Residents of less-populated states like Wyoming aren’t immune to the dangers of car accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that there were 100 fatal crashes in Wyoming in a single recent year, killing 111 people.
These unacceptable numbers are underscored by Wyoming’s fatal crash rate. There were 19.2 fatalities per 100,000 Wyoming residents, much higher than more populous states like California (9 deaths/100,000 population), Florida (14.7 deaths/100,000 population), and New York (4.8 deaths/100,000 population).
If you have been injured in a Cheyenne car accident that wasn’t your fault, you don’t have to just pay the bills and move on. You may be able to recover the cost of your medical bills, the money lost when you missed work, and other losses.
At Olson Law Firm, our Cheyenne car accident attorneys are ready to evaluate your crash to find out who may be legally responsible, or liable, for the crash. We can help you seek compensation from the liable party and their insurance company.
To find out if your injury qualifies, call the Olson Law Firm to schedule a free consultation today.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Every car crash is unique. But experts will tell you that certain behaviors often contribute to collisions. That’s why road safety laws are so important. When a reckless or negligent driver causes a crash, you can seek compensation for the injuries they caused by driving irresponsibly.
Common causes of car accidents include:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving, making a call while driving, daydreaming, and rubbernecking
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Aggressive and reckless driving, such as speeding, tailgating, or failing to signal before a lane change
- Driving while overly tired
All of these behaviors increase the likelihood of a driver causing in a car accident, putting themselves, other drivers, pedestrians, and other bystanders at substantial risk.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Every year, car accidents catastrophically injured drivers and passengers, leaving them with permanent injuries and years of intense medical care ahead of them. Even less-serious injuries can result in expensive medical treatment and permanent changes to the injured person’s life.
These are some of the common injuries people sustain in car accidents:
- Neck and spinal cord injuries – The forces of a collision can cause trauma to your neck and spinal cord. These injuries, such as whiplash, can lead to partial or full paralysis and have a significant impact on your physical capabilities going forward.
- Traumatic brain injuries – A hard blow to the head can be fatal. In less serious cases, such injuries can cause concussions, brain damage, cognitive decline, and paralysis.
- Burns – High heat car fires can do tremendous damage to anyone trapped inside or near the crash scene. Severe burns result in skin damage and disfigurement that may require extensive surgery to correct.
- Broken bones – The impact of a car against another car, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian can break bones. Your legs, arms, wrists, hands, feet, hips, ribs, and even your spine and skull are all vulnerable in a car crash.
- Cuts and bruises – Flying glass and jagged metal from a car crash can easily lead to cuts and bruises all across your body. Lacerations can prove fatal if they’re not properly treated.
What to Do After a Car Accident
What should you in the moments after a crash to stay safe and keep your legal options open? Here are a few tips:
- Stay at the scene if you don’t need urgent medical treatment. Do not move your vehicle away from the scene except to get it out of the way of other traffic.
- Call 911 to report the accident to the relevant authorities. If anyone has been injured, including yourself, call for an ambulance.
- Notify your car insurance carrier. You should report the accident to your carrier, but avoid making statements to any other insurance adjusters or saying more than bare facts. Doing so without legal representation may jeopardize any future injury claim you wish to make against the other driver.
- Document the damage to your vehicle with photographs. Take pictures of the scene and the other vehicle, too.
- See a doctor and follow their instructions carefully. They may discover invisible injuries, like a concussion. Failing to follow your doctor’s instructions can jeopardize your personal injury claim.
- Speak with a car accident attorney about your legal options.
Time Limit for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Cheyenne
Wyoming state law allows car accident victims to file a lawsuit up to four years after the date of their injury. In cases of wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years.
While you may have years to file a lawsuit, it’s best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a crash.
Most car accident cases in Cheyenne can be resolved through negotiations before they go to court. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company and their lawyers to seek the best possible settlement.
A Cheyenne Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You with These Types of Damages
Damages are a legal term that describes all of the losses that your injury caused. There are multiple different kinds of damages you can recover from a car accident lawsuit. In broad terms, they include:
- Financial or economic damages – These encompass expenses like your medical bills, lost wages if you’re forced to miss work for medical treatment, and lost ability to earn in the future. These objective types of damages are easier to assign a specific dollar value to.
- Non-financial or non-economic damages – These damages are just as real and just as compensable, but they are more abstract. They include things like pain and suffering, loss of companionship if someone you knew was hurt or died in the accident, embarrassment, and other subjective losses.
How Our Cheyenne Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You
At the Olson Law Firm, our car accident attorneys are committed to helping victims recover as much compensation as possible. We’re prepared to research your case, gather all necessary evidence, file the claim paperwork, and negotiate for the best possible settlement.
If we have to, we’re fully prepared to bring your case to court. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means that we won’t be paid until we resolve your case successfully through a settlement or judgment against the at-fault party. You can trust that our goals are the same as yours: to seek the most money possible so that you can move on from your injury.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
How Much is the Average Car Accident Settlement?
Average Car Accident Settlement in Colorado
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of unintentional injuries in Colorado. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CODOT), there were 120,723 collisions in 2015 in Colorado. While some crashes are minor, sadly, there are also many very serious accidents in our state.
If the carelessness or recklessness of another party caused your accident, you could have a valid claim for compensation. In the vast majority of cases, Colorado car accident claims settle before the start of formal litigation.
This raises an important question: How much is a car accident settlement actually worth? Many victims want to know more about this issue before they begin to pursue their legal claim. Though it can be a little frustrating, the reality is that there is no simple answer to this question.
A Note from Sean
You Must Consider Many Different Factors
Many different factors determine the value of your car accident settlement. Colorado auto accident claims fall under the comparative negligence statute (C.R.S. § 13-21-111). The law allows injured victims the ability to hold the at-fault party (most often another driver) liable for their damages. When assessing the potential value of your settlement, a Colorado car accident attorney will need to review:
- The severity of your injuries;
- The total value of the damages you sustained;
- The culpability of the defendant(s); and
- Whether or not the defendant has auto insurance or the ability to pay out a settlement.
To make matters even more complicated, certain types of damages are difficult to value. It’s easy to put a dollar figure on a hospital bill, but their are other things to consider. It is always difficult to figure out the fair value intangible damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. These damages must still be properly accounted for in your settlement offer.
The bottom line: You should not think about what constitutes an ‘average’ settlement. Instead, you should focus on getting proper medical treatment and documenting specific damages. You deserve a settlement offer that includes compensation for the full value of your losses, both economic and intangible.
Maximize Your Financial Recovery: Get Help From a Denver Car Accident Attorney
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not interested in paying injured victims the compensation that they deserve. Insurers fight aggressively to settle personal injury claims for the lowest amount possible. To protect your right you should hire a qualified attorney to represent your interests.
The Olson Law Firm is an advocate for injured victims. If a car accident that occurred due to someone else’s negligence left you with serious injuries, we can help you get the full compensation you deserve. Please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today for a free, no obligation initial consultation.
Who is at Fault in a Car Accident?
Exploring Fault in Colorado Car Accidents
Car crashes remain the leading cause of accidental injuries in the United States.
In Colorado, car accidents are a very serious issue.
According to data cited by Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCIAA), fatal car accidents in our state have risen to the highest level in more than a decade.
After a traffic collision, you will have many questions.
One of the most important is: Who is at-fault for the crash?
Under Colorado state law, the at-fault party is the one who caused the accident through their unsafe actions or inactions.
A Message from Sean On Fault in Car Crashes:
Colorado is an ‘At Fault’ Auto Insurance State
In a Colorado car accident claim, fault matters. Like the majority of jurisdictions in the United States, Colorado is an ‘at fault’ auto insurance state. This means that injured victims can hold opposing parties legally liable for their damages only if they can prove that the defendant is actually to blame for the crash. If you cannot establish fault, or if you get unfairly blamed for your own wreck, it could take a lot of money out of your settlement offer.
Negligence Determines Fault
Under Colorado law (C.R.S. § 13-21-111), negligence determines who is at-fault. In legal parlance, negligence means the failure to take adequate care in a particular situation. All drivers have a responsibility to operate their car in a reasonably safe manner. This includes following all relevant rules of the road.
When a driver violates one of the rules of the road, or otherwise operates their vehicle in an unsafe manner, they are responsible for any damages that occur as a result of their negligent conduct. In car accident claims, negligence can come in many different forms. Some of the most typical examples include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for the weather;
- Following another car too closely;
- Running red lights or stop signs;
- Failure to yield or failure to merge safely;
- Unsafe lane changes or other forms of reckless driving;
- Distracted driving, including texting and other cell phone use; and
- Intoxicated driving, including drunk driving and drugged driving.
To establish negligence, a car accident victim must be able to establish that another party engaged in unsafe conduct and that their unsafe behavior actually contributed to the accident in question. This is not always an easy task. As such, injured victims need to be ready to seek legal representation.
Questions About Fault? Call a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
If you are suffering from a major car crash, and there is a dispute over who is at fault for the crash, it is imperative that you consult with an experience Denver auto accident lawyer immediately. Your ability to recover full and fair compensation for your damages relies on establishing fault. You should not have to pay for the negligent action of another driver.
At The Olson Law Firm, our legal team has deep experience handling complex car accident claims. We know how to investigate accidents, review evidence, and build strong legal cases. We have helped many injured victims get full financial compensation for their losses. If you are suffering from a car accident in Colorado, give our law firm a call. We would be happy to take some time to review your claim and explain your legal options to you.
How Much is My Car Accident Worth?
A Word from Sean on Car Accident Case Value
How much your car accident is worth is dependent upon a number of things. First, were you injured and how serious were your injuries. What kind of medical attention did you have to receive as a result of those injuries? Second, was there another party at fault for causing your car accident causing your injuries? Third, if there is someone who’s responsible for causing your car accident, causing your injuries do they have insurance? Or do they have assets enough to pay for the medical care and the injuries that you’ve suffered?
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to contact an experienced car accident attorney who knows how to determine what your car accident is, in fact, worth because you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered. At the Olson Law Firm, we’re experienced in dealing with car accidents and dealing with the insurance companies that you likely have to talk to in order to receive that compensation. We’re always happy to take some time to talk to you about your case and to see if we can help.
What Should I Do After an Auto Accident?
The Most Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Unfortunately, car accidents remain a real problem throughout our region.
A serious traffic collision can happen to anyone and at any time.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CODOT), there were more than 22,000 motor vehicle accidents reported in Denver in 2015. While some of these collisions were minor, many others were extremely serious.
If you are facing injuries from an auto accident, you need to know what steps to take to protect your safety and your legal rights. Here, Denver car accident attorney Sean Olson explains what you should do after a traffic collision in Colorado:
Step 1: Contact State or Local Law Enforcement
Under Colorado’s highway regulations, you must report a motor vehicle accident to the police if it results in either:
- Physical injuries; or
- Considerable property damage.
It is strongly in your interests to make sure that a police officer comes to the scene of your wreck. Law enforcement officers should conduct a proper investigation into exactly how your collision occurred. In a future legal claim, this crash report may be an important piece of evidence. You will want to make sure that officers document your crash.
Step 2: Get Medical Attention
There is nothing that should come before your medical needs. If you need emergency medical attention, you should accept the ambulance ride to the nearest medical center. Serious injuries require immediate treatment. There are no exceptions.
In addition, even if feel that you only suffered moderate injuries, you still must see a doctor. Your doctor will make sure that you get the right medical care that you need to make the best possible recovery. Beyond protecting your health, you also need to see a doctor if you are going to pursue a personal injury claim. Without medical records, the insurance company will not pay you the settlement offer you rightfully deserve.
Step 3: Make Efforts to Document the Wreck
To the best of your ability, you should try to document your Denver car accident. The more evidence that you can obtain regarding the crash, the better off you will be when it comes time to file your legal claim. Some examples of evidence that you might be able to get at the accident scene include information from the other driver, photographs of the crash, and contact information for any eyewitnesses.
Step 4: Get Help From an Experienced Denver Car Accident Lawyer
Finally, if an accident caused you serious injury, it is crucial that you contact an experienced car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will make sure that you take the appropriate steps so that you can get the full and fair compensation that you deserve. Do not make any statements to insurance adjusters until you have first consulted with a lawyer.
At The Olson Law Firm, our Colorado car accident attorneys have deep experience representing injured victims. We will protect your legal rights and financial interests. To get a free, no obligation review of your car accident claim, please contact our Denver office today to set up your initial consultation.
What is a Fatal Car Accident?
Car Accidents can Have Serious Consequences
As part of our weekly FAQ series, car accident attorney Sean Olson breaks down a fatal car accident:
A fatal car accident is a car accident in which a person or more than one person loses their life. It’s a sad reality that, as a result of people driving carelessly on our roads, sometimes people lose their lives. Sometimes the family members of those who lose their lives in a car accident, as a result of someone else’s fault, are entitled to legal compensation for the injuries, the harm that they have suffered as a result of losing a loved one.
After a fatal car accident, you should be spending your time mourning and taking care of your loved ones. It shouldn’t be a time where you have to deal with insurance companies. The team at Olson Law Firm understands that this is a difficult time for you. We’re here to answer your questions, hopefully, take some of the burden off of you, in dealing with the insurance companies, and other entities that might be involved in your case.
At Olson Law, we know losing a loved one in a fatal car accident is an incredibly difficult time in your life. We’re here to help. When you’re ready to talk, reach out.