At Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C., our attorneys represent accident victims in Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado who have been injured by another's negligent or wrongful acts, such as in automobile accidents, on unsafe premises, or in the workplace.
Automobile and Motorcycle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents can cause serious personal injury or wrongful death. Rear-end collisions and roll-overs with roof crushes can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI) or an injury to the spinal cord, causing permanent paralysis such as paraplegia or quadriplegia. Motorcycle riders are especially vulnerable to catastrophic injury or death due to their exposure and the ease with which they can be involved in an accident due to the negligent driving of another.
Slip and Fall
The law of premises liability holds property owners responsible for maintaining their premises in a safe condition or for posting adequate notices and warnings of any unsafe conditions that do exist. Food and liquid spills in restaurants and grocery stores are common causes of slip and fall injuries, and unless the spill is addressed in a timely manner, the property owner can be liable for the accident, regardless of whether the spill was caused by an employee or another customer.
Icy sidewalks, cracked sidewalks, unmarked steps, or tears or bumps in carpet which cause trips and falls can similarly lead to liability for the owner of the premises. These accidents can cause significant injuries, including head injuries and hip fractures, requiring surgeries and painful rehabilitation, or even a lifetime of therapy and medical care.
When a person is killed because of the negligence of another, the law allows certain surviving family members to bring a wrongful death action against the negligent defendant. The plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit can recover damages such as funeral and burial expenses and the value of lost wages and benefits, as well as compensation for damages such as emotional pain and suffering and the loss of companionship.
Subrogation Issues in Colorado
Colorado law has had a checkered past of fault-based (tort) and no-fault systems regarding automobile insurance. Colorado law is currently tort-based, meaning that if you are injured in an accident and it is another driver's fault, your recourse is to sue the other driver, whose insurance company will either settle with you or defend its insured in court.
However, no-fault concepts still linger in the law. A new law effective in 2009 requires insurers to offer $5,000 in Medical Payments coverage, commonly known as Med Pay. With this coverage, your insurance company will pay your present medical expenses if you are involved in an accident. To recover for future medical expenses or other damages, you must still sue the other driver. In Colorado, Med Pay coverage is automatically added to your policy unless you choose to reject it. Your insurance company will also pay you if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and are hit by an uninsured driver or one whose liability limits do not cover your damages.
When your insurance company pays you, it may have the right under a subrogation clause to sue the negligent other driver. While subrogation may help the insurance company maintain its bottom line, it does not help the injured victim, especially when the claims process is held up because of pending negotiations or litigation with the other driver's insurance company.
Whether you need representation in an action against the negligent defendant or against your own insurance company, our lawyers are dedicating to ensuring that our clients are fully compensated for the damages they have suffered. For representation in any personal injury or wrongful death claim, contact Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C.