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What You Should Know About Car Accidents in Colorado and the Denver Metro Area

During your lifetime, you’re likely to be part of about four car accidents or one vehicular incident every 18 years. According to car accident stats from the CDC, about six million car accidents occur annually throughout the country, ranging from minor fender benders to severe collisions.

Colorado is no exception. Auto collisions occur every day, with increasing fatality rates. In 2019, the following Colorado counties experienced the highest number of car accidents with serious injuries, meaning victims could not walk, drive, or perform daily activities after the incident:

  • Denver: 478 serious injuries
  • Arapahoe: 364 serious injuries
  • Adams: 316 serious injuries
  • Boulder: 230 serious injuries
  • Jefferson: 225 serious injuries

According to car accident statistics, you are most likely to have an accident within minutes of your home. Pedestrians are also in danger—a person walking outdoors dies from an auto accident every 88 minutes on average.

Here are some other car accident stats reported by the Colorado Department of Transportation:

  • The leading cause of traffic deaths in the state is car crashes.
  • About 53% of auto collision deaths involve people not wearing seatbelts.
  • As of 2019, car crash fatalities in urban communities rose by 8%, while rural rates increased by 4%.
  • Speeding accounts for about 35% of fatal car accidents in Colorado.
  • Denver and Adams Counties hold the top two spots for motorcycle fatalities in 2017, with 13 deaths each.
  • Death and serious injury are not the only consequences of auto accidents. Collisions also contribute to the consumption of resources when tending to the fallout of these events.

For instance, the CDC states that 2018 alone accrued $55 billion in medical expenses and lost wages due to traffic fatalities. That same year cost Colorado $943 million in compensation to victims.

Though no two car accidents are precisely the same in Colorado, some contributing factors to auto collisions are similar. Law firms and law enforcement deal with hundreds, if not thousands, of car accidents each year, but the following causes are the reasons crashes happen the most:

  • Aggressive Driving: As a driver, you have a responsibility to keep you and your passengers safe, but that doesn’t mean you can disregard the safety of other drivers. Being angry at other motorists may lead you to make reckless decisions like speeding.
  • Distracted Driving: Using a cell phone, talking to other passengers, eating, and tuning the radio are examples of distracted driving. Removing your attention from the road even for a few seconds is enough to cause an accident.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Drinking and driving is never a good idea. One or two drinks are enough to impair your reflexes and decision-making. The same goes for some prescription and illicit drugs.
  • Weather: Colorado weather can shift at any time. Hail, rain, snow, and sleet can make driving conditions more hazardous than usual.

Now a Word from Bradley Pollock

Auto Legal Talk
By Bradley Pollock of Bell & Pollock, Injury Attorneys

Every year, first responders are injured–nay, even killed–while they bravely provide emergency services along Coloradan roads and highways for those in need. Colorado’s “Move Over” law (codified under C.R.S. § 42-4-705) has been in effect since 2005. It was enacted to make all roadside emergency professionals safer, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency service responders, tow truck operators, and highway maintenance workers (as well as public utility vehicles as of September 1, 2017). The Move Over law requires motorists to move over to allow for roadside emergency professionals to pass, or, if moving over is not possible because of weather, road conditions, or the immediate presence of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, motorists must slow down significantly.

As of September 1, 2017, violation of Colorado’s Move Over law, which results in an injury, can now be punishable as a class 1 misdemeanor with 12 to 18 months of jailtime and/or a $5,000 fine. Previously, the punishment ranged from only 10 days to 12 months, with a maximum fine of $1,000. The State Senate unanimously approved the bill’s harsher range of penalties, and the bill effortlessly passed into law.

The legislation for harsher penalties first came into effect as a result of the senseless deaths of two Colorado Highway Patrol Troopers, who were hit and killed in separate incidents by drivers failing to abide the Move Over law. Recently, even before the enactment of the bill, Colorado law enforcement had been stepping up its enforcement on the law. It’s hard not to see why: From 1993 to 2009, law enforcements reported at least one officer being hit and killed every month on the nation’s highways.

Police say that ignorance is not a viable excuse. (In one national survey, 71% of Americans reported that they had never heard of a “Move Over” law.) So, move over or get a ticket, Colorado. It is always a good idea and common courtesy to remember to pull to the right for sirens and lights. Violation of the Move Over law, where injuries do not result, can still result in real consequences for motorists, such as a careless driving ticket, fines, and/or points taken off your license.

If you have questions about these issues, simply contact the skilled motor vehicle accident lawyers at Bell & Pollock, P.C. for a free, no-obligation consultation to find out more about how we can help you. We are here to help you get justice, and we know how to devise the right Legal Game Plans™ to get victims full, fair compensation so they can recover and move on with their lives.™

To Learn Even More . . .

Visit our website to listen to the show on this subject and all of our other radio shows on various legal topics.

If you have any questions about the topics discussed in today’s newsletter, or questions on other legal issues, give our office a call and one of our attorneys would be happy to talk with you.

More Information

Get more information about your rights and options following an accident by checking out one of our helpful BOOKS: THEY ARE FREE.

  • Don’t Get Hurt Twice in the Same Accident – This enlightening guide dispels some of the most common (and harmful) myths about car crashes, insurance companies, attorneys, and financial recoveries.
  • The Essential Guide to Car Insurance in Colorado – This guide helps all drivers better understand car insurance. If you’ve ever had a question about a claim, dispute or car insurance in general, this is a must-read.
  • Cowards of the Street: Hit & Run – This book uncovers the facts about hit and runs and how to financially recover from these crashes. It also shares about what you can do to protect yourself before and after a hit and run accident occurs.
  • Colorado’s Workers’ Compensation: The Ultimate Guide – This insightful book reveals everything you need to know in order to protect your rights as a worker – and to position a Colorado workers’ compensation claim for success.
  • Legal Game Plan – This educational book helps you better understand insurance company’s hidden game plan…and come up with one on your own!
  • Motorcycle Accidents (or How to Go Full Throttle Against the Insurance Companies) – This informative read will help motorcyclists come up with a plan of action to combat the insurance agencies. If you ride a motorcycle, you need this book.
  • 18 Mistakes You Could Make to Destroy Your Injury Claim – Found within is a precise guide regarding a trove of detailed mistakes one should avoid when pursuing a successful resolution to ones case. This work helps answer questions and details advice to protect oneself from common pitfalls and perils associated with a compensation claim.
  • Distracted Driving and Your Injury Claim  This comprehensive work assists all drivers in understanding the dangers of distracted driving and its relationship to your injury claim.
  • Premises Liability (Landowner Responsibility and Injury Recovery) – This definitive piece renders the details behind the history of the Premises Liability Law in Colorado and highlights examples of responsibility which further offers a practical guide for injured victims.

Call our office to request copies of our books. THEY ARE FREE. You can also request a copy of any (or all) of these books on our website. You can download a free electronic copy anytime. And be sure to tune in to our weekly radio show to learn more about a variety of legal topics.

At Bell & Pollock “We Educate & Advocate”

The better educated you are, the better off you’ll be.

Remember, Bell & Pollock airs specialty “injury shows” for injured victims on the following stations, at the following times and days:

  • KBCR 96.9 FM at 8:00 am on Sundays
  • The Boat 1230 AM at 9:00 am on Sundays
  • KEZZ 94.1 FM at 9:00 am on Sundays
  • ESPN 98.9 FM at 8:30 am on Sundays
  • KRDO 105.5 FM at 8:30 am on Sundays
  • KRAI 93.7 FM at 7:00 am on Sundays
  • KRDO 120 AM 105 AM at 8:30 am on Sunday
  • Saturday Specialty Injury Show – The “Champions of the People” Injury show. Denver 60-minute Injury Show: KOA 850 AM at 10 AM, KRDO 1240 AM 105 FM in Colorado Springs at 11:00 AM, KRAI 55 AM in Craig at 8 AM and KBCR 96.9 FM in Steamboat Springs at 8:00 AM.

Bell & Pollock also has a live call-in show on Saturday morning on 630 AM KHOW and on KRDO 1240 AM 105 FM in Colorado Springs and on KEZZ 94.1 FM in Steamboat Springs, and on KRAI 55.0 AM in Craig, Colorado. The show starts at 7:00 AM every Saturday morning.

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For the ninth consecutive year in a row, Bell & Pollock, P.C. has received an award from the Colorado Supreme Court with regard to its pro-bono representation of people in the community. This means that Bell & Pollock, P.C. has dedicated and devoted substantial time each year to helping people with legal work on a pro-bono basis.

Bell & Pollock, P.C. is very pleased with this award and has dedicated a large effort to helping people in the community. Remember that Gary Bell and Brad Pollock do a live call-in radio show at 7:00 am on 630 KHOW AM dial in Denver and it also airs on KRDO 1240 AM 105 FM in Colorado Springs, KRAI 55 AM in Craig and KEZZ 94.1 FM in Steamboat Springs.

It is a call-in show, and people can call in and ask any legal question on any legal subject. Gary Bell and Brad Pollock have been doing this for years and very much enjoy the interchange with the community and helping people who are seeking some form of legal help and answers to their questions.

The Bell Pollock Legal Show! You might want to tune in. Some of the questions and answers are eye opening!

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Here’s Gary Bell & Brad Pollock receiving one of their awards from the Colorado Supreme Court.

Call us at 720-613-6736 We are ready to help you!

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