If you’re in a car accident, about the on your mind is litigation and insurance claims. Nonetheless, there is a statute of limitations on car accident claims that is set at four years (WY Stat § 1-3-105) and insurance claims should be made as soon as possible.
The attorneys at the Olson Law Firm understand how stressful being in an accident can be. Not only are you facing an uncertain future medically, but there could be medical bills piling up, lost wages from missed work, and a considerable period of rehabilitation.
Our job is to take some of the stress off of you and ensure that you get the compensation that you’re entitled to under the law. If you have injuries resulting from a car accident, involving an attorney early in the process is the best course of action. Give us a call or contact us online to set up a free consultation today.
Understanding Wyoming Car Accident Laws
Wyoming is a tort state when it comes to car insurance. That means claims are filed against the other individual’s insurance policy and a determination is made as to who is at fault for the accident. The question of fault revolves around the question of negligence.
Negligence, in this sense, can mean carelessness, recklessness, or the violation of any of the rules of traffic. When these actions result in injuries to another person, that individual is liable under the law.
Making an Insurance Claim in Wyoming
When you’re in a car accident, you can either file a claim with your own insurance company or with the other driver’s insurance company.
If you file a claim with your own insurance company, your insurer will attempt to contact the other driver’s insurer. Based on the physical details concerning the collision, the police report, and any other data that can be gleaned, a determination will be made as to who is at fault. Sometimes this is straightforward and other times it is not.
The insurance company representing the other driver has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of their client. In this case, the insurance company’s own interests are aligned with those of their policyholder. That is to say, they both want to see you paid as little money as humanly possible.
The most common tactic they employ to do this is to exploit ambiguities in the reports and physical data against you in order to blame you for the accident. Other tactics include claiming your injuries such as whiplash, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, are not as severe as you claim or that they were present before the accident happened.
In order to deal with this, you will need the aid of an experienced Wyoming personal injury attorney.
Comparative Negligence and Wyoming Law
In some cases, there are two drivers who each did something wrong and thus are both partly responsible for an accident.
For instance, imagine that one individual is attempting to change lanes but does so abruptly and without the use of their blinker. Another driver, who is speeding in the other lane, fails to react in time causing a sideswipe accident. Since both individuals are partly to blame for the accident, each of them can be assigned some of the blame.
In Wyoming, this is called comparative negligence or comparative fault. Either party may initiate a lawsuit but only if that party is no more than 50% responsible for the accident.
In cases where both parties share some of the blame but one party is more responsible for the accident than the other, they will see their potential damages reduced in the amount of their own negligence. For instance, if one party sustained $100,000 worth of damages but is 30% responsible for the accident, then they can only collect 70% of $100,000 or $70,000.
Distracted Driving and Traffic Accidents
Today, distracted driving has become one of the most common reasons for major traffic accidents. With cell phones, infotainment systems, and other modern technology, more and more individuals are causing accidents by splitting their attention between their tech toys and the road. In addition to the modern causes of distracted driving, traditional forms such as driving while intoxicated or falling asleep at the wheel remain a serious problem.
After distracted driving, speeding and failure to yield are also major causes of serious car accidents. In these cases, negligence can usually be clearly established if the other driver was driving safely and abiding by the rules of the road.
Talk to a Wyoming Car Accident Lawyer
Olson Law Firm represents injured parties in traffic accident claims. We ensure that our clients get fair compensation for their injuries. If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, they are responsible for covering your damages. Give us a call or talk to us online to set up an appointment today. We can help with car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death cases, nursing home abuse, premises liability, and much more!
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.