How to Prevent an Auto Accident

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” –Benjamin Franklin.

If you’ve ever been in an accident, you know how true that statement is. Some accidents can’t be avoided. But fortunately, many can be prevented by changing just a few habits.

Preventing auto accidents will not only save you a major headache, it will also keep your insurance premiums low, help you avoid costly medical bills and property damage, and save you a lot of time.

Cut out Distractions

According to the NHTSA, cell phones cause 14% of all distraction-affected car crashes in the United States. Other common distractions to avoid include eating while driving and paying too much attention to children or passengers in the car.

Make sure you only use your cell phone while safely pulled off to the side of the road. Teach any children in the car the importance of staying focused on the road while driving. And while most adult passengers should know not to be a distraction, if they are, give them something to helping with like navigation so they will stay focused as well.

Stay out of the fast lane

“By using the center or right lane on multilane roads, you have more ‘escape routes’ should a problem suddenly arise that requires you to quickly change lanes or pull onto the shoulder. Most highway accidents occur in the left lane,” says Edmunds.

By staying out of the left lane on the highway, you have more control over your environment. Additionally, other drivers are less likely to follow you too closely because there will be ample room to pass.

Make sure your car is in tip-top shape

Take your car to your trusted dealer or mechanic and have them do a safety check.

Driving with low tire treads, streaky windshield wipers or screeching brakes is never worth causing an accident. The cost of maintenance is well worth preventing a expensive accident.

Slow down

Speed limits are not set just to be a nuisance and make you late for work. They are set by state and government officials using physics “because setting speed limits is primarily a road safety measure,” says the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.

“The faster you go, the less reaction time you have and the more skills are necessary to avoid an accident. As the speed climbs, so do braking distances and all other force measures that can lead to catastrophic collisions and rollovers,” says Consumer Reports.

Give space

Practice patience if you’re stuck behind a slow driver. Make it easy on yourself and follow the two-second rule, which means at least two seconds (one-one thousand, two-one thousand) should go by before the preceding car and your car pass the same object.

Keep an eye out for red-light runners

Even if you have the right-of-way, being involved in an auto accident produces no winners. Always look both ways in an intersection before proceeding, even with a green light. You never know when someone will decide they are an exception to a red light.

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As always, we hope you have a safe drive on all Denver roads. Do everything in your control to avoid auto accidents and it will be well worth the time you took to do so.

Sometimes auto accidents happen anyway and when they do, we are here to take care of you and your family. If you are involved in an auto accident, contact DCC Law. We will listen to you and get you back to your life as soon as possible.

March 15, 2019

DUIs: What they really mean in Colorado (and why you should NEVER drink and drive)

77 drivers are pulled over every day in Colorado for driving under the influence. Over 10,000 lives were claimed by drunk-driving crashes in the United States in 2017.

While most people across the nation and in Colorado understand how senseless it is to drive under the influence, any life lost or affected by this behavior is a tragedy.

And the state of Colorado agrees. “In 2015, Colorado enacted a new law making an individual’s fourth DUI conviction automatically eligible for a class 4 felony charge,” says the Colorado Department of Transportation.

What Will YOU Lose?

Even if you manage to wriggle out of being convicted of a felony, getting a DUI can change your life.  

Deana was a typical Highlands Ranch mom until she was arrested for driving under the influence. “DUIs cost me everything I had in my life,” she said. She now has to blow into an interlock before driving to prove she is not under the influence of alcohol. “Your life will be changed forever because of it. Period.”

Jacob has felt the financial sting of getting a DUI. “Every aspect of my life has been affected by it; transportation, DUI classes, therapy. It’s been an expensive process. . . [and] a nightmare. If I could just urge you to not get behind the wheel drunk or high—coming from someone who has been through it—please don’t,” he said.

Chante was just going to drive three blocks down the road while under the influence. “I’ve lost my freedom, my home, I have no relationship with my children—they don’t even know who I am. I lost all the things I worked so hard to get in life. I’ve lost a lot,” she said.

How Alcohol Affects Driving

Just one drink can result in a BAC level of .02 which causes a decline in visual functions and the ability to multitask.

Two drinks can bring your BAC level to .05 which results in “reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, reduced response to emergency driving situations.”

And after just three drinks, “muscle coordination becomes poor (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing), [it becomes] harder to detect danger; judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Be Responsible

If you choose to drink alcohol, there are so many ways to do it responsibly in this day in age. Uber, Lyft and the NHTSA’s rideshare app can be downloaded in minutes, which can save you years or even a lifetime of negative consequences.

Other ways to stay off the road include choosing a designated driver before the festivities begin. Good, old-fashioned taxis are also an easy solution.

There really is no reason to drive under the influence with so many resources available but most drunk drivers do it because they don’t think they will get caught. Remember Chantel in the example above, even the shortest distance can change your life.

Defense Against Drunk Drivers

Even with all the examples and education in the world, the unfortunate truth is that some people will still choose to drive under the influence. While we can’t control their actions, we can control ours.

To stay safe against drunk drivers, remember to always wear your seatbelt—it’s the best defense. And if you’re friends have been drinking, never let them get behind the wheel, no matter how good of a driver they think they are.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact DCC Law today. You don’t have to live with injuries or debilitating medical bills just because someone else decided to drive under the influence. We know what it takes to take care of people and we will always work hard to get you back on your feet.

March 08, 2019

6 Common Auto Insurance Terms You Must Know

Did you know one in seven Colorado drivers are uninsured? With approximately 13% of motorists on I-25, C470, Santa Fe and your community roads driving around without insurance, you have to ask yourself if you are prepared.

Being prepared on the road means having auto insurance and additionally, knowing what’s in your plan. Here are six common auto insurance terms you need to know:

Adjuster: A person who investigates and settles insurance claims. In other words, the “individual employed by an insurance company to settle claims brought by policyholders or claimants. The adjuster evaluates each claim and then makes payment based on the coverage available in its policy contract,” says insurance.com.

The insurance adjuster is often one of the first people who will contact you after an auto accident. If this happens, remember to contact your attorney before making any statements, releasing medical records or any other information.

Bodily Injury Liability: “This kind of coverage protects you if you cause an accident that injures or kills someone. It does that by funding your legal defense and covering judgments against you if you’re sued. It also can pay for the lost wages or medical expenses of anyone you injure in a crash. Just remember that value of your policy determines how much Bodily Injury Liability coverage protects you in these cases,” says Quote Wizard by Lending Tree.

Full Coverage Car Insurance: “A policy that includes liability insurance plus collision and comprehensive coverage. It does not (repeat, does not) mean you’re covered against any and all events,” says NerdWallet.

Liability Insurance: “Coverage for sums that an insured becomes legally obligated to pay because of bodily injuries or property damage, or financial losses caused to other people,” says insurance.com.

Medical Payments Coverage (MP or Med Pay): “This coverage (usually optional) pays the doctor, hospital bills, and funeral expenses for injuries to you and the passengers in your car, regardless of who causes the accident, up to the policy limits. Med Pay is sold in states with traditional tort insurance laws. In states where Med Pay is optional, drivers may choose to rely on their own and their passengers’ own health insurance to cover resulting injuries. Most insurance companies offer a wide range of coverage amounts,” according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

In Colorado, this type of coverage must be offered by insurance companies but can be waived by drivers. If Med Pay coverage was waived by the driver, insurance companies must provide proof of declined coverage to the attorney.

While it may be tempting to waive MP coverage, don’t do it. Saving a few bucks here and there won’t be worth it if you’re in an accident and end up with thousands of dollars in medical bills.

Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist Protection: “If you’re hit by a driver who lacks car insurance or has insufficient insurance, your coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury (or UMBI/UIMBI) pays for treatment of your injuries and those of your passengers, while coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage (or UMPD/UIMPD) pays to repair your car,” says NerdWallet.

This auto insurance coverage is similar to Med Pay. It is not required in Colorado and many people opt out of it. Statistically, you may be fine without it but is that a risk you’re willing to take?

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Next time you’re looking at your insurance plan or cruising on those Colorado roads, remember these important coverage tips. We wish everyone would drive safely out there but the reality is that it doesn’t always turn out that way. If you have been involved in an accident, contact DCC Law today and we will help you work through these insurance terms and more.

The team at DCC Law knows what it takes to take care of people. Call us today and let us take care of you.

March 01, 2019

FAQ Friday: When Should I Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?

You were just involved in an auto accident. Your mind is bouncing all over the place—injuries, your job, your family, property damage, insurance. In all the chaos, the last thing you want to worry about is fighting with an insurance company or how you will take care of the imminent medical bills.

What do you do now?

The first thing to recognize is time is of the essence in personal injury or auto accident cases. Next, ask yourself these questions to know if you need to call an attorney today.

How serious are your injuries?

People frequently wait or neglect to contact an auto accident attorney because they don’t think their injuries are severe enough. However, some symptoms can take a few days to show so listen to your body and take note of any swelling, pain or discomfort. Auto accidents can cause new injuries or exacerbate old ones.

If pain lasts more than a few days or required medical attention, call an attorney. “If your injury necessitated hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, chiropractic work, cosmetic surgery or orthopedics, you likely need to have your case evaluated by an injury lawyer,” says the National Law Review. And cases that involve high medical bills are especially best handled by a professional.

Is an insurance representative contacting you?

It’s time for the truth about insurance companies: at the end of the day, they are a business. Their slogan may be something about taking care of you but their goal is to stay in the black.

“If you are contacted by an insurance company representative who asks you for recorded statements, medical records, your story, releases and other information, you should tell them that you are contacting an attorney,” advises the National Law Review.

“Insurance adjusters will often try to get you to make statements that are ultimately harmful to your claim, and you should never sign releases without an attorney’s review. The releases insurance companies frequently ask for are blanket authorizations that allow them to dig through your entire medical history.”

Looking through your medical history could help them blame your injuries on a preexisting condition, therefore reducing your claim and leaving you with mountains of medical bills and no help.

Is the insurance company offering an unreasonably low amount or denying liability?

You may have suffered a life-altering injury for which you will be seeing a doctor for years. The insurance company might not see it this way and if you don’t have someone to advocate for you, they will try to pay as little as possible toward your injuries. They may even try to deny the claim altogether.

Do you know the law and the settlement procedures?

Working through a claim requires understanding complicated medical and legal terms. Getting a fair settlement demands sharp negotiation skills and a knowledge of statutory laws. If you’re not trained in these areas, turning to a professional is crucial.

Additionally, there is so much more that goes into settling a case than just medical bills. “Insurance companies often do not volunteer offers that include money for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium and others on their own,” says the National Law Review.

Are you prepared to handle the amount of time a claim could take?

The average auto accident claim takes a minimum of 4-9 months to settle. Some cases take years. That means months of calling insurance adjusters, shuffling through paperwork, deciphering statements and more. Are you willing to put that time in to get what you need from an insurance company?

An auto accident attorney not only has years of experience handling the nuances of insurance companies, but he or she also has a team of highly-trained professionals to work on your case. Take the extra burden of this work off your shoulders and leave your case in the capable hands of the experts.

Do you need an auto accident attorney?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, call an attorney as soon as you leave the hospital or scene of the accident.

DCC Law offers free case evaluations so if you’re on the fence about working with an auto accident attorney, contact us today. At our office, you will always be heard. Remember, time is of the essence so don’t hesitate to reach us if you were involved in an accident.

We relish in taking care of people and can’t wait to hear from you!

February 22, 2019

Safe Driving Tips: Winter Weather

While Colorful Colorado may boast 300 days of sunshine every year, those who drive the streets of the Centennial state know that snow, sleet and rain still make their appearance from time to time.

Surprisingly, springtime in the Rockies is when we see the most snow. Across the nation, wet roads are the culprit for nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes every year.

So how do you navigate the normally clear roads when the upcoming winter weather strikes? Here are three nearly effortless ways to stay safe on uncertain roads:

Make sure your car can pass a safety inspection

Take your car to your trusted dealer or mechanic and have them do a safety check. Depending on how often you drive, tire treads typically wear down after three to four years. Even if you’re not a driving fiend, tires can age and become dangerous after five to six years.

And thinking you’re safe because of the “penny test”? Old tires that have been continuously exposed to warmer weather, under-inflated, or repaired for various reasons could still be dangerous, regardless of the depth of tread.

Additionally, examine your car’s brakes. Keep track of your mileage and the recommended longevity of your brake pads. Replacing them before you hear screeching is best.

To keep your vision unimpeded, change your windshield wipers every six months to a year, or when they start skipping, streaking, squeaking or splitting.

Avoid cruise control

In undesirable driving conditions, don’t leave decisions up to an automated system. According to Edmunds, “Wet weather may affect the systems’ sensors and reduce their reliability.”

And what happens to the car’s traction on cruise control versus off cruise control?

“When you take your foot off the gas to step on the brake, some of the car’s weight shifts to the front tires — providing a little more traction. With the cruise control on, you won’t have that shift and may not be able to gain traction as quickly as needed,” says Allstate.

Your natural reactions are immensely better than an automated system and work better in conjunction with how an automobile was designed.

Slow down and give space

While driving in the rain tends to be more dangerous than snow, wet roads in general can spell disaster quicker than the weather changes in Colorado.

Hydroplaning—when a vehicle rises up completely on a film of water and loses contact with the road—can occur at speeds as slow as 35 mph and in just 1/12 inch of water. “To reduce chances of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you,” says AAA Exchange.

In addition to hydroplaning, hitting the brakes in bleak conditions can also be dicey. It takes twice as long for the average vehicle to stop on wet roads than it does on dry roads and ten times longer in icy conditions.

The simplest way to keep you and your loved ones safe during inclement weather is to slow down to a comfortable speed and give the preceding car plenty of space. Plan ahead and maintain perspective when winter conditions are forecasted.

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Next time you hit the road in beautiful Denver, we hope nothing but pleasant conditions greet you but we know it won’t always be that way. Keep these simple yet crucial tips in mind to avoid auto accidents as best as possible.

Of course, if you ever do find yourself in an auto accident, DCC Law will be there to help you navigate insurance nuances and medical treatment, get you what you deserve, and bring you back to your feet. We know what it takes to take care of people so contact us today and get your life back on track.

February 15, 2019

Best Reviews of 2018 – Thank you!

As 2019 carries on, we here at DCC Law wanted to take a moment and say how incredibly thankful we are for our amazing clients.

Helping people reset their lives after a debilitating accident inspires and thrills every member of our team. Some accidents cause financial burdens, some cause physical burdens and some cause both. Whatever the case, we are here to get you and your family back on your feet.

We are elated by every review our clients share with the community; here are some of our best reviews from 2018:

Chad and his team are the best! They helped me and my family with our accident. They made sure we were taken care of, putting our health first. They truly did make this easy and convenient. Aubrey is one-of-a-kind! She made sure to update me every step of the way and never left me in the dark. I will definitely be sending all of my friends and family to Chad! Thank you Chad and Aubrey and the rest of the girls for all the attention! –Allison R.

Great and friendly staff! Mr. Calvert and his team work with your best interest in mind. I had a uninsured motorist ding the side of my truck. Mr. Calvert gave me great advice to solve this problem. His advice help me without loosing money between courts and insurance. Thank you again for putting people first!” –Rick M.

“Chad Calvert, Jennifer and Aubrey at D. Chadwick Calvert Law Office were extremely helpful in guiding me on what to do after a car accident caused by another driver.  This car accident was during work hours so I was utilizing workers comp and was not satisfied with the string of doctors I was forced to see. After talking to Mr. Calvert, he helped me understand that utilizing workers’ comp was not benefiting me but hindering my progress in getting better which I fully agreed!  I decided to utilize Chad Calvert Law and am very appreciative in his referral of fantastic doctors and the help they all gave me! It was nice to have someone on my side that cared about my progress and health! Thank you for everything!” –Jodi L.

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During 2018 we helped over 100 clients get what they deserved after being involved in auto accidents. Every case that comes our way is treated with compassion and care because at the heart of every case is a person with family, dependents, dreams and a life to live unimpeded by unnecessary financial stress.

Best known for our personal attention, rapid responses and tenacity to get you proper compensation for medical treatments, lost wages and pain or suffering, our team will make sure you are always treated with empathy.

You will never have to worry about getting lost in the shuffle at DCC Law because we are not a big-box office. Attorney Calvert personally sees to every case and every member of the DCC Law team focuses on individual needs.

Outside of working on cases, we relish in making sure you are kept well-informed about auto accidents, safe driving and auto insurance. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for more blog posts that will be immensely beneficial to your life.

Thank you for a sensational 2018! We look forward to all the great people we will meet this year!

February 08, 2019

4 Injuries You Should Never Ignore after an Auto Accident

If you were in an auto accident, you may have injuries that can affect you for the rest of your life. Sometimes, personal injuries are apparent at the time of the accident. Other injuries may not be noticeable for a while. Here are some injury symptoms that you may experience after an auto accident:

1. Headaches this could be a sign of brain trauma such as a concussion or internal bleeding. While it’s easy to blame stress for the headache, you should always see a doctor after an accident to make sure that headache isn’t something more.

2. Shoulder or Neck Pain – pain in this area could be a symptom of whiplash or a spinal injury. Herniated disks are also a possible culprit for pain.

3. Back Pain – damage to ligaments, vertebrae, back muscles or nerves can appear after auto accidents. This is especially common after rear-impact or side-impact collisions.

4. Numbness – Numbness or tingling may be a sign of pinched nerves. Additionally, numbness in the arms and hands could be another indication of whiplash.

As your Denver-area Personal Injury and Auto Accident attorney, helping you get your life back after an auto accident is our number one priority. Are you are experiencing any of these symptoms after an auto accident? Visit us today for a free estimate and see how we can walk you through the steps back to optimal health and happiness.

5 Fascinating Facts about Auto Accidents

Auto Accident Attorney

When was the last time you passed by an accident? While you may be one of the safest drivers in the world, you never know when a reckless driver will change your life. Here are some fascinating facts about auto accidents from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Data Resource Page:

 

1. There are approximately seven million auto accidents in the US every year.auto accident attorney

2. An estimated 3 million people are injured every year in car accidents.

3. There is an auto-accident related fatality every 15 minutes.

4. The NHTSA estimates that 14,668 lives were saved on the roadways in 2016 by the use of seat belts.

5. On average, 30% of auto accidents result in injury.

 

auto accident attorney

Stay safe out there and if you are ever involved in an accident, call Chad Calvert, your personal injury attorney. We will listen to your problems and help you get your life back on track.

 

What do you lose in an auto accident?

Being involved in an auto accident can cause more damage than you think. With an auto accident occurring on average every 13 minutes in the United States, everyone should be aware of the true cost of being reckless.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “the estimated economic cost of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States in 2010 (the most recent year for which cost data is available) was $242 billion.” These costs include:

lost productivity

workplace losses

legal and court expenses

medical costs

emergency medical services

insurance administration costs

congestion costs (fuel for and wear on cars stuck in traffic caused by an auto accident)

property damage

Approximately seven million accidents are reported every year. That means that while only 3% of the US population is directly involved in an auto accident every year, the other 97% is still affected by it.

Maybe your coworker was involved in an auto accident, leaving you to pick up the slack. Perhaps a loved one was injured, causing them or you to have to take time off work. Or maybe you were stuck in traffic, causing more wear and tear on your vehicle.

Whatever the case may be, if you or a loved one has been injured, we want to hear you out. Contact Chad Calvert Law to find out how we can help you.

 

75 Percent of Drivers Admit to Reckless Driving

Personal Injury Lawyer

Who causes the most auto accidents?

By now, millennials are used to getting a bad rap for most things.

Everyone thinks they don’t want to get married or have kids, they are to blame for the collapse of 100-year-old products and brick-and-mortar businesses, and all they care about are avocado toast and how they look on social media. Furthermore, 88 percent of millennial drivers report “engaging in speeding, red light running or texting behind the wheel in the past 30 days.”

While this last statistic is alarming and disappointing, what’s even more surprising is on average, 75 percent of all drivers (ages 19 to 74) reported having the same behind-the-wheel behavior.

According to AAA, 40 percent of all drivers report having read a text message or email while driving. 36 percent of all drivers reported driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have safely stopped instead.

What can be done?

We can all decide to driver safer to improve the roads for everyone. Additionally, teaching the newest drivers about road safety will make a difference in the years to come. Teach through your example. Show your kids that good drivers don’t text and drive. Pay attention to the road. Drive the speed limit. These simple actions could save you thousands of dollars in property damage and medical bills.

Have you been injured in an auto accident?

As a top personal injury attorney in Denver, Chad Calvert has over 30 years of experience with cases involving reckless drivers. He has settled thousands of motor vehicle and personal injury accidents over the years and values every client as an individual. If you’re involved in an auto accident, contact Chad Calvert today. We will listen to you and get you back on your feet.