Denver Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

Distracted driving claimed 3,308 lives across the United States in 2022, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many more victims were injured by motorists who failed to pay proper attention behind the wheel.

Driving while distracted is unsafe, illegal, and can have dire consequences. Those who engage in this behavior can and should be held accountable for the harm they cause. Dulin McQuinn Young will help make that happen. 

Our team of Denver auto accident attorneys have been designated as SuperLawyers and earned many other accolades including a top 10 rating from Avvo, a legal marketplace. With more than 300 jury trials under our belts, we’re also prepared to go to court to fight for the full compensation you deserve. 

We work diligently on your behalf to ensure you successfully hold accountable the driver whose distractedness changed your world. Give us a call today at (303) 246-1111 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about the assistance our Denver distracted driving accident lawyers can offer.

Denver Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”  

Unfortunately, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports that more than 90% of state residents admit they’ve driven while focusing on other things. These distracted Colorado drivers caused an estimated 10,166 crashes on the state’s roads, which killed 68 people and injured more than 1,000 others. 

Colorado has laws in place aimed at prohibiting one of the most common causes of distraction: Phone use.

Drivers under 18 are not allowed to use phones behind the wheel in Colorado and, under a new law signed in June of 2024, adult drivers will also be prohibited from phone use except while using a hands-free device. Previously, adult motorists could use a phone but manual data entry — such as texting or using the Internet while driving — was unlawful. This rule change may make Colorado’s roads safer. 

Common Types of Driver Distraction

While Colorado specifically prohibits the use of phones as a form of driver distraction, any behaviors that divert focus from the road can be dangerous. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) divide distracting behaviors into three categories:

  • Visual distractions cause you to take your eyes off the road. 
  • Manual distractions cause you to remove your hands from the steering wheel.
  • Cognitive distractions cause you to focus your mind on something besides driving. 

Common behaviors such as eating behind the wheel, responding to a text message, talking to passengers in the vehicle, or changing the music are among the many behaviors that can result in a driver losing focus and potentially making dangerous choices while operating their vehicle. 

Who is Responsible for a Denver Distracted Driving Crash?

Drivers have a duty of care to others on the roads. If they fail to fulfill their responsibilities to behave in a safe and appropriate way, they can be held liable for resulting losses caused by their negligence. 

A case called Perreira v. State, 768 P.2d 1198 (1989) provides a simple explanation of what you must demonstrate to hold a distracted driver accountable based on carelessness behind the wheel. “To recover on a claim in negligence, the plaintiff must establish the existence of a legal duty, breach of the duty, causation, and damage.”

If you can show a driver was more distracted than a reasonable motorist would have been, and demonstrate that the distraction was the direct cause of the crash and resulting injuries and damages, you should be able to recover compensation. 

Under a legal doctrine called negligence per se, explained in Colorado jury instructions 9:14, anyone who violates a statute or ordinance designed to protect “against the type of injuries or losses the plaintiff sustained” can be presumed negligent if “the plaintiff was a member of the group of persons the statute or ordinance was intended to protect.”

This means if a driver violated Colorado’s laws on driving while using a handheld cell phone, they can be presumed negligent, which makes it easier to pursue a damage claim.

Distracted drivers can even be held accountable even if they were partly at fault for the incident that led to the accident. Under Colorado Revised Statute § 13-21-111, you can hold the other driver accountable for your losses as long as they were at least 51% responsible for causing them. Your damages will be reduced based on the percentage of fault attributed to you. 

Making a Claim for a Colorado Distracted Driving Crash

You should act quickly to pursue a claim for a distracted driving accident as you have three years to pursue a case before the statute of limitations established in Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-101 expires. 

Once the statute of limitations has run out, you will no longer be able to use the legal system to recover compensation. 

Compensation for Distracted Driving Accidents in Denver

Victims of distracted driving accidents should be compensated for resulting losses including the following. :

  • Medical bills, including past and future care expenses made necessary by crash injuries
  • Lost wages and lost future earning power if injuries impact work abilities
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Emotional distress

Damages for both pain and suffering and emotional distress are capped under Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-102.5 which imposes a limit on non-economic losses that adjusts over time.

Getting Legal Help from a Denver Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

Distracted driving accidents are serious and sometimes fatal. They should never occur because drivers have a duty to pay attention to keep others safe. Sadly, they happen all the time in Colorado.

If you or someone you love needs to file a personal injury in Denver, contact Dulin McQuinn Young as soon as possible following the crash. Our experienced Denver distracted driving accident lawyers will work with you to identify defendants, gather evidence, and build a strong claim. We help many clients settle outside of court, but with extensive experience in jury trials, we are also ready to go to court to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Give us a call at (303) 246-1111 today to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we can help you. 

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