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Accidents on the I-70 in Denver

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May 14, 2024 Car Accidents

If you live in the Denver area, you know that driving along the I-70 corridor is often harrowing. Hundreds of thousands of commuters, commercial trucks, and vacationers use I-70, and the stretches that pass through Denver are among the most congested and dangerous highway sections in the state.Longmont car accident attorneys

Central Colorado residents are all too familiar with the dangers of traveling on I-70. You pass crashes while slowly moving through bottlenecked traffic or see crash reports on the news almost daily.

Sadly, many of the accidents on the I-70 in Denver result in catastrophic injuries and deaths.

If a crash on I-70 injured you or a family member, you may recover compensation. Our Longmont car accident attorneys at Fuicelli & Lee Injury Lawyers can help you, as we have hundreds of others. Call us today for your free, no-obligation consultation.

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Table of Contents

Why Is Denver’s I-70 Such an Accident Hot Spot?

I-70 is a vital transportation corridor that runs east and west through the heart of Colorado, passing through downtown Denver on its way. The heavily traveled highway connects our state’s eastern plains with the Rocky Mountains and beyond, providing a major east-west corridor for commuters, commercial vehicles, and travelers alike.

I-70’s original stretch through Denver opened in 1964. As the city grew, additional segments and interchanges opened over the following decades. Today, I-70 covers over 30 miles through the Denver metro area.

There’s no question that I-70 has been a boon for mobility and economic growth, but its aging infrastructure, high traffic volumes, ongoing construction projects, and a general decline in safe driving practices have made it a red zone for accidents over the years.

Tragically, accidents on the I-70 in Denver injure and kill dozens of people every year. Like in many other states, the rate of fatal traffic accidents in Colorado is at a level not seen in almost half a century. For every auto accident fatality in Colorado, there are five serious injuries.

Denver, Colorado’s largest city, has the lion’s share of car crashes resulting in injuries and deaths.

What Causes Accidents on I-70 in Denver?

Several factors contribute to the high number of accidents on Denver’s I-70 interstate highway. Here are some of the major culprits and how they can manifest on this heavily traveled road:

Speeding and Aggressive Driving:

With a 75 miles per hour speed limit across much of the I-70 through Denver, drivers may go too fast for conditions. The state establishes maximum speed limits for ideal situations, not Denver’s frequent winter blizzards or traffic jams.

Exceeding speed limits or driving aggressively reduces reaction times and makes it extremely difficult to navigate safely through the I-70’s many curves, merges, and traffic ebbs and flows.

Distracted Driving:

Distracted Driving

Activities that take your eyes and mind off the road, even briefly, can have disastrous results at highway speeds. Texting while driving is a main distractor, but eating, adjusting music, tending to children, and any non-driving tasks are dangerous distractions.

The monotony of highway driving can tempt drivers and make it especially tempting for drivers to take their eyes off the road.

Impaired Driving:

Getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely hazardous, as it slows reflexes and impairs the judgment necessary for operating a vehicle.

Drunk driving and driving while impaired on other substances are especially dangerous on high-speed interstates like I-70, where vehicles travel close together. Slowed reflexes and poor judgment make it nearly impossible to handle the merging, exiting, and heavy stop-and-go traffic common within Denver’s city limits.

Poor Weather:

Denver’s infamous snowy winters, sudden storms, and frequent fog make driving treacherous on I-70, especially on the elevated portions, which are prone to icing over quickly, and congested areas, such as near the interchange of I-70 and I-225 – the most congested section of highway in the state.

When drivers fail to reduce speeds and increase following distances in these conditions, the risks of spin outs and multi-vehicle pileups dramatically increase.

Construction Zones:

With frequent widening and repair projects such as the Central 70 Project in downtown Denver, and ongoing maintenance projects, I-70 drivers must remain hyper-vigilant when navigating construction areas with narrow lanes, concrete barriers, heavy trucks, and workers in close proximity to live traffic.

Vehicle Issues:

A blown tire, brake failure, or other mechanical or maintenance issues at highway speeds can be disastrous on I-70’s path through Denver. These breakdowns and defects can quickly lead to loss-of-control crashes or chain reaction pileups as traffic struggles to avoid the disabled vehicle.

Any of these factors alone can trigger a serious accident on I-70. When combined, such as icy conditions met with excessive speed or impairment, the consequences can be catastrophic for everyone involved. Staying alert and driving defensively is critical.

High-Risk Areas and Hot Spots for Accidents on the I-70 in Denver

While accidents can happen anywhere on the I-70 through Denver, certain stretches and interchanges are more prone to collisions. Pay attention in these high-risk zones for accidents on I-70 in Denver.

Here is how you can navigate them safely:

  • The I-70 curve just west of the I-25 interchange is a notorious hotspot. The sharp bend in the highway, coupled with heavy merging traffic from I-25, creates hazardous conditions. Drivers need to slow down well in advance and maintain safe following distances.
  • The I-70 viaduct through north Denver is another accident-prone area for accidents on the I-70. With narrow lanes, short on/off ramps, and heavy truck traffic, it requires full attention and defensive driving skills. Be prepared for sudden stops and vehicles changing lanes abruptly.
  • Traffic weaves and merges from multiple directions at the complex I-70 interchange at Federal Boulevard. Obey all signs, and don’t make last-second lane changes through this confusing area.
  • Whenever you encounter highway construction zones on I-70 in Denver, they should be considered high-risk due to concrete barriers, lane shifts, and workers close to traffic. Reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and give yourself ample space around large trucks.
  • During winter storms, the elevated portions of I-70 in Denver are especially hazardous due to high winds, drifting snow, and icy conditions. If travel is absolutely necessary, drive slowly, increase the following distance, and be prepared to give plows and salt trucks ample room to work.

Types of Accidents and Injuries on I-70

Unfortunately, accidents on I-70 in Denver are far too frequent and wide-ranging. Some kinds of accidents we often see in this area are more severe than others.

As injury lawyers, we’ve helped clients who have suffered injuries in all the following scenarios:

  • Truck Crashes: With the I-70 serving as a major trucking route, collisions involving large commercial vehicles are common and often result in catastrophic damage and injuries due to their immense size and weight.
  • Rear-End Collisions: These crashes happen when one vehicle slams into the back of another, usually due to following too closely, speeding, or distracted driving. Whiplash injuries and other neck/back trauma are frequent results.
  • Head-On Collisions: When two vehicles collide front-to-front, the forces involved are tremendous, frequently causing fatalities or severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and crushed limbs.
  • Side-Impact (T-Bone) Collisions: While these broadside collisions rarely happen on the interstate, we often see them occur at intersections just after an I-70 exit ramp. Side crashes often often happen when a driver fails to stop or yield the right-of-way. The occupants on the struck side can sustain broken bones, lacerations, and internal injuries.
  • Rollovers: Top-heavy vehicles like commercial trucks, tractor-trailers, and SUVs have a higher center of gravity, making them more prone to rolling over, especially in high winds or when the drivers make evasive maneuvers. These carry high risks of ejection and catastrophic injuries. However, all vehicles are prone to rollover crashes, especially when driving curves too fast, overcorrecting, striking obstacles, or careening off the highway.
  • Pedestrian/Bicycle Accidents: With no protective barrier, these vulnerable road users can suffer devastating or fatal injuries when struck by a vehicle, even at relatively low speeds.
  • Common injuries we see from these crashes include whiplash, broken bones, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and internal bleeding. The financial cost of medical treatment and missed work can be staggering without proper legal representation.

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of obtaining fair compensation after a car accident on the I-70 in Denver or anywhere.

While no money can undo the trauma of your accident, obtaining fair compensation is critical for paying bills and funding necessary care during recovery.

If someone injured you or a loved one, call Fuicelli & Lee Injury Lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.

Determining Negligence in I-70 Accidents

Finding who is at fault when an accident occurs on I-70 or any road in Denver is central to your case. This usually comes down to proving another party’s negligence—their failure to operate their vehicle with reasonable care.

Negligence may take many forms, such as speeding, running a red light, driving impaired, or simply not paying proper attention.

The Importance of Evidence After an Accident

Evidence After an Accident

Gathering evidence at the scene is vital for establishing negligence. Take photos of the damaged vehicles, the general accident scene, road conditions, injuries you sustained, and anything else relevant.

Obtain contact information from any witnesses who saw what happened. Their statements can back up your version of events.

Document everything related to the accident and your injuries. Save medical bills, records of missed work, receipts for expenses, and any other paperwork.

Consider keeping a journal to record the physical and emotional impacts in detail while memories are fresh. Having this documentation makes it much harder for insurance companies to dispute your claims down the road.

The Role of Insurance Companies

After an accident on the I-70 in Denver, avoid speaking to other drivers’ insurance companies. Hire a personal injury lawyer with experience and a proven record to handle the insurers for you.

Insurance adjusters aim to minimize payouts, but they do not ensure your full compensation. They may get you to make statements that downplay the severity of the accident or imply you share some fault. Without legal representation, getting fair compensation for your injuries is extremely difficult.

Experienced injury lawyers like those at Fuicelli & Lee know how to safeguard your rights against insurance companies. With an attorney advocating and negotiating for you, insurers can’t take advantage.

Protect your right to recover complete damages – contact Fuicelli & Lee.

What to Expect When You Call Fuicelli & Lee

Recovering from your injuries or the death of a loved one in the wake of a car crash is painful and traumatic. The prospect of contacting a lawyer may seem overwhelming or daunting. We understand because we have helped many clients take their first steps in rebuilding their lives after a devastating crash.

At Fuicelli & Lee, we will guide you through every step, allowing you to focus on recovery while we handle the rest.

Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Initial Consultation: During your first call to us, we will discuss the basics of your claim. This will take only 10-15 minutes. Following this initial assessment, we will schedule a more in-depth consultation, in person or by phone, to thoroughly evaluate your case. You will pay nothing, and you will have no obligation.
  2. Discovery: To build your strongest case, we will start gathering information to support your claim, such as the accident report, photos/videos, insurance information, witness contacts, and any communication from insurers. Providing these details helps us analyze factors like liability and damages.
  3. Prioritizing Your Health: Your health and well-being come first. While you focus on recovering from your accident, we will take over communications with all involved parties and insurance adjusters. Should anyone contact you about your accident or case, you can tell them to call us and we will handle the matter for you, always with your best interests front and center.
  4. Negotiation and Litigation: Our attorneys exhaustively prepare every case for potential trial, even if it may settle beforehand, as many do. Readiness strengthens our negotiating position. If your case proceeds to court, we vigorously advocate for the compensation you deserve. We will not back down until we secure the amount you deserve.
  5. Fee Structure: We don’t charge upfront for our services. We work on a contingency basis, receiving an agreed-upon percentage only if we secure a successful settlement or award for you. You will know from the start what to expect, so there will be no surprises.

Did Someone Injure You in an I-70 Accident in Denver?

Don’t try to go it alone after a crash on Denver’s I-70. The complex legal process compounds the severe impacts on you, your family, and your life. You need an experienced injury lawyer to protect your rights and future.

Keith Fuicelli, Longmont Car Accident Attorney

Keith Fuicelli, Longmont Car Accident Attorney

At Fuicelli & Lee, our accomplished attorneys have extensive experience handling I-70 accident cases in the Denver area.

Several of our lawyers are former prosecutors with a wealth of trial experience, so we know how to build strong claims that maximize your compensation and legal protection. We vigorously pursue the justice and financial recovery you deserve so that you can focus on healing and moving forward.

Contact Fuicelli & Lee Injury Lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your I-70 accident. Call (303) 444-4444 now to get started.