Types of Injury Compensation for Car Accident Victims in Denver
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Car accident injury compensation is sought by people who have been injured in a car accident that was not their fault. Usually, with an attorney by their side, victims of car accidents seek injury compensation against the person at fault by for the accident to cover the cost of medical care, lost income and other expenses arising from the accident.
In Denver, Colorado state law allows victims of car accidents caused by another party to be compensated for their injuries and damages. The victim may seek economic damages, non-economic damages, and physical impairment damages, depending on the circumstances and the injuries. A third-party relative of the victim may seek compensation under certain circumstances, including a spouse seeking damages for loss of consortium.
Because your injury compensation can be greatly reduced, or even eliminated, if you are found to be partially at fault in the accident, it is important to secure the services of an experienced Denver car accident lawyer before you file a lawsuit or begin settlement negotiations. Call the auto injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group at 800-863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.
Types of Compensation for a Denver Car Accident
Economic damages are relatively easy-to-quantify expenses that arise from a car accident.
Economic damages relate to financial losses such as:
- Lost income
- Future lost income
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills and rehabilitation
- Auto repair bills
- Any other out of pocket expenses resulting from the accident.
They can include medical bills, lost work time, transportation to hospitals and clinics, and other out-of-pocket expenses. These damages need to be documented and stated with specificity before you can recover.
Non-economic damages are designed to compensate you for intangible losses and generally include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Psychological damage
The value of these damages is a little more challenging to determine and is generally estimated by assessing the severity of the accident, and the injured party’s mental state after the crash.
such pain and suffering. Under Colorado law, these damages are capped. When the legislation was passed, these caps were set at $250,000 or $500,000, only if there was clear and convincing evidence that $250,000 was insufficient. These amounts have since been increased to reflect inflation and are now set at $500,000 and $1 million.
Physical Impairment Damages
Under Colorado law, there are additional damages that can be obtained when the victim, who has suffered from harm as the result of another person’s negligence, has to live with a permanent impairment or disfigurement. These damages are based on the type of harm that the person has experienced, and there is no cap applicable to these damages.
Punitive damages, which are intended to punish the wrongdoer, are not awarded in Colorado in most cases.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is a third-party claim that can only be filed by the spouse of the victim. It is designed to compensate the spouse for the loss of sexual relations, love, companionship, and other intangible benefits of a marriage partnership that might be lost if the victim is seriously injured, particularly if the injury is lifelong.
As the name implies, a wrongful death claim only can be filed if the accident victim dies. Only the victim’s spouse, parents, or children–including adult children–can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, there are restrictions about who can file based on the time since the death of the victim and whether the deceased had a spouse or children who could have brought a legal action.
Wrongful death damages are designed to compensate for the loss of financial support, mental anguish, and the same sort of intangible benefits, such as love and companionship, for which loss of consortium is designed to compensate. The executor of the deceased victim’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit if there are no family members who are empowered to commence a lawsuit for specific types of loss.
How is Compensation Calculated?
Compensation for car accident claims can be calculated in one of two ways.
1. The Multiplier Approach
The first approach is the multiplier approach, which will multiply the total value of your economic damages by a number score given to your non-economic damages (typically somewhere between 1.5 and 4 or 5). The number assigned to your non-economic damages will depend on the specific facts of your case.
- The severity of your injuries
- Rehabilitation and how long it may take you to recover from your injuries
- Are there any permanent damages from your injuries
- How is your daily life affected by your injuries?
If you only received a few minor scrapes, your number will likely be low. If your damages were more severe, you could be assigned a number closer to 4 or 5.
2. The Daily Rate Approach
The second approach utilized for non-economic damages in Denver is the daily rate or per diem approach. This approach tries to calculate how much your injuries are worth each day that you have had them and will continue to have them. Once arriving at a figure that calculates how long your injuries will last and how much they are worth per day, your non-economic damages are added to your economic losses.
Factors Affecting Average Car Accident Settlements
Colorado is a comparative fault state. This means that to seek compensation in Denver successfully, you must be able to prove that the other party was more at fault in the accident than you were. You must also be able to defend yourself against any accusations that suggest you played some role in the crash. This may require a lot of evidence in support of your claim, and strong negotiation skills.
Fortunately, an experienced attorney will be able to navigate these legalities and help you focus on your recovery while they build the most persuasive case possible for you.
Your settlement amount will generally be most affected by your overall damages and losses. If you suffer minimal property and physical damage, your settlement amount may be lower in comparison to somebody who suffered severe bodily injury in an accident.
Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering you experience may also play a significant role in determining your settlement amount. While a broken arm may not seem on its face to be an extreme injury, for an artist or athlete, even those who are just hobbyists, it can cause much emotional pain. Your age, the severity of your injuries, and any mental anguish you have suffered may affect your settlement amount.
- What to expect from a settlement with Progressive Insurance
- What to expect from a settlement with Geico Insurance
- What to expect from a settlement with Farmers Insurance
- What to expect from a settlement with State Farm
How long does it take to settle a claim?
Car accident claims do not typically have a set end date. In other words, these claims may be as short as a few days or weeks, or as long as several months or even a couple of years. There is a multitude of factors that lead to this uncertainty in length. There may be multiple parties involved, including insurance companies and other drivers, each of whom can delay the process. There are also crucial stages of filing the claims and compiling evidence, both of which can take some time to do correctly.
The earlier on in the process, insurance companies may be more likely to offer you something which may be lower than what your case is worth. They do this to try and settle quickly. In doing so, they may have missed important aspects of your case that an attorney will likely uncover while investigating your case. Waiting a while may have the benefit of higher settlement, but there are no guarantees, and it is ultimately your decision whether or not waiting is worth it for you. Your attorney will be able to talk you through each stage of the negotiation process to seek the compensation you deserve.
- How to negotiate a settlement with Geico Insurance
- How to negotiate a settlement with Travelers Insurance
- How to negotiate a settlement with USAA Insurance
- How to negotiate a settlement with Liberty Mutual Insurance
Legal Time Limits in Denver
Different states have different rules relating to when you can or cannot bring a car accident claim. Denver follows the statute of limitations of Colorado. The statute of limitations is the law that tells us how long a person has to file a car accident claim after an accident.
In Colorado, a person has three years from the date of the accident to make their claim. If someone dies as a result of the accident, the statute of limitations shortens to two years for a wrongful death claim and starts tolling on the date of that person’s death.
Two or three years may sound like much time, but it is seldom a good idea to wait until the last minute in these types of cases. Not only are you likely delaying any possible settlement, but you may also be diminishing your likelihood of having a successful claim. Evidence in car accident cases can quickly be destroyed or lost, and this could harm your chances of a successful claim.
Making A Claim
1. Call a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
An attorney may be able to help guide you through the process of filing and settling a car accident claim. An initial meeting with one of our car accident lawyers will cost you nothing. We offer 100% free consultations and a no win no fee services, meaning that if we don’t win your case you pay us nothing! Having an attorney by your side gives you the added bonus of clarifying critical components of the legal process, laying out the next steps and allows you to focus on recovery instead of the legalities of a personal injury claim.
A successful car accident claim may require much evidence. Police reports, witness statements, maintaining copies of medical bills, and reports of lost wages are all vital evidence that insurance companies will likely want to see. If you were not equipped to conduct a thorough investigation at the scene of the accident, going back after the fact may be more complicated than you may think. Your attorney will investigate for you, gather all necessary documents and build the most persuasive case possible for you.
3. Negotiation and Settlement
Once your attorney has built your case, they will proceed to negotiate with the insurance company to seek a settlement for you. If an agreement is reached at this point, your attorney will then walk you through the steps of receiving your compensation.
Zinda Law Group Is an Experienced Denver Injury Law Firm
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in the Denver area or by a party who resides in Denver, legal representation may be necessary from the very start of the process to seek injury compensation. Zinda Law Group is a prominent Denver law firm that is respected by clients because of the care and dedication that our car accident attorneys give to each case.
Our auto injury lawyers are highly experienced in these types of personal injury cases, and we will exhaust every legal avenue to seek full compensation for your damages. Call 800-863-5312 for a free consultation to discuss your options with one of our car accident attorneys in Denver.