Fort Collins Car Accident Attorney
The ability to drive a car is something that many people take for granted. We use these prized possessions to commute to work, run errands, and even just ride around and let off some steam on days we need a break. Because driving is such an ingrained part of our daily lives, we don’t even think twice about it – until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, people find themselves in car accidents every day across the country, especially in Colorado. These unexpected events can leave people confused, scared, and even angry. If you are a car crash victim, connect with a Fort Collins car accident lawyer immediately. This is to ensure you are fairly compensated for any damages done to you or your vehicle.
At Cheney Galluzzi& Howard, our team of car accident attorneys has extensive experience handling all types of car accident cases, from fender benders to serious collisions. We understand Colorado car accident law, and we will fight tirelessly to earn the compensation you need and deserve. There isn’t a single client or case that is too big or small for us to handle – we have the resources and experience necessary to get the job done right the first time.
Why Do Car Accidents Happen in Fort Collins?
Understanding why car accidents happen is the first step in preventing them from happening again. Some of the most frequently seen causes in Fort Collins include:
- Distracted driving. With the advent of smartphones, it’s easier than ever to get distracted while driving. Whether you are sending a text, checking your email, or even scrolling through social media, taking your eyes off the road and paying attention to something else for even a few seconds can lead to disaster.
- Speeding. This is the most common cause of car accidents. People driving over the speed limit have less time to react to potential dangers on the road. The immediate impact of speeding accidents can also lead to more severe injuries.
- Driving under the influence. It’s never recommended to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, yet people do it every day. When someone is impaired, their reflexes are slowed, their vision is blurred, and they are more likely to make grave mistakes behind the wheel that lead to accidents.
- Fatigued driving. Fatigue can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. When you are tired, you become less aware of your surroundings and more likely to make mistakes. Sometimes, people are so tired they fall asleep at the wheel, releasing their control over the car completely and leading to a serious accident.
- Reckless driving. Reckless driving encompasses a wide range of dangerous behaviors, from street racing to weaving in and out of traffic. These behaviors unnecessarily put both the driver and others on the road at risk and can often lead to serious accidents that were premeditated or done for the thrill of it.
- Poor road conditions. Sometimes, car accidents happen simply because of poor road conditions. This could be due to weather, construction, or a number of other factors. It’s important to be aware of potential dangers on the road and drive accordingly to avoid accidents.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been in an Auto Accident?
Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatizing experience, but it’s important to stay calm. Following the proper steps can ensure you are taken care of both physically and legally.
The first step is to get to a safe place, if possible. Move off the road quickly to avoid being hit by other cars. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers. Once you’re in a safe area, check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
Once everyone is confirmed safe and healthy, you can start to exchange information with the other driver. Get their name, contact information, insurance information, and license plate number. Also, spend some time taking photographs and videos of the accident scene, if possible. These can be used as evidence later on if you need to file a claim or take legal action.
Next, contact a representative from your insurance company to file a claim. Be sure to give them all the information you gathered at the accident scene, as well as any other details about what happened. Being honest with your insurance company is important, as any misrepresentation of facts could lead to your claim being denied.
After your insurance claim is officially filed, you may need to take further legal action to get the compensation you deserve. A Fort Collins car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and ensure you achieve the best possible result to help you recover from your injuries.
This is a simplified overview of what to do after a car accident but provides a good starting point. Speak with a car accident lawyer right after your crash to ensure you are taking the proper steps and to learn more about your legal options.
What Evidence Do I Need After a Car Accident?
Many different types of evidence can be helpful in the aftermath of a car accident. This evidence can be used to support your claim and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Some of the best evidence to collect includes:
- Police report. When your accident is reported to the police, they will create a report that includes information about the accident and the parties involved. Common details found in police reports include the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as a description of what happened. Police reports are very credible pieces of evidence, so it’s important to get a copy from the police department as soon as possible.
- Witness statements. If there were any direct witnesses to your accident, get any contact numbers you can so you can follow up with them later. These individuals can offer valuable insight to the court on what happened and who was at fault. Because no one in the courtroom was actually there to see the accident, witness statements can be very helpful in proving your case.
- Pictures. Pictures of the scene can be very helpful in showing what happened and who is at fault. They can debunk false statements made by the other driver and help prove your version of events. Take pictures of all visible damage to both vehicles, as well as any skid marks or debris on the road.
- Medical records. After your accident, you will likely need to seek medical treatment. Be sure to keep all of your medical records, as they can be used as evidence in your case. These records can help to show the extent of your injuries and your treatment. For example, your medical record could demonstrate that you needed surgery or ongoing physical therapy. Having these records can help prove the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life.
These main categories of evidence can help support your claim after a car accident and any other evidence you may have. It’s essential to speak with an experienced Fort Collins car accident lawyer to learn more about what evidence can help your case and how to collect it legally.
What Compensation Am I Entitled to After an Auto Accident?
The compensation you are entitled to after a car accident will depend on your case’s specific facts and circumstances. In general, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses. This can include the cost of any treatment you need due to your accident, such as hospitalization, surgery, and physical therapy.
- Lost wages. If you have missed any time from your career because of your accident, you may be entitled to earn compensation for all the wages you would have earned during that time.
- Pain and suffering. This type of non economic damage can be difficult to quantify. Pain and suffering includes physical pain caused by your injuries and the emotional anguish, anxiety, and stress you have experienced.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault party for negligence and are not available in all cases.
How Can Car Accident Attorneys Help Me and My Car Crash Claim?
When facing the reality of an accident, it is normal to have many questions and feel overwhelmed. It is also common to want to put the accident behind you as quickly as possible and move on with your life. However, the decisions you make after an accident can significantly impact your ability to recover compensation. This is especially true if the aftermath of your collision has resulted in serious injuries.
For these reasons, it is important to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer immediately after your accident. A lawyer can help you to:
- Investigate your accident. Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine what happened and who is at fault. This may involve speaking with witnesses, reviewing pictures and videos of the accident, and analyzing the police report.
- Gather evidence. In addition to investigating your accident, your lawyer will also collect evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements, and pictures of the accident scene that are legally protected from being used in court.
- Handle communication with the insurance company. After your accident, you will likely need to deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Your Fort Collins personal injury lawyer can handle all communication with the insurance company without needing you present so you can spend time focused on your recovery. This includes negotiating a fair settlement and, if necessary, taking your case to trial.
- Protect your rights. It is important to understand that you have certain legal rights after an accident. For example, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit within a certain timeframe after your accident. If you do not take any legal action within this timeframe, you may be barred from filing a lawsuit and recovering compensation. A car accident lawyer can ensure you do not fall victim to any traps that could jeopardize your case.
- Represent you in court. If your case advances to trial, your lawyer will be by your side every step of the way, fighting for the compensation you deserve. They have a strong grip on how court proceedings work and will be sure that no curveball or technicality is used against you.
The bottom line is that no two car accidents are alike, and neither are the claims that result from them. The best way to ensure you recover the compensation you are entitled to is to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer right after your accident and not to waste any time.
Tips for Working With a Car Accident Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been in a car accident and are thinking about working with a lawyer, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Hire a lawyer specializing in car accident cases. There is nothing worse than working with a lawyer who does not have experience in the area of law you need help with. This can happen when you try to work with a general practice lawyer or one who specializes in another area, such as family law. Make sure you hire a car accident lawyer who has experience handling car accident cases. Ask them exactly how many legal cases they have handled and whether they have experience with cases like yours to ensure they are a good fit.
- Take the initial consultation. Most car accident lawyers offer a free initial consultation. This is a great chance to get to know the lawyer and see if they are someone you can trust. Make sure you ask detailed questions about their legal history, how they would handle your case, and what their fees are. You should also make sure you feel comfortable with the lawyer and their processes.
- Get a written fee agreement. Once you have decided to work with a particular car accident lawyer, make sure you get a written fee agreement. This agreement should outline the lawyer’s fees and how they will be paid. It’s important to understand and feel comfortable about the fee agreement before you sign it.
- Communicate with your lawyer. Once you have hired a car accident lawyer, make sure you communicate with them regularly. This includes updates on your case as well as any questions or concerns you may have. The lawyer-client relationship is a two-way street, and both sides need to be communicating regularly.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Vehicle accidents can be complex, and you may need help understanding the legal process. If you have any questions or concerns, ask your auto accident lawyer. They should be more than happy to help you understand the process and answer any questions you may have.
Q: How long do you have to settle a car accident claim?
A: The statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim in Colorado is three years. This means you have three years from the date of your accident to step forward and officially file a claim. If this timeline is not met, you may be barred from recovering compensation. This is something you want to avoid, as justice will go unserved.
Q: What do I do if I get into a car accident?
A: If you are involved in a car accident, you should first seek medical attention if you are injured. Once you have been seen by a medical professional, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer. They can guide you through each legal step to ensure that evidence is collected, stakeholders are identified, and your interests are protected.
Q: What is the average settlement for a car accident with injury in Colorado?
A: There is no “average” settlement for a car accident with injuries in Colorado. Each case is unique, with the total amount of compensation you are entitled to dependent on the specific facts of your case. A Fort Collins car accident attorney will be able to review your case and give you a better estimate of the value of your claim.
Q: Do I need an attorney for a car accident?
A: It is not required that you hire an attorney after a car accident, but it is in your best interest. The education, strategy, and companionship an attorney can provide are worth their weight in gold when it comes to protecting your interests and ensuring you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Contact Cheney Galluzzi & Howard Fort Collins Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, seek legal counsel to advance a car accident case as soon as possible. The sooner you contact a car accident lawyer, the sooner they can begin working on your case and protecting your interests.
At Cheney Galluzzi & Howard, our experienced car accident lawyers have a proven track record of success. We have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We will review your case to uncover every avenue of compensation you are entitled to.