YEAR IN REVIEW: AZAR FIRM CELEBRATES NOTABLE VICTORIES, AWARDS
Looking back on the last twelve months of challenges and hard work, the attorneys and staff at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have a great deal to be thankful for and to celebrate. Here’s to taking a few moments to share with our friends and clients some of our more notable cases and accolades as we move into a new year.
2022 began with a bang, as banking giant Wells Fargo agreed to pay close to $80 million in refunds and costs, as well as make changes in business practices valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, to settle a class action lawsuit over allegedly improper fees charged to auto loan customers. Franklin D. Azar was one of three law firms representing plaintiffs in the case.
In March, the Azar firm announced a $1.1 million settlement for a motorcyclist who had been severely injured in a crash in Weld County in 2021 — enough to take care of his massive medical bills, assist in his ongoing rehabilitation process, and provide hope for the future.
Most personal injury cases reach a settlement without going to trial. But the Azar firm had several opportunities in 2022 to demonstrate its willingness to take cases to trial involving disputes over fault or coverage, including the case of a bicyclist injured in a crash in Aurora by a vehicle turning right into an intersection. Although the defendant denied any liability and countersued for damage to his vehicle, an Arapahoe County jury awarded the plaintiff (represented by Azar attorney Josh Hotchkiss) the full amount of his medical bills as well as claims for impairment and pain and suffering; the final amount was more than $240,000.
Awards and honors poured in over the summer and fall, including recognition by Expertise.com of the Azar firm as among the Best Workers Compensation Attorneys in Denver. In addition, senior attorneys DezaRae LaCrue and Natalie Brown were named 2023 Best Lawyers, a process that relies entirely on confidential peer evaluations.
In November the firm announced back-to-back $2 million jury verdicts for its clients. A Denver jury awarded approximately $2.2 million to a 24-year-old motorcyclist injured in a 2021 crash, represented by senior attorney Joseph Sirchio. Around the same time, a Texas jury brought in a $2 million verdict for an Azar client injured in a 2016 crash, after senior attorney LaCrue presented compelling evidence about the nature of the plaintiff’s injuries and her need for additional treatment.
We ended the year with two other jury verdicts that demonstrated the firm’s determination to stand up for injured people. In a Colorado Springs courtroom, Azar attorneys Alexander F. Beale and Jonathan Drucker represented a 23-year-old woman injured in a four-car pileup that wasn’t her fault. The jury awarded her $35,000 in damages – 35 times what the defendant offered to settle her case before trial. And DezaRae LaCrue represented a military vet in his battle with his insurance company over compensation that the company declined to pay under his underinsured motorist coverage; the jury in this case also awarded close to $35,000 in damages.
RESOLVED FOR 2023: TAKE THESE THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO HELP PREVENT ACCIDENTS
The chance of being involved in a car crash is, unfortunately, greater than you might expect. Surveys by insurance companies indicate that three out of every four drivers on the road have been involved in an accident at least once in their driving careers. The average driver files an insurance claim for a collision approximately once every 18 years. In other words, the typical motorist will experience three or four accidents in the course of a lifetime.
No single driving strategy can guarantee that your own driving record will be free of accidents; no matter how careful you are, you can’t control other drivers’ behavior. But you can take a few simple steps to improve your own approach to safe driving that can greatly reduce your risk of becoming another statistic — and worse, incurring serious injuries. Here are three of them.
Slow down. Sounds boring, yes, but this step could also be known as “increase reaction time.” The most common form of collision comes from failing to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you. Going ten miles or more over the speed limit may be the norm for many impatient drivers, but it also seriously hinders your ability to react to sudden changes in traffic flow. For example, the extra braking distance needed when you’re going 40 miles an hour in a 30-mph zone amounts to about fifty feet — more than three car lengths. You can greatly reduce your risk of slamming into the car ahead of you, or failing to react in time to other unexpected obstacles, simply by dialing back the speed.
Anticipate the unexpected. One of the most important techniques taught in defensive driving courses is awareness of changing traffic conditions around you. Get into the habit of constantly scanning the road for potential threats, including distracted, impaired or aggressive drivers. Check side mirrors and the rearview every five to ten seconds, and look both directions entering intersections; just because you have the green light doesn’t mean some reckless scofflaw isn’t going to blow through a red light. Anticipating possible collisions and being prepared to avoid them can help you stay accident-free.
Make driving your priority. Resolve to be focused on driving when you’re on the road — rather than texting, eating, or some other activity that commands your attention. Minimize distractions by turning off that cell phone, setting your radio station or playlist in advance, and keeping your hands on the wheel. Distracted driving is on the rise across the country and now plays a significant role in thousands of fatal crashes — but it’s also a completely preventable situation.
The Car Accident Lawyers At FDAZAR
For more than thirty years the attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have helped thousands of injured people obtain complete and timely compensation for their losses. Our proven track record and expertise in serious injury cases have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, Fort Collins, Greeley, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a bus, car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the car accident attorneys at FDAzar day or night at 800-716-9032, or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.
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