driver carries the policy minimum or your damages exceed the other driver’s policy limit, you might be able to make a claim on your own UIM policy.
Those who make claims against these policies sometimes have difficulty getting their insurance company to honor their claim. Sometimes the insurance company denies the claim just to find out how willing you are to fight for it. In these situations, a Pueblo CO car accident lawyer can help you get the money that you deserve.
Commercial Liability Insurance
Those who use vehicles for their work require commercial liability insurance. When a commercial driver is responsible for a traffic accident, the claim must be made against the company’s policy, not the driver’s personal liability insurance. This is because companies have what is called vicarious liability. They are responsible for the actions of their employees.
What About Rideshare Companies Like Lyft and Uber?
Rideshare companies present an interesting gray area. Uber drivers are not employees of the company, but independent contractors who are contracted by the company to offer rides. Since they are not employees and the car doesn’t belong to them, does Uber still have vicarious liability?
The answer is yes and no. Uber cannot be expected to pay out on a policy when an Uber driver is on their way to the grocery store. However, Uber does have a policy that goes into effect when the driver has a passenger or has accepted a fare and is going to retrieve a passenger. It covers the passenger, the driver, and third parties in the accident. It pays out in the event that the Uber driver is negligent in the accident. So, Uber will cover the cost when the driver is acting on behalf of Uber but otherwise, you will be filing a claim against the driver’s own insurance policy.
The claims are complex because Uber is likely to claim that their driver’s insurance can cover the accident while the driver may say Uber should. It helps to have an attorney who understands how accidents work when it comes to Uber.
Contact a Pueblo CO Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Brylak Law, we have extensive experience helping clients obtain compensation for the economic and non-economic losses they incur in a car accident. Call our Pueblo CO car accident lawyer today at (866) 496-3815.