Intoxicated drivers are responsible for causing thousands of serious automobile accidents annually. If you get hit by a drunk driver in Colorado, you may be able to recover damages, or financial compensation, for your medical bills and property repairs. However, you may need help from a Denver car accident lawyer to prove your case and receive a fair payout.
Liability for a Drunk Driving Car Accident
Victims of a car accident that was caused by a drunk driver in Colorado can recover damages from the intoxicated driver’s car insurance policy. This is true regardless of whether the drunk driver has been convicted of a DUI (driving under the influence) in the criminal courts. A civil lawsuit can be filed on behalf of injured crash victims before a DUI charge is filed.
In Colorado, the tort-based insurance law holds at-fault drivers responsible for paying for car accidents. If a driver violated a traffic law and caused a car accident as a result of intoxication, this is grounds to hold that driver liable for harm suffered. Intoxication often constitutes negligence per se, meaning the driver’s negligence is presumed due to a violated law. All drivers in Colorado must carry liability insurance to pay for at-fault car accidents.
Colorado’s Dram Shop Laws
It may be possible to hold a third party responsible for a drunk driving accident in Colorado. Under Colorado’s dram shop law, a vendor who furnished alcohol to an individual who was visibly intoxicated or a minor (under the legal drinking age of 21) could be held liable for a car accident that the intoxicated individual subsequently caused. In certain circumstances, a social host in Colorado could also be held liable for providing a drunk driver with alcohol.
How to Prove Fault in a Colorado DUI Accident Case
Colorado’s fault law requires injured car accident victims to prove the fault of another party before recovering damages. Proof of fault must come in the form of clear and convincing evidence, or a “preponderance of the evidence.” Evidence often used to support an injury claim against a drunk driver includes:
- Alcohol breathalyzer tests
- Urine or blood alcohol tests
- A police report
- Police bodycam footage
- Alcohol containers in the driver’s vehicle
- Photographs and videos
- Eyewitness testimony
- A DUI conviction
You may need assistance from a drunk driving accident lawyer in Denver to prove that a drunk driver or a dram shop is liable for your injuries and related damages. Your attorney can return to the scene of the accident and conduct a full investigation to seek evidence to support your claim.
Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Colorado
Accidents involving drunk drivers can be serious and incredibly traumatic. The injuries involved are often catastrophic, meaning they will affect a victim for the foreseeable future. The value of a personal injury lawsuit will depend on the gravity of the injuries, the degree of fault allocated to each driver and various other factors.
Working with an experienced Denver personal injury attorney can help determine if you may be eligible for economic damages for losses such as your vehicle repairs and medical bills, as well as noneconomic damages for pain and suffering. Estimating the potential damages recoverable in a drunk driving settlement in Colorado requires assistance from an attorney who can analyze your specific case.