Five interstates run in or around Denver, including Interstates 25, 70, 76, 225, and 270. I-70 has the largest number of car crashes that lead to injuries or death, but accidents are common on all interstates.
Unfortunately, the higher speeds allowed on these roads can cause more severe collisions—and injuries.
Semi-trucks also spend a lot of time on interstates, so there is a higher risk of being involved in a large truck accident on an interstate. Due to their substantial size and weight, semi-trucks can cause an inordinate amount of damage to smaller passenger vehicles, so injuries stemming from these accidents are frequently catastrophic.
As a result, an interstate accident can have serious consequences for your life. You might find yourself facing a mountain of medical bills while also losing income because your injuries prevent you from working.
At the same time, you may need to pay for car repairs, travel to see a specialist, buy mobility aids, and deal with intense physical or mental pain. If a negligent driver caused your accident, you deserve compensation to help you move forward, but the insurance company may be unhelpful.
What Can a Denver Interstate Accident Attorney Do to Help?
Car accident claims are often more complicated than they should be. The at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster frequently blames the injured party, even if it’s clear their client is responsible.
Shared fault is allowed under Colorado law, which uses a system called modified comparative negligence for personal injury cases like a car accident. Under this system, an injured person can still collect damages if they are less than 50 percent at fault for an injury, but their share of fault is subtracted from their final award.
So, from the insurance adjuster’s perspective, the more blame you receive, the less they have to pay. If they can argue that you were at least 50 percent responsible, they can even justify denying your claim entirely.
Sometimes, claimants think that calling the insurance adjuster will help, but in reality, this often worsens the situation. Your claims adjuster will most likely record the call, then play it back, looking for anything they can use against you.
More than one injured person has been astounded to learn how wildly the insurance adjuster misinterpreted an innocent comment.
However, someone should talk to the insurance adjuster—and that person should be a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. After learning the details of your case, we’ll compile all the evidence to show you weren’t at fault or that your share or responsibility is relatively low.
You never have to worry about arguing with an insurance adjuster, and we’ll fight to get you the settlement you deserve.
How Much Is Your Interstate Accident Claim Worth?
Another problem with car insurance claims is that the adjuster may undervalue your claim, ignoring some losses entirely, refusing to pay for certain treatments, or underestimating the amount of other damages. For this reason, it’s essential to start with an accurate valuation of your claim.
At Olson Law, we ask about the client’s injuries and how their life has been affected, as well as all bills and expenses related to the car crash. Then, we create a valuation of the total claim so we know approximately how much the settlement should be.
If the insurance company’s first offer is too low—which happens frequently—we’ll negotiate for a better deal. Most of the time, we can arrive at a fair settlement out of court, but if necessary, we’re always prepared to argue your case in court.
Here are some of the damages we will consider:
- Medical costs. Because interstate accidents have the potential to be very severe, medical bills are often considerable. Aside from your current bills, we want to include further medical expenses as well, so we will usually only settle your case after your treatment is complete. However, if you suffered a catastrophic injury and need continued care indefinitely, we can estimate your future costs to ensure you receive enough to cover them.
- Lost income. Depending on the severity of your accident, you could miss a few days to several months of work. Or, you might become permanently disabled and be unable to return to work at all. We’ll seek compensation for your lost income (including paid time off you had to use) and lost earning potential.
- Permanent disability or disfigurement. In addition to work restrictions, a permanent injury can affect your quality of life in many ways, and you deserve compensation for your losses.
- Pain and suffering. Both physical and mental pain and suffering should be taken seriously. Unfortunately, an insurance adjuster may undervalue this category of damages because it doesn’t come with invoices and receipts. However, we know how to value your pain and suffering correctly, and we’ll work to ensure the insurance company allows a fair amount of compensation.
- Property damage. Car repairs or replacements should be covered with an accurate valuation of your vehicle and the needed repairs.
- Wrongful death. The most serious interstate accidents can lead to one or more deaths. Grieving the loss of a loved one is never easy, but it can be complicated by financial stress, such as dealing with funeral bills and final medical expenses. If you’ve lost a family member, you deserve the time and space you need to grieve without having to worry about how to pay bills. We can seek compensation for funeral/burial expenses, medical care related to the accident, lost financial support, loss of consortium or companionship, and more.
How Long Does It Take to Settle an Interstate Accident Claim?
The answer varies from case to case. The average is around one year, but some cases take longer to settle, while a few will be completed more quickly. Here are some factors that can affect the speed of your settlement:
- Disputes about fault. Suppose the other driver and/or their insurance carrier insist they did nothing wrong. In that case, it can take time to investigate the accident, find evidence in your favor, and convince the insurance company that it’s in their best interest to make a fair settlement.
- The necessity of going to trial. In most cases, we can successfully negotiate a reasonable settlement, but rarely, the insurance company refuses to budge. If your case does go to trial, this will take even more time, sometimes two years or more.
- The severity of the accident. More severe accidents tend to result in more damages, which means we will be seeking a higher amount of compensation. The larger your claim is, the more the insurance adjuster will scrutinize it and look for ways to reduce your payout. As a result, we often need to spend more time proving the necessity of various expenses, showing you had no or very little fault in the accident, etc. So, a claim for $5,000 is likely to be settled more quickly than one for $50,000 or $500,000.
- The insurance company’s willingness to work with us. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the insurance company takes weeks or months to respond to simple requests or make a decision. While we always stay on top of claims, follow up as needed, and file motions in court if necessary, in some cases, we do spend considerable time waiting for the other party to get back to us.
- Seeking compensation from multiple parties. In some situations, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy doesn’t cover all or even most of the injured person’s damages. Remember that Colorado’s minimum requirements for car insurance include $25,000 per person for bodily injury liability ($50,000 per accident) and $15,000 for property damage. If you have a minor or moderate accident, this may cover everything. Still, if your injuries are severe, you could easily have more than $25,000 in medical bills alone (not to mention other related damages like lost income). Fortunately, we can sometimes recover additional damages through solutions like the injured person’s uninsured/underinsured motorist policy (UM/UI), a lawsuit against the driver, or a third-party claim. However, it will usually take more time to complete your case if we are dealing with multiple parties.
It’s important to note that a lawsuit against the driver or a third party is not always a viable solution, and if you don’t have UM/UI coverage, we may not be able to recover all your damages. For this reason, we highly recommend adding UM/UI to your car insurance if you don’t already have it.
How to Get Help From a Denver Interstate Accident Law Firm
Recovering from an interstate accident can be exhausting, and excessive medical bills, income loss, and other difficulties only add to your problems. It could be hard to know what to do next or how to prove your case, but you don’t have to fight for your right to compensation alone.
Please contact Olson Law Firm for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help after your car accident.
Attorney Sean Olson founded Olson Law Firm to advocate for injured people and their families. His guiding principle is “Build others up,” and he works to do that for his clients.
Mr. Olson is a member of the Colorado and Wyoming Bar Associations and has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star for five years. He’s always available to talk with clients and is ready to help with your interstate accident case.
You, too, can work with him when you call Olson Law Firm at (720) 730-4325.