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Does a Drunk Driver Increase the Value of My Accident Case?

Many of our clients wonder if the driver who caused their accident was drunk, does it increase the value of their claim? Put differently, will a drunk driver increase the value of my case? The answer is a resounding YES. In the below article, the experienced Longmont drunk-driving accident lawyers at Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, will explain below how insurance companies and Boulder County juries view alcohol-related accidents. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a Colorado drunk-driving accident, we invite you to call our skilled and experienced Longmont drunk-driving accident attorneys today at 303-543-1000 for a free consultation.

Drunk-Driving Accidents are an Insurance Risk, and Risk Drives Insurance Claim Values

So how do insurance companies value accidents caused by drunk drivers? As with any accident, an insurance company looks at the financial risk to itself and the driver who caused the accident, who it insures and for whom it will have to pay any settlement or verdict. An experienced Longmont DUI accident lawyer knows that case value is driven by how a jury would perceive a particular accident, and Colorado juries tend to hate drunk drivers. This means that when a jury hears facts that a driver chose to drink alcohol and then put other people at risk by driving, a Colorado jury will usually punish the drunk driver by imposing a harsher verdict. A harsh verdict means that a jury will likely award the injured victim more money than they would had alcohol not been involved.

Factors determining the value of Colorado drunk driving accidents include:

  • How drunk was the at-fault driver;
  • was the drunk driver a previous drunk-driving offender;
  • what county did the accident happen;
  • did the accident happen in a special area like a school zone;
  • was the victim a pedestrian, cyclist, or motor vehicle driver;
  • were there additional aggravating circumstances;
  • how many people were hurt;
  • what were the overall circumstances of the DUI-accident;
  • and many more
Why it Matters Where the DUI-Accident Happened

A skilled Longmont drunk-driving accident attorney also understands that where an accident happens matters in an insurance company’s assessment of a Colorado DUI-accident value. This is because where the accident happened – along with where the drunk-driver lives – determines the venue and jurisdiction of where any potential trial will take place. At Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, we are experienced Boulder DUI-trial lawyers who have collectively presented well over 100 cases to juries across Colorado. This means that our Longmont drunk driving accident lawyers understand that attitudes of jurors vary depending on where they live in Colorado. For example, we know that Boulder County juries are typically more aggressive at judging drunk-drivers than juries in more rural counties like Weld County and Adams County. To further illustrate, in 2016, a Denver jury awarded almost $3 million to the family of a man who was killed by a drunk driver, clearly demonstrating that Denver juries judge drunk drivers harshly.

With this being said, all Colorado juries will punish drunk-drivers and the question is really a matter of “to what degree?” As a result, if your drunk driving accident happened in Boulder County or Denver our Longmont drunk driving accident attorneys believe that your case probably has more value to an insurance company than if your DUI-accident happened in Weld County. As a result, an insurance company will pay you more money to settle your case if it happened in Boulder or Longmont than if it happened in Greeley, for example.

Recent Case Study of a Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC Client Who Was Injured by a Drunk Driver

Our Boulder DUI accident lawyers recently resolved a case where our client was injured by a drunk-driver in Boulder County. In that case the Defendant had fled the scene of the accident and was apprehended by law enforcement a short distance from the scene of the collision. The Defendant was clearly and obviously intoxicated, and we learned through our investigation that he had 4 prior DUI citations! Our client had serious injuries that required ER treatment and imaging, as well as follow up care with his doctors and a chiropractor. He missed significant time from his job and was afraid to drive for some time. Whereas a typical case like this might settle for 2-3 times our client’s medical bills, our Longmont DUI accident attorneys were able to resolve his claim for the full value of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits, which were over 6 times our client’s medical bills. So you can see that, in this case, the fact that the driver was drunk more than doubled the value of our client’s case.

Call Us Today If You Have Questions about Your DUI Accident Case

According to the Colorado State Patrol in 2017 there were 504 DUI/DUI-D related traffic deaths in Colorado. Drunk driving in Boulder County and our entire state is a widespread community problem. At Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, our Boulder DUI accident attorneys fight every day to put a stop to this epidemic by holding drunk-drivers accountable. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a drunk driving accident in Boulder County, we encourage you to call us today at 303-543-1000 for a free consultation with our skilled Longmont drunk driving accident lawyers. We can help you explore your options about legal representation for your accident and determine what the value-drivers are for your DUI accident case.

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“A driver trying to get away from the police ran a red light and broadsided my car. My injuries affected me physically, emotionally and organizationally. Hiring Steve Cook allowed me to focus on healing while ALL the legal Issues were effectively handled by his firm. Steve's patience, honest, determination. competence and experienced evaluation of my case resulted in a great settlement without having to go to trial.” Shirley
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