Back and Neck Injury Attorneys in Durango, Colorado

Sustaining an injury is often a life-altering event that can touch every aspect of our existence. Among the most common and impactful are back and neck injuries. Recognizing the gravity of these experiences, personal injury victims and those considering a claim must arm themselves with knowledge.  

At Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC, our team can walk you through the entire process, from understanding the injury to seeking medical aid, navigating the legal system, and ensuring a fair claim is brought forward. We have the resources and knowledge to help you seek the compensation you deserve.  

Common Back and Neck Injuries

When a back or neck injury occurs, it sends ripples through an individual’s life. Physically, the pain and discomfort these injuries cause can severely limit your mobility and sometimes your independence. Emotional well-being is also impacted. Dealing with the trauma and potential life adjustments can lead to emotional distress, ranging from anxiety to depression. 

It's important to recognize and seek medical help when dealing with any of the following common neck and back injuries:  

  • Herniated Discs: Often resulting from strain, age, or injury, this condition occurs when the soft center of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing, potentially causing nerve irritation and significant pain. 

  • Whiplash: A neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip, often sustained in car accidents. Symptoms can include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, and dizziness. 

  • Spinal Cord Injuries: These can range from minor bruises to complete disruption, affecting motor and sensory functions. The impact on the individual’s mobility and sensation can be profound and life-changing. 

  • Spinal Stenosis: A condition where the spinal column narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This can lead to numbness, weakness, and in severe cases, balance problems or difficulty walking. 

  • Osteoarthritis: A degenerative joint disease that can affect any joint, including those in the spine, leading to stiffness and pain. It commonly affects older adults but can be accelerated by injury or overuse. 

  • Compression Fractures: Small breaks in the bones of the spine, often caused by osteoporosis, can lead to changes in posture, pain, and reduced mobility. 

Financially, the impact can be catastrophic. Medical expenses (sometimes over a lifetime), loss of wages, and the need for ongoing care all contribute to the financial burden. This three-pronged effect demands careful and thorough consideration as you progress through your recovery and potential legal action. 

Understanding Colorado's Personal Injury Laws

Colorado’s personal injury laws are critical for anyone pursuing a personal injury claim within the state, particularly due to its unique stance on negligence and the statute of limitations: 

  • Negligence Laws: Colorado operates under a modified comparative fault rule. This means that if you are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 30% responsible for your injury, your damage award will be reduced by 30%. 

  • Statute of Limitations: In Colorado, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the injury. However, for car accidents, the time limit is extended to three years. This is a firm deadline, and failing to file a lawsuit within this timeframe typically results in losing your right to pursue compensation. 

  • Auto Insurance Laws: Given Colorado's status as a “fault” state regarding car accidents, individuals injured in auto accidents may pursue compensation directly from the at-fault driver’s insurance, file a claim with their own insurance, or file a lawsuit to seek compensation for damages. 

  • Damage Caps: Colorado law places caps on certain types of damages in personal injury cases. For instance, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are capped at $468,010, although this cap can be raised to $936,030 with clear and convincing evidence. Punitive damages are also capped, set at the amount of the actual damages awarded to the plaintiff. 

Understanding these specific legal principles is essential for navigating a personal injury claim in Colorado and ensuring you are fully prepared to pursue justice and compensation for your injuries. 

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How to File a Personal Injury Claim

Filing a personal injury claim can be a daunting process, but understanding the steps involved can make it more manageable. Here's a condensed guide to help you through it: 

Immediate Steps After the Injury: 

  • Ensure your safety and get out of any immediate danger. 

  • Seek medical attention, even if injuries seem minor, to document them. 

  • Report the incident to the relevant authorities (e.g., in case of a traffic accident, report to the police; for workplace injuries, report to your employer). 

Document Everything: 

  • Collect evidence of the incident and your injuries (photos, videos, incident reports). 

  • Keep a record of medical diagnoses, treatments, bills, and any related expenses. 

  • Document lost wages and any other financial impacts. 

Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney: 

  • Find an experienced attorney who specializes in cases similar to yours. 

  • Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. 

  • Discuss fees. 

Filing the Claim: 

  • Your attorney will file a claim on your behalf, typically starting with an insurance claim before potentially filing a lawsuit. 

  • Prepare and submit a demand letter to the insurance company, detailing the incident, your injuries, and the compensation you're seeking. 


  • Be prepared for a negotiation process with the insurance company to try and reach a settlement. 

  • Follow your attorney’s advice on whether to accept a settlement offer. 

Going to Trial: 

  • If a satisfactory settlement can't be agreed upon, your case may go to trial. 

  • Your attorney will prepare your case, including gathering evidence, pre-trial motions, and witness preparation. 

  • The trial process can be lengthy, so patience is required. 

Post-Trial Actions: 

  • If you win, the court will order the payment of the awarded amount. 

  • If the decision is not in your favor, discuss appeal options with your attorney. 

Remember, each personal injury case is unique, and legal proceedings can vary based on the specifics of your case and jurisdiction. Being informed and having a competent attorney can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. 

Compassionate Legal Representation

No guide to personal injury claims would be complete without a thorough discussion on how legal representation can make all the difference. We will explore the benefits of hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer, from their in-depth knowledge of the law and legal process to their negotiation skills and the peace of mind they can provide. 

In an industry that speaks a language many don’t understand, a personal injury lawyer can be your translator and advocate, ensuring you are fully heard and never taken advantage of. Our attorneys at Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC can elevate your claim from the expected to the exceptional, helping you receive the results you need and deserve. 

Back and Neck Injury Attorneys Serving Durango, Colorado 

The road to recovery from a back or neck injury is necessarily long and challenging. But, with the right approach, starting with proactive injury prevention measures, strengthening through the knowledge and experience shared here, and supported by our legal team at Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC, a bright horizon is ahead.