| Read Time: 3 minutes | Accident Reports

How to Get a Colorado Police Report After an Accident

Know When You Need to File a Police Report In Colorado, almost every vehicle collision must be reported to the police. A law enforcement officer will typically come to the scene, gather evidence, call in medical services if necessary, and file a report on what happened. You may think a minor accident is no big deal and there is no reason to involve the police, but not all injuries show up right away, and it’s important to document the facts. Once law enforcement arrives, they might talk to you and make a statement, and knowing what to say can help you in the long run. You can lose out on potential compensation if you say the wrong thing to a police officer. If you have questions or need immediate assistance, please contact us online or call (303) 665-2929 for a free consultation. When Is It Necessary to Call the Cops After a Crash? You are required, by Colorado state law, to notify the police of a crash when there is any property damage or anyone is injured or killed. There is no minimum value on the property damage that must be reported. You must remain at the scene until a police officer arrives, and the officer may or may not interview you about the incident. What Should I Say to the Police? When you are asked questions by a police officer at the scene of an accident, you should answer those questions honestly. Lying to a police officer or attempting to mislead them about something that happened can have serious legal consequences. So always answer questions honestly, but keep your answers short. Do not ever admit guilt or say an accident was your fault. The scene is still under investigation, and you don’t know what other factors contributed to the crash, or what the other driver was doing. A police officer can only include things in a report that he or she sees or hears directly. The police can provide information about the evidence on the scene, but cannot say who caused the collision if they did not see it. If you tell an officer that you caused an accident, however, then he can repeat that and include it in his report. Will the Police Officer File an Accident Report? In Colorado, police officers usually file a crash report if there is property damage in excess of $1,000 or someone was injured or killed. A report will be filed if one or more drivers involved did not have car insurance, but otherwise, the officer might not bother to make and file a report. In this case, you should file a personal accident report with the Department of Revenue within 60 days of the crash to make sure there is an official record of what happened. How Can a Police Report Help Me? If you file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your collision, the information in a police report can be used to help your case. If the officer noticed the other driver seemed intoxicated or issued a citation for excessive speeding, it goes a long way to prove that driver’s negligence. A police report can also be helpful if the other driver admitted to fault for the collision at the scene, and changed his story later during a civil proceeding. What About Accident Alerts? Due to severe weather in Colorado, sometimes an “accident alert” will be issued for a certain area. During this time, police must still be called after an accident, but will not come to the scene unless certain requirements are met. In general, police will only come to a crash during an accident alert if: Someone is seriously or fatally injured, Alcohol or drug use is involved, Vehicles are disabled and need to be moved, There is a hit-and-run, and Public property is damaged. Regardless, you should always contact the police after a crash. A police report can help your lawsuit, but it is important that you do not say anything that can be used against you later. Contact Tenge Law Firm Today If you have had a serious injury accident and need legal help, feel free to call the Tenge Law Firm, LLC at (303) 665-2929 or send us an online message to discuss your situation.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | Blog

Do You Want to Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement?

Car accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. These collisions are often the result of negligent driving conduct. If another driver caused your accident and injuries, you would naturally want to maximize your settlement. As an accident victim, you can take specific steps and avoid certain actions for a better chance of recovering a fair level of compensation. What Evidence Can You Record to Get a Higher Settlement? A good attorney will be able to launch an in-depth investigation into your case and find key pieces of evidence. That being said, there is information you can record after your accident that will help your attorney do their job. Various types of evidence are needed to support a successful claim. Some of the things you can hold on to for your claim include: Police report Witness statements Medical reports Physical evidence, such as pieces of the damaged automobile Pictures of the accident scene Photos of your car and the at-fault driver’s car Pictures showing your injuries Evidence that your injuries have worsened A daily log of your pain and suffering, including your symptoms and their duration Medical bills to document your costs for treatment Documents showing your income loss from time away from work Proof of expenses such as auto repairs, rental car costs, taxi service to and from the doctor, housekeeping, and in-home nursing All bills and receipts related to your accident A good rule of thumb is to keep all documents involved with your claim. Never throw away a bill, receipt, pay stub, or price quote. Anything that indicates the damages you have suffered should be safely stored away and then given to your attorney. What Steps Can Help You Get a Higher Settlement? Beyond holding on to all possible documentation, there are other key steps you can take to ensure that you receive as much compensation as possible. In our experience, clients who take an active role in their claims are likely to receive more. Some steps we recommend you follow are: Calculating a settlement: Have a settlement amount in mind before you begin negotiations. Do not reveal this number to the insurance adjuster. You should also not jump at the first offer you receive. It is likely lower than the insurance company is willing to go. Advocating for yourself: Emphasize emotional points in your favor, such as how painful the injury was and the long-term effects of the accident. Refer to pictures of severe injuries or your vehicle that was wrecked in the crash. Reveal how the accident and injuries have affected your life. Protecting your settlement: When negotiations are over, make sure the agreed-upon settlement is in writing. What Should You Avoid While Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement? That being said, there are also things you should avoid doing in the case of filing a personal injury claim. Insurance companies are quick to find anything they can use to tear you down and pay you as little as possible. In order to protect yourself and your compensation, you should: Keep important info to yourself: During your car accident settlement negotiations, do not release your medical records to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Only your insurance company is entitled to your medical records. The other side could use that information against you. Never admit fault: Do not let an adjuster pressure you into settling your claim. Adjusters are skilled in various tactics for convincing you to accept less than your claim is worth. Do not admit fault for the accident, give a recorded statement, or sign anything from the adjuster. You should also never speak to an insurance adjuster alone. If one calls, inform them that they can speak with your attorney, and end the conversation there. Follow your doctor’s orders: Continue with your treatment until your doctor releases you. If you stop going to the doctor when you feel better, it can affect your case and the amount of your settlement. Who Should You Speak with Concerning Your Claim? Instead of talking to insurance adjusters, consult with an experienced lawyer about your claim. Our Boulder personal injury attorney at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, can investigate your accident to determine fault and liability and collect and preserve evidence to support your claim. We have the knowledge and resources to assess the full extent of your losses and the full value of your claim. We can negotiate skillfully with the insurance company on your behalf, so you won’t have to speak with an adjuster and risk damaging your case. When you have legal representation in a car accident case, insurance companies know they need to go through your lawyer to negotiate a settlement. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Call us at (303) 665-2929 to schedule a free consultation regarding your car accident settlement.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 4 minutes | Blog

15 Strategies to Win Your Personal Injury Case

Most of the civil cases in the United States have to do with personal injury. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the country has an average of 6 million car accidents a year, which does not include 125,000 collisions involving other vehicles, 5,000 deaths from road accidents, and 1.5 million medical malpractice cases every year. How do you get a better than fair chance of winning your personal injury case? Here are 15 strategies to consider: 1. Be Transparent with Your Attorney Present all the facts to your lawyer. Do not hide anything, even the details that you think are unimportant or make you look bad. It is the job of your attorney to decide what is and what is not important for your case, including preexisting medical conditions. Your legal team can only do an effective job with all the relevant information. 2. Keep Case Details to Yourself Do not talk about the incident until you have hired a lawyer who can guide you appropriately. Something you say off the cuff may be put on record and used against you by the other party, causing you to lose money. The last thing you want is to torpedo your case because of a stray comment. 3. Do Not Talk to Insurance Providers Do not make any commitments to insurance companies. Many insurance companies manipulate people, and try to back them into a corner or get them to say something harmful to their case on the record. Play coy and wait for your lawyer to give you proper legal advice. 4. Ask Yourself if You are Ready for a Legal Battle Can you afford to sue? Do you have the time to do this? Believe it or not, many people do not ask themselves these questions before pursuing legal action. If you think it will be too much for you to handle, then it is okay to walk away. 5. Steer Clear of Pie-in-the-Sky Attorneys Avoid lawyers who promise you thousands of dollars in compensation right away – without hearing your case completely. Flashy and loud attorneys can be impressive with their words, but this does not automatically translate to skill in the negotiating table or courtroom. 6. Do Your Homework Study cases like the one you plan to file and look at how they were won or lost. This will give you a better idea of what to expect, and help you understand if you have a quality claim or not. However, try to stick to cases that were filed in the last five years only, as these are probably the most relevant. 7. Try to Get a Medical Professional on Your Side Make sure your doctor is on your side. The attending doctor is crucial to winning a personal injury case because if he says the injury is unrelated to the accident, then you have a major problem. Doctors are looked upon as expert witnesses and their testimony can make or break a case. Your doctor should be credible, with a good reputation, for his or her testimony to carry as much weight as it can in the courtroom. 8. Document Every Piece of Evidence in Your Case Try to document everything using a camera or written official documents. Good-quality evidence is the cornerstone to any legal case. Collect anything and everything that appears relevant and bring it to your attorney. 9. Try Not to Bloviate When Discussing Your Case Avoid exaggeration when discussing your case with anyone. Many people cannot resist the urge to talk about ongoing legal action, and sometimes details get overemphasized. Again, this can be taken out of context by the other party and used against you. 10. You and Your Attorney Are a Team Don’t fight with or try to upstage your lawyer, especially in front of other people. If there is an issue or something you do not agree with, discuss it privately and try to agree on a common strategy. Both attorney and client need to be in tight tandem if they are to be successful. 11. Trust the Process Be patient. Many people tend to get stressed because civil claims take a while to resolve, but losing your patience can work against you. The best approach would be to keep up to date with the goings on and overall strategy with your attorney. Don’t get antsy and decide to change you what you want midway through the negotiations. This is a recipe for disaster and a great way to set your case up for failure. 12. Cover All of Your Bases Do the math with your lawyer. Understand the best and worst possible outcome for your case. Being aware of every possible scenario, find common ground on how far you want to take the case, and what outcomes you would be willing to accept. 13. Your Character May Be a Point of Contention Be ready to have your life turned upside down because the other party will do their best to damage your reputation in order to win. During a lawsuit, the opposing parties may stoop to character assassination to win the case. This means being on your best behavior. 14. Sometimes a Settlement Is a Good Option Consider a settlement. This will resolve your case faster and allow you to put everything behind you. 15. Chose an Attorney Who Is Right for You Hire the right lawyer. Don’t pick someone based on a recommendation or rumor. Study the experience, training, and skills of the lawyer and the firm he works for before making your decision. Also, make sure you like his style and personality. Making an educated choice will make the process much easier on you and your loved ones. Need a Personal Injury Lawyer? Call the Tenge Law Firm, LLC! Here at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we know how difficult it can be to navigate a personal injury case. There are a lot of factors to consider, and the difference between a successful and unsuccessful case...

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Blog

The Statute of Limitations in Colorado Car Accident Claims

After you’ve been injured in a car accident in Colorado, your first move is to seek medical attention. It doesn’t take long, however, before you start wondering how long you have to file a claim. If you weren’t the one responsible for the accident, you want to know that you won’t have to bear the full weight of your medical bills on your own; but how long do you have to ensure that the responsible party will pay the funds you’re due?

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Blog

What Is Colorado Law Regarding Seat Belts?

In Colorado, adults sitting in the back seat of a car do not have to wear a seat belt, but all drivers and passengers sitting in the front must be wear a seatbelt. Why the difference? The reason is that a seat belt’s effectiveness has been shown to be much greater for front seat passengers. That is not to say that a seat belt is not effective for those sitting in the backseat. Studies have proven that safety belts save lives when worn properly, regardless of where a person is sitting in a car or truck. For example, a seat belt can save the lives of back seat passengers by keeping them from being thrown from a car in a violent accident. Moreover, not all seat belts are equal. A three-point seat belt, or one that goes across the shoulder and lap, has been proven to be more effective than a belt that only goes across the lap, especially for passengers in the front seat of a vehicle. Under Colorado law, all minors – those under 18 years of age – must be in a seatbelt, regardless of where they are sitting in the car. Younger children are required to be in an appropriate child restraint seat until they reach the age of eight. For babies who are less than 20 pounds, the seat must be rear facing; and for all other children, the forward-facing car seat must be in the backseat of the car. Parents will be ticketed for any children not properly buckled in or in car seats. Although police officers are not permitted to pull cars over because the driver is not wearing a seatbelt, if the officer pulls the automobile over for a different traffic violation, the officer may also ticket any drivers or passengers in violation of the safety belt laws. I have a classic car and I live in Colorado – do I need to install seat belts? You enjoy cruising around with the top down in your 1960 Oldsmobile 98, but there is one problem – you do not have any seat belts installed in the car. The good news is that Colorado’s law makes a specific exemption for cars manufactured before 1968. This is because, prior to that year, car manufacturers were not required to install seat belts in cars. The bad news is that you would be driving around without a seat belt, which is a rather dangerous activity. Seat belts can usually be installed in an antique car fairly easily and without too much of a cost. Considering that the Colorado State Patrol Department of Safety estimates that a properly worn seat belt gives a person a 50% better chance of surviving in a crash, it would seem like an easy choice to install seatbelts in a classic car. Although wearing a seatbelt during an accident can help prevent serious bodily injury or death, it will not prevent all harm. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another driver, then you should seek the counsel of an experienced Colorado auto accident attorney. Most attorneys will provide you with a free initial consultation, which can provide you with an estimate for your potential damages and answer any questions that you may have about your case.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 3 minutes | Blog

Loss of Enjoyment and Why It’s Important

The term “loss of enjoyment” seems pretty straightforward, and in some ways, it is. It means exactly what it seems like: a person has lost an element of enjoyment in his or her life. But even a simple term can become complicated and have far-reaching implications in the American legal system. After an accident, it is important to understand concepts like loss of enjoyment. These kinds of losses are not as simple to explain as “economic damages,” which include the hard costs of your lost wages or your medical bills. But calculating your loss of enjoyment is vital to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve after a serious accident, and it’s a service the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, provides to all clients. What Is Loss of Enjoyment? From a legal perspective, “loss of enjoyment” or “loss of enjoyment of life” refers to the ways in which a serious injury impacts someone’s quality of life, so they receive less enjoyment from the things they were able to do before the accident. For example, consider a woman who is passionate about gardening and likes to spend hours every day kneeling in her garden and tending to plants. She is walking down the street one day and trips on an uneven part of the sidewalk, which the city has been meaning to repair. This causes her to fall, and she suffers a serious knee injury that requires surgery and leaves her with chronic pain in her knees. Now, she cannot spend more than a few minutes kneeling in her garden without being in agony. Due to the fall, her enjoyment of gardening has been greatly diminished—this is a loss of enjoyment. And since the city was responsible for the upkeep of the dangerous sidewalk, the city should be the one paying for it. How Is Loss of Enjoyment Calculated? There are several factors that come into play when a loss of enjoyment is calculated. First of all, it’s important to note that loss of enjoyment is a non-economic damage, so there is no obvious numerical value that can be attached to it, as there is with something like medical bills. As such, there is a lot of leeway and interpretation when it comes to figuring out what a loss of enjoyment is worth, and a good personal injury lawyer can help immeasurably. Courts and juries will often consider the age of the victim and the severity of the injury. How many more years will the person experience this loss of enjoyment? Younger plaintiffs have better chances of receiving a larger sum because the loss will affect them longer. Catastrophic injures that cause greater pain or interfere with daily life are also more likely to result in greater awards for loss of enjoyment. What Are Some Other Non-Economic Damages? Loss of enjoyment of life is not the only non-economic damage a person can seek in Colorado after a serious injury. Some other non-economic damages include things like: Pain and Suffering – In a personal injury claim, the plaintiff can seek compensation for the pain he or she suffered or is currently suffering. Chronic pain that is likely to last for years is particularly traumatic. Emotional Stress – A plaintiff can also seek compensation for emotional distress and mental anguish. Anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues that arise due to an accident are included in these damages. Loss of Consortium – If the plaintiff is married, and injuries from the accident negatively impact his or her ability to be together physically with a spouse, this can be included as part of a lawsuit. Physical impairments can also be seen as a form of non-economic damages, but in Colorado they are considered separately. These include disfigurements, loss of limbs, paralysis, and similar injuries with long-term or permanent impairments associated with them. One extra thing we should note is that Colorado does have a “cap” or limit on all non-economic damages in a civil lawsuit, including loss of enjoyment. There is no cap on physical impairment damages, however. Is a Lawyer Really That Important? Yes! In any lawsuit, it’s vital to have a knowledgeable and experienced Colorado trial attorney to represent you. Trying to handle a car crash, a workplace injury, or a slip-and-fall by yourself is a huge mistake, especially if you’re badly hurt. You may miss deadlines, improperly file legal paperwork, and not even think to ask for additional damages you deserve. Not having your own lawyer also makes it harder to get a fair settlement or win a lawsuit in court—especially since the other party will certainly have one. For answers to your questions after suffering a serious injury in Colorado, speak to the Tenge Law Firm, LLC at (303) 665-2929. We offer a free consultation, and we have a track record of success.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 4 minutes | Blog

Weather-Related Car Accidents in Colorado

In Inclement Conditions, Is Anyone Liable for a Crash? Who’s to blame for the rain? No one. But a rainy day doesn’t automatically excuse drivers who collide with other vehicles. The same is true with fog, snow, or a full-blown storm. No matter what the weather’s like outside, people still have to exercise caution. If they make a wrong move or a careless decision and you get seriously hurt, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against them. And we can help. The Tenge Law Firm, LLC, is a full-service law firm with offices in Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins. As a boutique firm, we give individual attention to a small number of clients with cases involving devastating injuries. If you think you really need a lawyer, give us a call at (303) 758-0393. Your consultation is free, and we have recovered millions of dollars for deserving clients. Let us see what we can do for you. A Strong Chance of Weather-Related Dangers Based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 21% of the five million crashes the United States sees annually – nearly 1,235,000 – have adverse weather as a factor. Around 5,000 people are killed and 400,000 more wounded by weather-related crashes every year. This adverse weather for driving includes: Rain: Falling rain can impact your ability to see through your windows, and create slippery surfaces for your wheels. Wet pavement doesn’t have as much traction, so cars need more time to come to a stop, and any sudden braking can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. Snow or sleet: The cold can lock up some vital parts of the car, and snow or sleet can accumulate on the roof, hide traffic signs, and create whiteout conditions. Ice: Icy roads cause untold collisions. Black ice is especially hard to detect, and can send the vehicle skidding off the road or into another object. Fog: Mist, fog, and even smoke from another accident can completely remove your ability to see obstacles. Some drivers try to put on the high-beams to help, but that actually creates more danger High crosswinds: Wind can raise up dust and debris, obscuring your visibility, or rock your vehicle from side to side, potentially making you lose control. After a snowier-than-usual winter in Colorado, we tend to have wetter springs and summers. When there’s a high moisture content in the soil, it tends to produce even more showers and storms. May and June traditionally have the most “volatile” activity in the Denver/Front Range area. But accurate forecasting is usually done on a day-by-day basis, so drivers should always check their weather apps and the local news before hitting the road. Since NHTSA data indicate that a vast majority of weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement and during rainfall, it’s important to keep this in mind. A smaller percentage of accidents occur during snow/sleet, on icy pavement, or on snowy/slushy pavement, and only 3% of recorded weather-related crashes happen in the presence of fog – but that can change in an instant, depending on which conditions descend on your area. The “bomb cyclone” we saw in 2019 is a good example of this, it caused numerous accidents, including a 100-vehicle pileup. When Might Another Driver Be Liable? As personal injury attorneys, we see that most preventable weather-related crashes are caused by a driver: Being distracted: We know visibility is poor in bad weather, but apps on a phone will not help anyone navigate the roads ahead. To do that, the driver must be focused on factors outside the car, and minimize distractions inside. Speeding: Traveling too fast for conditions is a major cause of weather-related crashes, and will send many vehicles spinning out of control. Tailgating: Following too closely increases a driver’s odds of hitting the car in front of them, and it takes more distance to come to a stop in inclement weather. Making aggressive moves: If you cannot tell what another driver is trying to do, or that driver makes a sudden, improper lane change, they can force you off the road or make you collide with another object when trying to avoid them. Having malfunctioning lights or other equipment: Some drivers are held to a higher standard than others. In a crash, commercial trucks can do a lot more damage than the average car, so their drivers need to make sure everything is working properly before hitting the road. They also have to follow federal safety regulations, and when they don’t, both trucker and company may be held liable for causing a crash, weather or not. In fact, if the conditions outside are looking too dangerous, responsible trucking companies and drivers shouldn’t be traveling at all. After a weather-related accident, don’t assume it was all your fault or it couldn’t possibly be avoided. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to investigate your case. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to deny or diminish rightful claims, and the weather can give them a strong excuse to do so – unless you fight back. Why Tenge Law Firm, LLC, Is the Team for You After a devastating injury, not just any lawyer will do. Whether you have suffered traumatic brain injury, amputation, spinal cord damage, or broken bones, you need an experienced legal team that understands the unique complexities of car accident cases. From our more than 25 years of experience handling serious crashes in Colorado, the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, knows how to find compelling evidence to support your claim, even after a confusing winter-weather crash. We work with accident reconstructionists and other experts when necessary, and have a network of medical providers to get our clients the care they need. While you recover, we’ll calculate every expense you incurred because of the accident, and negotiate a settlement for you. If necessary, we’ll go to trial. With every client we take on, we focus on the 4Rs: reviews, ratings, results, and relationships. When you work with our team, you’re treated like family. Call (303) 758-0393 or submit our contact form today to get started.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 4 minutes | Blog

Process of a Colorado Personal Injury Claim

Filing an Injury Claim Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be an overwhelming experience filled with plenty of obstacles and confusing legal jargon. Hiring an experienced attorney to guide you through the process of filing a claim and seeing it through to trial, if necessary, is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself if you have been seriously injured. Leading Boulder & Denver, CO injury attorney J. Todd Tenge handles all types of serious personal injury claims and, unlike some other lawyers, isn’t afraid to take a lawsuit to trial, should it be in the best interests of a client. For more information about personal injury lawsuits, contact the Boulder or Fort Collins office of the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, serving the entire Front Range, to schedule a free, confidential consultation. If you have been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligent or deliberately wrongful behavior, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we meet with clients promptly after their accidents to talk about the circumstances surrounding their cases, their injuries, and what constitutes a viable personal injury claim. Prior to and during your initial face to face, free consultation, we will probably ask you to compile documents, photos (if any), insurance information, and medical records and bills. Your claim cannot proceed unless we have this type of documentation. If we agree to represent you and/or your loved one, we will thoroughly investigate the accident and analyze all aspects of your claim. How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Claim in Colorado? Most people do not believe they have a personal injury case or, if they do, they are afraid to go to trial and fight for compensation. The trauma after an accident can leave people wanting a return to normalcy and most do not want to deal with the anxiety of a court room because they do not feel that the law has always been on their side. However, when armed with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, plaintiffs can readily determine the viability of their claim and evaluate how to move forward. During your consultation with your attorney, you will review all aspects of the accident and your injuries to determine if you have a claim or not. To present a valid claim against an insurance company or jury – and, more importantly, to win a case – you must first establish the following aspects of the case: Duty Owed: To prove negligence on the part of the person or company who caused the injury, the plaintiff must first demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. Duty owed can include another motorist’s duty to obey traffic laws and maintain a safe distance from your vehicle, a property owner’s duty to clean up spills and post signage about safety risks, and a nursing home attendant’s duty to ensure the safety and proper treatment of the residents. Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must subsequently show that the duty owed to him or her was breached. In other words, the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in fulfilling that duty. For example, a shopkeeper knowingly failed to post a warning about an unstable step at the entrance of their shop, or a nursing home employee failed to provide a resident with adequate food or water. Causation: The plaintiff must prove that his or her injury was caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. For example, because the shopkeeper failed to warn patrons of the unstable step, a customer tripped, fell, and broke her back. Or, because a truck driver was under the influence of drugs and hit another car, the driver of that car suffered a brain injury. Damages: In order to collect damages, plaintiffs must be able to prove that they suffered losses and expenses as a direct result of their accident-related injuries. In the state of Colorado, damages are categorized as economic, noneconomic, and physical impairments. Each are calculated separately, but they are all directly linked to the accident and how your life has been affected by it, including medical bills, pain and suffering, and disabilities. When reviewing your personal injury claim, the Tenge Law Firm, LLC will account for all elements that played a part in the accident to ensure you have a strong case. Investigation and Discovery During the investigation phase, our legal team will gather as much information as possible to support, present, and prove your personal injury lawsuit. One element of the investigation may be an accident reconstruction, or other experts may be called upon for their consultation. We may also seek information about the defendant during this time – for example, in a nursing home abuse case, we may review the nursing home’s record for any past occurrences of abusive or otherwise negligent behavior. Other elements of the discovery phase may include submitting written questions to the defendant, providing testimony in front of a court reporter, and requesting documents or other pieces of relevant information. If you have questions about personal injury lawsuits, contact either the Boulder or Fort Collins office of the Tenge Law Firm, LLC. Our expert legal team would be happy to schedule an initial consultation with you to determine whether you have a valid personal injury claim. Pre-trial Resolution: Settlement Some cases are best resolved through negotiated settlements before going to trial or even without filing a lawsuit. A settlement is an agreement, sometimes reached through mediation, in which the defendant and/or insurance company agrees to pay the plaintiff a sum of money in exchange for the plaintiff dropping all further courses of legal action. You can rest assured that the Tenge Law Firm, LLC legal team will not advise you to settle unless it is in your absolute best interest. Filing Lawsuit and Going to Trial In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, your case will go to trial. J. Todd Tenge, supported by our experienced legal staff, is nothing short of tenacious in the courtroom. He will not...

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 4 minutes | Blog

Types of Damages in Colorado Personal Injury Claims

Getting You the Compensation You Deserve After an Accident in Colorado The term “damages” refers to the monetary compensation that an injured party collects after reaching a settlement or winning a personal injury lawsuit. A judge or jury will award damages to an injured victim who demonstrates financial, physical, and/or emotional losses and expenses related to their injury. Colorado personal injury attorney J. Todd Tenge will help you obtain the maximum compensation for your personal injury claim. He can speak with you about the types of personal injury damages at his Boulder, Fort Collins, or Denver offices, and can help you determine the amount of compensation you should receive after an injury. For assistance, please contact our Colorado personal injury law firm today by filling out our online form or calling (303) 665-2929 today to schedule a free consultation. Compensatory Damages in Colorado Compensatory damages are awarded for demonstrable losses and expenses incurred as a result of the accident and your injuries. As the defendant is liable to the plaintiff for the direct consequences of his or her wrongful act, compensatory damages reimburse the plaintiff for any losses which are due to the defendant’s conduct. Within the state of Colorado, there are three types of compensatory damages: economic, non-economic, and physical impairment. Economic Damages Economic damages are out-of-pocket financial losses incurred due to an accident. The most common are medical-related expenses and lost wages. These are expenses which are usually tangible for which tangible and quantifiable, including: Past and future hospital, rehabilitation, or other medical bills Past, present, and future lost earnings Funeral costs (in wrongful death cases) Essential services (home and yard care) The State of Colorado does not have caps on economic damages, with the exception of cases of medical malpractice, which limits economic damages to $1,000,000. Non-economic Damages Non-economic damages are intended to compensate victims for intangible, non-monetary losses related to an injury – such as physical and emotional distress, pain and suffering, grief, anxiety, frustration, and loss of enjoyment of life. In a wrongful death case, non-economic losses would include the loss of support and/or consortium suffered by the surviving relative. Non-economic losses are more abstract than economic losses. These losses are intangible and are hard to quantify. What is pain and suffering worth anyway? It is necessary to have a skilled and experienced attorney on your side to demonstrate the need for compensation in an amount that is fair and just. Because of the intangibility of non-economic losses, tort reform in Colorado has placed caps on non-economic damages in the following cases: Pain and Suffering: $250,000 before inflation and $500,000 after inflation. Punitive Damages: The amount awarded to a plaintiff must not exceed the economic damages awarded with the exception of extreme cases, in which the cap is three times the economic damages. Medical Malpractice: $300,000 for pain and suffering, including as a result of wrongful death. Wrongful Death: $250,000 or $500,000 before inflation for pain and suffering. If the death was the result of medical malpractice, the cap is $300,000. Dram Shop: $150,000 per person injured at a tavern or bar. Damages for Physical Impairments Within the state of Colorado, physical impairments are categorized separately from economic and non-economic damages. As a result, costs related to physical impairments are calculated separately from the other categories and will not be capped the same way as non-economic damages. This includes pain and suffering as a result of permanent impairment, such as cosmetic disfigurements, neurological damage, the disruption of internal organs’ natural processes, and other impairments. Determining the long-term effects of a physical impairment can take time, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help you properly calculate how your life has changed following an injury and what compensation you are owed. Determining Compensatory Damages in Colorado after a Permanent Injury It’s important to seek legal counsel to properly determine the damages to which you are owed; once you are compensated for an injury, you cannot return to the courts for further compensation related to that injury, even if it’s a permanent injury that requires lifelong medical attention and care. J. Todd Tenge, with help from his extensive base of legal resources and expert witnesses, will accurately project both the current and future losses and expenses that permanently injured victims can expect. If you have a question about the types of personal injury damages to which you may be entitled, contact Boulder attorney J. Todd Tenge. Punitive Damages A judge or jury will typically award punitive damages if the defendant acted with fraud, malice, or willful or wanton misconduct. Rather than compensating the victim for his or her injury, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for egregiously wrongful behavior and deter future wrongful behavior. This includes purposeful behavior that a reasonable person would deem dangerous, reckless, or without regard for the rights and safety of others. For example, in a case where a drunk driver willingly got into a vehicle, caused an auto accident, and killed a pedestrian, the victim’s family would be compensated for their actual economic and non-economic losses, and also awarded punitive damages. Some states impose a cap on the amount of punitive damages awarded to a plaintiff. In Colorado, punitive damages may not exceed the amount awarded for compensatory damages. Contact Us About Colorado Personal Injury Damages If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence and wish to file a personal injury claim, you could recover damages to compensate you. Attorney J. Todd Tenge can help you pursue a fair and just settlement.  Contact or call (303) 665-2929 to get in touch with the Tenge Law Firm, LLC today. We offer free, no-obligation consultations.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Blog

Types of Personal Injury Claims

Types of Injury Claims That We Handle Serious accidents are not limited to any particular time or place; they can occur on the road, in a place of business, on the job, or even at home. If an accident is caused by the negligent or otherwise wrongful behavior of another person, victims may be entitled to compensation for any losses and expenses that stem from the incident. This compensation is oft-needed, as the injuries described below can debilitate and devastate victims and their families. For more information, contact injury attorney J. Todd Tenge, of the Boulder, Fort Collins, and Denver areas. Neck and Back Injuries: Neck and back injuries cause a lot of pain and discomfort, as well as loss of range of motion. Sprains, strains, herniated discs, and fractured vertebrae are among the most common neck and back injuries. Orthopedic Injuries: Orthopedic injuries include sprains or fractures, joint injuries, ligament or tendon tears, and repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Spinal Cord Injuries: When the spinal cord is injured, it loses its ability to send messages from the brain to other parts of the body. Someone with a spinal cord injury may lose some or all movement and function below the point of injury. Brain Injuries: A catastrophic injury, brain injuries occur when the head suffers trauma that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Brain injuries can lead to cognitive, sensory, communication, and/or behavioral problems. Burn Injuries: Burn injuries range in severity and are classified in degrees – first, second, or third. The most severe burn injuries can extend deep enough into the skin to damage nerve endings, blood vessels, and even muscles. Disfiguring Injuries: Disfiguring injuries include extensive scarring, wounds, amputation, or an injury that otherwise leaves a permanent visible reminder. Paralysis: Often the result of a spinal cord injury, paralysis can affect the legs and/or arms on one or both sides of the body. Wrongful Death: Families may file wrongful death claims after the loss of a loved one. Contact Our Injury Attorney for Legal Help If you or a loved one is the victim of a serious personal injury, or if you have lost a loved one due to the negligent or reckless conduct of another, contact attorney J. Todd Tenge, serving Boulder, Fort Collins, Denver, and surrounding Colorado areas. Mr. Tenge and the expert legal team at the the Tenge Law Firm, LLC would be happy to meet with you personally and confidentially to discuss your claim.

Continue Reading