April 23, 2014

Types of Personal Injury Damages

DogBeing injured in an accident can be life-changing. People who suffer through the experience may be left with severe injuries, ongoing medical care and extensive property damage. Understanding how to handle these outcomes can be overwhelming for many injured victims. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help those suffering from injuries recognize the types of personal injury damages that they may be eligible to receive.


Compensatory Damages

The most common damages for personal injury are compensatory damages, which are awarded to make up for the physical and financial losses suffered by the injured individual. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Lost Opportunities
  • Emotional Distress
  • Property Damage
  • Medical Bills

Court Costs

The defendant may be ordered to pay for the injured individual’s court costs, including process server fees, court transcriptions, filing fees, deposition transcriptions and translators’ fees.

Nominal Damages

Nominal damages may be awarded in cases where the injury does not call for monetary compensation, but the judge believes that the injured individual was victimized by the defendant. Although the injured victim in the case did not suffer from any significant losses, the judge may still wish to award a small dollar amount to indicate that a wrongful act has taken place.


Punitive Damages

In order to penalize the defendant for outrageous conduct in causing an accident which resulted in an injury to another person, punitive damages may be awarded. These types of personal injury damages are usually only granted in those cases that involved reckless conduct or gross negligence. A monetary amount is ordered to be paid to the victim and is often used as a deterrent for future negligence. Some states have a set maximum amount of punitive damages that can be awarded on certain types of injury claims, including medical malpractice.

In order to receive all of the compensation that a person suffering from injuries is entitled to, it is important that they partner with a personal injury attorney. To learn more about the types of personal injury damages or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney from Sloat & Nicholson, P.C., call 303-447-1144 now.

Car Accident Statistics Every Driver Should Know

crash-3Thousands of Americans die each year from fatal car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 30,000 people died in U.S. traffic crashes in 2011 alone. From distracted driving and drunk driving to gross negligence, there are many reasons why so many car accidents occur each year. Understanding some important car accident statistics is often crucial to helping people avoid suffering an injury or being killed in a car accident themselves.

Distracted Driving

Car accidents caused by distracted drivers were responsible for over 3,300 fatalities and 421,000 injuries in 2012, according to distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website dedicated to distracted driving. Many states have enacted laws banning the use of certain electronic devices while driving in attempts to reduce these staggering car accident statistics. However, many people continue to talk, text and engage in other dangerous practices while driving.

Drunk Driving

According to madd.org, 10,322 people were fatally injured and another 345,000 sustained severe injuries in accidents caused by drunk drivers in 2012. Many states have different enforcement methods in order to catch and penalize motorists who drive while intoxicated. Some of these methods include:

DUI/Sobriety Checkpoints

Mandatory Use of Ignition Interlock Devices

Administrative License Revocation

No Refusal Policies

Penalties including community service, jail time, fines, fees, license revocation and DUI rehabilitation classes.

Speeding

Speeding is one of the top three causes of car accidents in the United States. Americans live in a world where speed is thought to be essential. People are rushing to get to their next appointment or to get to work on time. Unfortunately, this results in a number of car accident injuries and deaths. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, speeding contributes to nearly a third of all auto accidents in the nation. Drivers are urged to slow down and drive safely, especially in inclement weather conditions.

No one intends to be injured or killed while going out for a drive. By practicing safe driving habits, people can minimize their risk of being involved in a car accident. For those who are involved in an accident, an auto accident attorney can help them to receive the compensation they deserve. For more car accident statistics or to receive a free case consultation with an auto accident attorney from Sloat & Nicholson, P.C., call 303-447-1144 today.

March 26, 2014

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycle accident injuriesThere is a growing number of motorcycle enthusiasts in the United States, and most of them are responsible drivers who take safety precautions very seriously. However, even the most careful motorcyclists can get into accidents, so it’s a good idea for those individuals to have a solid understanding of the types of injuries they may suffer if they are ever in a collision. If you are an avid biker, below are three common motorcycle accident injuries with which you may want to familiarize yourself.

  1. Bone and Joint Breakages
    Motorcycles do not provide much protection in the case of a crash. If riders are ever thrown from the bike or skid to the ground, their bodies essentially absorb the full brunt of the impact. This means that in many instances, motorcyclists will experience broken bones and joints. Breaks in the pelvis and shoulder are among the most common.
  2. Biker’s Arm
    When a person is involved in a motorcycle accident, they often fall on their side. This can result in riders crushing their shoulders and arms, causing nerve damage that can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis in those areas. This occurs so often in bike crashes that it has garnered the name “biker’s arm.”

  3. Brain Damage
    Brain damage is one of the most serious injuries that can stem from motorcycle accidents. These types of injuries can be very difficult to manage because they may present in a variety of ways, making them hard to diagnose immediately. Traumatic Brain Injury, for example, has a wide spectrum of symptoms that can include headaches, problems with coordination, epilepsy, loss of balance, dizziness and difficulty swallowing. People who are suffering from this condition may also experience cognitive problems such as forgetfulness, trouble understanding information, poor concentration, and difficulty comprehending languages.

Motorcycle accident injuries can be very difficult to bounce back from, especially when they involve long-lasting disabilities. A motorcycle accident lawyer can assist injured parties who need help in managing financial issues surrounding such injuries. Call (303) 447-1144 today to receive a free, no-obligation consultation with a Boulder motorcycle accident attorney at Sloat & Nicholson, P.C.

March 12, 2014

Wrongful Death Damages in Colorado

Wrongful death damagesIf you have recently experienced the death of a loved one, you and your family are probably reeling with emotional shock. If that death was caused by the irresponsible actions of a person or company, you are probably also wondering how you can prevent the negligent party from behaving this way again so that no other family will need to endure the same grief that yours is currently feeling. Below are a few items you may want to consider as you decide whether you want to pursue a legal claim for wrongful death damages in Colorado.

Who Has the Right to Bring These Lawsuits?

It is important to note that in Colorado, not all surviving family members have equal rights to file civil suits on behalf of a deceased person. For example, if the person killed was married, the surviving spouse is the only one who can bring a suit if it has been less than one year since the death. After that time period has passed, both surviving spouses and children have standing to bring a wrongful death claim. Because of the technicality of these laws, there may be some details that need to be addressed in order to determine whether a particular family member has the right to file a suit for wrongful death damages.

What Kind of Compensation Is Awarded?

Colorado courts may award monetary compensation to make up for all of the following:

  • Loss of health insurance and other benefits that were conferred to the family via the deceased’s employment
  • Loss of earnings that the victim would have provided for his/her family
  • Punitive damages to prevent future negligence on the part of the defendants
  • Loss of the deceased’s companionship and other emotional support

If you feel that you may be entitled to damages for wrongful death, you may wish to consult with a wrongful death attorney in your area. Sometimes these cases can become quite complex, and a lawyer can help you to understand what the process can entail and what you should expect as you pursue a claim. Call (303) 447-1144 now to schedule a FREE case consultation with an experienced Boulder wrongful death lawyer at Sloat & Nicholson, P.C.

February 18, 2014

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful Death LawsuitsWhen faced with the death of a loved one due to the negligence or reckless conduct of another person, family members may be left feeling lost and alone. While dealing with the grief from their loved one’s death, they may also be facing huge financial consequences. In these cases, wrongful death lawsuits may be a family’s only recourse to ensure that they have the help and support that they need to start down the path to emotional and financial recovery.

Who Can Sue for Damages?

The individuals entitled to file a wrongful death claim vary by state. Most states allow spouses, the next of kin, or children of the deceased to file wrongful death lawsuits. In some states, however, children must be under the age of 18 to file a suit after the death of a parent. Additionally, many states only allow a parent to receive damages for the death of a child who was a minor or who was not financially independent. Furthermore, some states allow for recovery of damages for life partners, anyone who suffered financially, distant family members, putative spouses, or parents of a deceased fetus.

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?

The two most common types of damages recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit are for financial or emotional losses. When deciding upon the amount of money to award a family member, there are many factors that are taken into account. They often include:

  • Lost future wages
  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Value of lost services such as housekeeping or child care
  • In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded

The limits for each type of damages are governed by state law so it is essential that family members talk to a qualified wrongful death lawyer in their area to understand the specific options and requirements for their state. In fact, finding an experienced and compassionate attorney to fight for their rights during their time of almost unimaginable grief and worry may be the most important step they take towards finding justice for their loved one and hope for their future. To learn more about wrongful death lawsuits or to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer from Sloat & Nicholson, P.C., call 303-447-1144 now.

February 4, 2014

Motorcycle Collisions Can Be Deadly

motorcycle collisions

The most recent motorcycle accident statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration paint a grim picture. The number of motorcycle collisions that occur in the United States each year is on the rise as are the number of fatalities. It was reported that 4,612 motorcyclists died in 2011 in motorcycle accidents. This is a 2 percent increase from the number of fatalities reported in 2010. Furthermore, there are a shocking number of injuries reported each year from motorcycle accidents. In fact, nearly 1.2 million people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for motorcycle-related injuries between the years of 2001 and 2008.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Of all of the common causes of fatal motorcycle collisions, the most common was speeding. In fact, 35 percent of motorcycle deaths were listed as a direct result of the motorcyclist’s excessive speed. Other significant statistics related to the common causes of fatal motorcycle accidents include:

  • 49 percent were the result of a collision between a motorcycle and another vehicle
  • Only 6 percent were caused by a motorcycle being hit from behind
  • 38 percent resulted when another car turned left in front of the motorcyclist
  • 42 percent of fatalities from single vehicle accidents were the result of motorcyclists who drove while intoxicated

Obviously, motorcyclists would be well served to understand these common causes of motorcycle accidents so that they could do everything in their power to avoid becoming another statistic.

Important Safety Tips

First and foremost, the most important thing a motorcycle rider can do to protect themselves is to always wear a helmet when riding. The best helmets to choose are those approved by the Department of Transportation. Additional motorcycle safety tips include:

  • Wear protective clothing
  • Avoid tailgating
  • Wear reflective or bright clothing
  • Don’t speed
  • Use extra caution when driving on slippery surfaces or on gravel
  • Never drink and drive

Unfortunately, however, there is only so much a motorcycle rider can do to prevent an accident. They must also share the road with other drivers who often fail to look for motorcyclists or who drive while impaired or distracted. In these situations, many motorcyclists and their families turn to a qualified motorcycle accident attorney to help them navigate their path to full physical or financial recovery. To make an appointment for a FREE consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Sloat & Nicholson, P.C., call 303-447-1144 now.

January 27, 2014

Drunk Driving Statistics

drunk driving statisticsMost people know that drunk driving is a dangerous decision and a serious problem throughout the U.S. Despite this awareness, however, many people don’t realize the sheer magnitude of the issue. Drunk driving statistics reveal that intoxicated drivers pose a serious threat to innocent motorists. The odds are that you or someone you love will one day be affected by an accident with one of these careless drivers.

The Facts On Drunk Driving

Statistics on the prevalence of drunk driving are nothing short of alarming. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in 2010. Although some people change their behavior markedly after being convicted of driving under the influence, many do not. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that a third of drivers arrested for driving while intoxicated are repeat offenders, and that more than 50 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue driving even though their licenses have been suspended.

The Toll Of Drunk Driving

Drunk driving injury information and statistics do not paint an encouraging picture for innocent motorists who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The CDC estimates that almost 30 people are fatally injured daily in accidents with drunk drivers — a rate of more than one fatality per hour. In 2010, drunk driving accident fatalities represented 30 percent of all traffic deaths, according to the same source. On its website, MADD states that an injury resulting from drunk drivers occurs approximately every 90 seconds.

Help For Accident Victims

People who have been injured in an accident with a drunk driver have a right to seek compensation for their injuries, as do the family members of a victim fatally injured by a drunk driver. Although no one wants to think about this kind of tragedy occurring, the official drunk driving statistics indicate that drunk drivers do regularly affect many people’s lives. Anyone who has been harmed in an accident with a drunk driver should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible about seeking compensation. Call 303-447-1144 today for details on these and other drunk driving statistics or to receive a FREE consultation from the drunk driving accident attorneys at Sloat & Nicholson, P.C. regarding your case.

January 13, 2014

Slip And Fall Accident Statistics

Filed under: Uncategorized — sloat @ 10:26 pm

slip and fall accident statisticsMost people have heard about older people being severely hurt by falling, or of plaintiffs being awarded large settlements for slip and fall injuries. Still, many people don’t have much appreciation for how common or damaging these injuries can be. Sadly, slip and fall accident statistics indicate that these types of injuries are widespread and often very serious.

How Common Are Slip And Fall Injuries?

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that, with nearly 9 million hospital visits a year, falls are one of the country’s leading causes of injuries. Slip and fall injury statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that falls are especially a danger for people over age 65. One-third of the Americans in this age group suffer from a fall each year. In 2010, about 2.3 million older people were hospitalized for non-fatal injuries, while more than 20,000 were fatally injured.

How Severe Are These Injuries?

Although some falls are harmless, others can be devastating. Common injuries include fractures, head injuries, and lacerations. The CDC reports that falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, which can cause death or lifelong cognitive impairments. Falls are also responsible for more than 95 percent of hip fractures, according to the CDC.

How Can These Injuries Be Prevented?

Certain precautions can reduce the likelihood of fall injuries. The NSC recommends that people check their homes for tripping hazards like cords, rugs, and small objects. The CDC recommends that older people exercise regularly and avoid medications with side effects like dizziness. Unfortunately, in many cases, slip and fall injuries occur because a business or property owner failed to provide a safe walking area. This can happen when lighting is bad, flooring is wet, gaps are unmarked, or the walkway is cluttered. Victims are often powerless to see these hazards and are unable to avoid the resulting injuries.

Slip and fall accidents can cause lifelong injuries and even death. Unfortunately, slip and fall accident statistics indicate that there are millions of victims each year. If you have fallen and been hurt because another person failed to maintain safe conditions on public or private property, you should contact a slip and fall accident attorney to discuss seeking compensation for your injuries. To learn more about slip and fall accident statistics, call 303-447-1144 today to speak with an experienced premises liability attorney at Sloat & Nicholson, P.C.

December 30, 2013

What Is Premises Liability?

what is premises liabilityAre you wondering “what is premises liability?” You are not alone. This law is often referred to as slip and fall liability; however, it is more complex than slip and fall accidents. Learn the details of it below so you can understand what to do if you are ever injured on the property of another person.

The Basics

Under the doctrine of premises liability, anyone who is in possession of land has the responsibility to ensure that it is safe for anyone who enters the premises. If owners fail to maintain a safe premises, they may be held legally liable for specific injuries and accidents that are suffered by people while on the property.

Possession of the Premises

When an accident does occur and someone is injured, it is sometimes difficult to determine who is in possession of the premises. This can make things difficult for the injured victim, especially if he or she is trying to seek damages for the injuries sustained. The following guidelines can help injury victims better understand who “possesses” the property:

  • Someone is occupying the area with the intention to control it and operate it

  • No other person has the intention of operating the land except the person who is currently on the land

Duty of the Possessor

It is the duty of the possessor to eliminate dangerous conditions on the property that may cause harm to anyone who enters the premises. The premises should be kept free of reasonably foreseeable risks that could cause injuries to invitees, licensees and even trespassers in certain situations. If a condition poses a potential risk, a possessor should, at a minimum, post warning signs alerting anyone who enters the property of the risk. When possessors fail to do this, they are acting negligently and may be held legally liable for their negligence.

Compensation to Victims

What is premises liability? It’s any injury that occurs on the property of another that could have been prevented if the property owner had not acted negligently. Many people have found themselves a victim of premises liability. If you are one of them, you may be able to receive just compensation with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Call 303-447-1144 now to schedule your FREE consultation with a qualified Boulder premises liability attorney at Sloat & Nicholson, P.C.

December 10, 2013

A Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown

personal injury settlementIf you are the victim of a personal injury, then you are probably wondering what type of personal injury settlement you can expect to receive as a result of the damages you have experienced. This is a common question that many injured parties ask their personal injury attorney. To learn more, here is a breakdown to help you understand how a settlement is determined:

Calculating Damages Resulting from the Injury

To most accurately determine the amount of settlements from personal injury cases, the situation surrounding the injury will need to be analyzed. Specifically, the parties involved will look for circumstances that have affected or will affect the individual’s life after the accident. These could include the following:

  • The ability to work now or in the future

  • Enjoyment of life currently and in the future

  • Property damage

  • Temporary or permanent mental defects

  • Income loss

  • Emotional problems including stress, depression, and anxiety

  • Medical payments

All of these may be used to calculate the damages that were experienced as a result of the accident.

Determining a Fair Settlement Amount

Once the insurance company has determined the amount of damages, they usually have a special formula that is used to calculate a fair personal injury settlement amount. For injuries that are less serious, the formula is usually something like this:

  • 1.5 x damages + lost income (past, present, and future) as a result of the injury

If the injury is more traumatic, then the formula becomes more generous to provide a larger settlement amount. It typically looks something like this:

  • 5 x damages + lost income (past, present, and future) as a result of the injury

In the event of an extreme injury like a wrongful death, the formula may be even higher.

Obviously for the best guidance when it comes to calculating a fair settlement amount, it is always wise to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she can advise you as to your legal rights and help determine the settlement amount that you should expect to obtain. Call 303-447-1144 today to receive a FREE consultation with an experienced Boulder personal injury attorney from Sloat & Nicholson, P.C.

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