Mintz Law Firm
Every Colorado resident who obtains a driver’s license has a reasonable duty to keep themselves and others safe when operating a motor vehicle. Yet, thousands of people die and even more sustain injuries each year because of distracted drivers. If you were in a car accident in Denver or elsewhere in Colorado and believed that a distracted driver caused the crash, contact the Mintz Law Firm. Our attorneys can review the details of your collision and discuss your legal rights.
Distracted driving is anytime a driver has their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off of driving. Remember, distracted driving is much more than just texting behind the wheel. It can also be:
- Checking the GPS
- Adjusting the radio
- Interacting with passengers
- Readjusting the seat
- Staring out the window
- Playing with a pet
- Reaching into the glove compartment
According to the CDC, distracted driving is a significant problem across the United States. About 3,000 people die in crashes each year involving a distracted driver. In 2018 alone, over 400,000 people sustained injuries in these accidents.
Distracted driving is against the law in some cities in Colorado, although there is no statewide law that specifically targets distracted driving. However, Colorado does prohibit texting while driving. Adults can use their phones hands-free when driving, but anyone 18 and younger cannot use their cellphone at all when behind the wheel.
Distracted driving violations are primary offenses, but police officers must see the driver using the phone while operating a vehicle to issue a citation. For adults, texting behind the wheel for a first offense is a Class 2 misdemeanor. It carries a four-point penalty and a fine of up to $300. For subsequent offenses or crashes that involve serious bodily injury or death, the driver may face up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000, in addition to four points on their driving record.
When you partner with the Mintz Law Firm, we will launch a thorough investigation into your accident and the circumstances leading up to it. When investigating your case, we might find evidence that can prove the other driver was distracted.
- Police report: Police reports may include initial assessments of fault based on evidence from the officer who cleared the scene. If you saw the other party driving distracted before the accident, you should inform the officer. That way, they can include that information in the report.
- Witnesses: A witness is anyone who saw the accident, such as bystanders on the street or passengers in other vehicles. When the police arrive at the scene, they can detail witness statements for the accident report. If your case goes to trial, your attorney can call witnesses to testify.
- Cell phone records: An attorney may be able to use call and text message records in court to prove that the other driver was negligent. Since it is illegal to text and drive in Colorado, cell phone records may provide strong evidence of negligence.
- Photo or video evidence: Surveillance cameras and dash cams may have filmed the whole accident, proving the other driver was responsible. Your attorney can present this evidence in court to assist your claim.
- Driver admits fault: Drivers are usually overwhelmed in the aftermath of an accident, and they may admit fault for the crash. However, even if they say, “Sorry, I was on the phone,” your case is not over. Guilt admissions are not always admissible in court under the hearsay doctrine. Although, the admission may be beneficial if you settle outside of court.
- Accident reconstruction: A Denver distracted driving attorney may also partner with an accident reconstruction specialist. Proper reconstruction may show that a driver was not paying attention and acted negligently.
The compensation you may receive for a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver will depend on the facts surrounding your case. After reviewing your case, a Denver car accident attorney may be able to recover the following losses:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Therapy bills
- Pain and suffering
- Medical equipment
- In-home rehabilitation
When pursuing financial compensation, you must remember that Colorado follows modified comparative negligence. Under this law, a court reduces a driver’s compensation in proportion to how responsible they were for causing the accident. For example, say the other driver was texting behind the wheel, but you were speeding. In this case, a court may deem you 20% responsible for the accident, allowing you to collect up to 80% of your damages.
If you were in a car accident in Denver and suspect that the other driver was distracted, do not hesitate to contact the Mintz Law Firm. With more than 150 years of combined experience, our Denver car accident lawyers understand the specifics of Colorado’s injury laws and will help you achieve the best results possible. For a free consultation, call (303) 462-2999 or complete our contact form today.