Causes of action for injuries resulting from motor vehicle collisions include claims based on: a tortfeasor’s (the responsible party) individual liability for the tortfeasor’s own acts and omissions; vicarious liability; contract; an injury to another (i.e. derivative claims); based on wanton and wanton conduct; and the right of subrogation. Negligence is the most often pled cause of action based on a tortfeasor’s own acts or omissions that give rise to a personal injury claim arising out of a motor vehicle collision.

What is important to recognize, however, is that not only the other driver that collided with your car or the driver of the car you were a passenger in might have been at-fault, but the negligence of others who were nowhere near the accident when it occurred may give rise to a cause of action against them. Other persons or entities may also be vicariously liable for the negligence of the at fault driver, meaning they are liable simply because of the type of relationship they had with the at fault driver or because of a contract insuring you. Derivative claims are claims made by persons not based on injuries they suffered in the collision, but are based on their relationship to someone who was injured or killed in the accident and the damages sustained as a result of the effect of the accident on that relationship. A cause of action based upon the willful and wanton conduct of a tortfeasor is one for punitive damages, intended to deter and punish.

Claims made by or against a minor may be brought by or against the minor through a next friend, usually a parent or guardian. In cases where it appears that your damages may exceed the insurance policy limits of the at fault driver, it is suggested that you bring a claim against as many parties as can be named consistent with the facts, rules of ethics and the economic practicalities of the case.

You may ask why do this in cases where an insurance policy will cover both the at-fault driver and, for example, another party brought in under a theory of vicarious liability, but yet will provide the same amount of coverage regardless of whether just the at-fault driver was sued, or both the at-fault driver and the vicariously liable party were both sued. One reason is that the vicariously liable party,such as an employer or parent, may have assets to satisfy all or part of an excess judgment that the at-fault driver does not have. A second reason is that any party at risk of losing personal assets will have an incentive – that a judgment proof at-fault driver would not have – to put pressure individually or through excess counsel on the insurer to settle within policy limits by making telephone calls, writing letters and showing up at a settlement conference. This increases the chances of the case settling, with the insurer paying a higher amount. Also, in cases that do not settle under such circumstances, the insurer may be willing to provide its insureds with a protection letter providing coverage without limit in order to avoid a bad faith claim being asserted against it for not settling within policy limits.

While this is a lot of information, the main takeaway is that if you’ve been injured, there may be parties that are responsible for your injuries that you were not aware of and should be held accountable. The personal injury lawyers at Kidneigh & Kaufman know this and are here to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

On Monday, January 28th, Denver accident lawyer Steve Kaufman will argue in the Colorado Court of Appeals to uphold his approximately $500,000 verdict on behalf of his injured client against Shelter Insurance.  Mr. Kaufman tried this case with another Kidneigh & Kaufman Denver personal injury lawyer, Charlie Crichton, in August 2011 in Denver District Court.  On behalf of their injured client, Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Crichton argued that the client’s insurer, Shelter Insurance, did not sufficiently advise the client about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in order to allow him to make an informed decision regarding whether to purchase or reject the coverage.


Prior to trial, Shelter Insurance offered nothing in settlement to our client.  After a four day trial, Denver accident lawyers Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Crichton obtained a verdict of approximately $500,000 for their client.  This award included underinsured benefits, double damages for Shelter’s unreasonable delay, attorneys’ fees, interest, and costs.


Currently, Shelter Insurance has filed an appeal, briefs have been filed, and Mr. Kaufman is scheduled for oral argument in front of the Court of Appeals on the 28th.  A decision by the Court of Appeals is anticipated shortly thereafter.


We care about our clients: Denver Personal injury lawyers at Kidneigh & Kaufman treat each client like a person, not a case. We actually return phone calls and an attorney, and not just a paralegal, will be involved in handling your claim. One thing you can be sure of is that someone will always be there to help you through the process and you will always be able to talk to someone about your case.


We obtain the maximum recovery we can: As Denver accident lawyers, we make it our job to try to understand what each client is going through and have successfully received more than $65 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients from insurance companies and corporations. We’ve successfully handled all kinds of personal injury cases and obtained the compensation necessary to help people get back on their feet financially and emotionally following an accident. We’ve helped people who’ve had surgery after a car accident, or a slip and fall at the grocery store or on ice at their apartment.


We go above and beyond for our clients and are willing to take cases other attorneys won’t: We’ve helped families whose lives have been turned upside down due to defective products like a heater exploding and birth injuries caused by medical malpractice. The truth is we are willing to go above and beyond for our clients and because we look at each case individually, we have many times taken cases other attorneys have turned down and even cases where our client received a ticket – and We Have Prevailed! We’ve even forced insurance companies to pay 6 to 10 times their policy limits when they denied and low-balled claims.


Kidneigh & Kaufman is your Denver personal injury lawyer.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email us. As we like to say, “Our Door is Always Open,” and you are under no obligation to do anything. There is no charge for an initial meeting and, in most cases, we work on a contingent fee basis, meaning we only get paid if you obtain a recovery. Come meet with us and learn more about the Kidneigh & Kaufman difference.


30 yrs

For over 30 years, Steve Kaufman has been working as a Denver personal injury lawyer.  After graduating from Rutgers Law School he started his first job with Jon Kidneigh working as a Denver accident lawyer.  After only two years on the job, Steve and Jon tried the first toxic shock syndrome (TSS) case to go to trial in the country against Procter & Gamble. From that point on he’s successfully handled almost every kind of personal injury case, many of which have been difficult and complicated.  Mr. Kaufman has handed cases big and small, but most importantly he is not afraid to fight for you and has won many cases at trial and on appeal.  Mr. Kaufman is a Colorado native, married, and has 5 kids.  His oldest daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Charlie are also attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman and are helping to carrying on the fight against insurance companies and corporations.


Jennifer Crichton graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2006 and has been working with her Dad as a Denver personal injury lawyer at Kidneigh & Kaufman ever since.  During her time at Kidneigh & Kaufman, she has been involved in all types of personal injury matters, including: automobile and motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, bicycle and pedestrian accidents, dog bite attacks, sexual assaults, product caused illnesses and injuries, medical malpractice, insurance bad faith, disability, wrongful death, and many other cases involving serious injuries, permanent impairment, and/or significant disfigurement.  She enjoys working on behalf of Plaintiffs and helping those who have been injured understand their rights and obtain compensation for their injuries. She currently lives in Denver with her husband, Charlie, also an attorney at Kidneigh and Kaufman, and their two sons.


Charlie Crichton also graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and came to work at Kidneigh & Kaufman in 2011 after working as a Deputy District Attorney in Adams County for  four years. During his time at the District Attorney’s Office, he had the opportunity to work on nearly every different type of criminal case, ranging from traffic offenses all the way up to first degree murder. He tried over 50 jury trials in his 4 years, giving him substantial trial advocacy experience and understanding.  Charlie has had the privilege of representing personal injury clients in a wide variety of case, as well as representing criminal clients in all stages and types of criminal proceedings including traffic, misdemeanor, and felony offenses. When he is not working, Charlie enjoys spending time with his wife and their two young boys, Griffith and Cameron. When he can sneak away for a few hours, Charlie likes spending his time outdoors running, golfing, snowboarding, or playing basketball.


Clark Litten has practiced law for 20 years and decided to become a workers’ compensation attorney so he could help people injured on the job.  He has handled everything from death and paralysis cases, down to extremity, arm and leg claims.  He has also had the honor of representing a countless number of people on their Social Security Disability claims.  He feel very proud and fortunate that he has been able to help people with their Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability cases and would consider it a privilege to represent you.  Mr. Litten is a Colorado native, married for 20 years, and has a teenage son and daughter. 

Law books


     Everyone thinks they know that there are too many frivolous lawsuits because too many unscrupulous lawyers are looking for an easy way to get rich.  Yet, if you were to stop and think about this logically, you would realize there is no way that this even makes sense.  This is because lawyers that handle personal injury cases work on a contingent fee basis, meaning they get paid a percentage of their client’s recovery.  However, if the client receives nothing, then the lawyer gets nothing.  Consequently, because the lawyer is not getting paid by the hour no matter whether the case is a meritorious one or not, there is no reason for an attorney to take a frivolous case since he will have ended up putting in a lot of time for no money when he cannot achieve a settlement for his client.

      But you say the insurance companies will just pay to get rid of the case, even if it is frivolous.  The truth is, insurance companies and corporations fight these cases like crazy, which is why people hire lawyers in the first place!  Think about it, when is the last time you can remember an insurance company or corporation ever doing anything for anyone voluntarily where there was not an underlying profit motive, especially when it involves money.


      Of course, everyone’s poster child for the frivolous case is the McDonald’s hot coffee case.  But it pays to know the facts, and the facts are that


  • McDonald’s coffee was heated to 180 to 190 degrees, which was at least 40 degrees hotter than the coffee most people drink at home.
  • Full thickness 3rd degree burns to skin will occur in 2 to 7 seconds when liquid contacts skin.
  • The injured lady suffered suffered full thickness burns to her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin areas, which required skin grafting.
  • More than 700 coffee burns had been made against McDonald’s prior to this incident.
  • McDonald’s never warned about its coffee’s extremely high temperature or that its coffee when coming into contact with skin can cause 3rd degree burns.
  • The lady was willing to settle for $20,000, an offer which McDonald’s rejected.
  • The jury’s award of $200,000 for injuries and pain suffering was reduced by the judge to $160,000.
  • The jury’s punitive damage award of $2.7 million was reduced by the judge to $480,000.


      As a result of this lady bringing her so called “frivolous lawsuit,” McDonalds reduced the temperature of its coffee, which has lessened the risk of 3rd degree burns for all of us when we drink McDonalds’ coffee.  So the lesson is, when someone starts going on about all the frivolous lawsuits, ask yourself what their agenda is, because it just doesn’t make sense.

Denver Accident Lawyer

Denver Accident Lawyer

Anytime you turn on your television, listen to the radio, or drive down the street, it seems like there is an advertisement for a Denver accident lawyer.

However, all Denver accident attorneys are not the same.  Some Denver accident attorneys have many years of experience while others may have just recently graduated from law school and passed the bar.  Some Denver accident lawyers have tried dozens of jury trials while others have never seen the inside of a courtroom.

Some Denver lawyers have obtained several million dollar recoveries for their clients while others have never worked on a case of that magnitude and importance.

Steve Kaufman is a Denver accident lawyer who has over 30 years experience, has tried cases in both federal and state courts, and has successfully obtained million dollar recoveries.  Steve Kaufman is the Denver accident lawyer you want working on your case.

Being a successful Denver accident lawyer is not as simple as making a few phone calls to the insurance company in order to get a case settled.  In fact, being a successful Denver accident lawyer often means working on a client’s case for years before finally getting a fair result.  You want a Denver accident lawyer who is willing to fight for you no matter how long or difficult that fight is.

Steve Kaufman has proved he is the Denver accident lawyer who is willing to fight for his clients no matter how long or difficult the fight.  For example, Steve Kaufman represented a couple who were badly injured in a car accident.  Unfortunately, their insurance company denied coverage which would have paid their medical bills and provided other benefits because the premium had not been paid.  However, the insurance company had sent the cancellation notice only to the wife because she was the policyholder, but they failed to also send the notice to the husband as required by her policy.

On this basis, Denver accident lawyer Steve Kaufman filed the case and took the insurance company to court, arguing that the insurance company had to provide coverage to this couple because it had never effectively cancelled her policy.

The trial court dismissed Mr. Kaufman’s claim, finding that the insurer did not need to send a cancellation notice to the young woman’s husband because the cancellation statute did not require it and because the judge considered notice to the wife to be notice to the husband .  Undeterred, Denver accident lawyer Steve Kaufman filed an appeal and the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed, finding that there was coverage since the policy can give an insured greater notice rights than required by statute and because one spouse is not the agent of the other by virtue of their marriage.

As a result, the insurer paid approximately $400,000 for the couple’s medical bills, lost wages, and the essential services they needed, interest at 18% for the benefits it had withheld, the costs of the litigation, and Mr. Kaufman’s attorneys’ fees.

But Denver accident lawyer Steve Kaufman did not stop there.  When the case went back to the trial court, Mr. Kaufman also wanted to make the insurer responsible for additional damages because it had acted willfully and wantonly, and in bad faith.  The insurer hired an expert to say that it did everything right and once more the trial court threw this aspect of the case out.  Again Mr. Kaufman appealed and yet again the Colorado Court of Appeals found in favor of Mr. Kaufman’s clients.  The appellate court ruled that no argument could be reasonably made in support of the insurer’s denial of benefits and then returned the case to the trial court so that a jury could determine the amount of additional damages.

However, the insurer decided to settle before trial and paid out another $600,000.

Steve Kaufman is a Denver accident lawyer who is willing and able to successfully fight for his clients and their legitimate claims.  People need a Denver accident lawyer when things get tough or the insurance company plays hardball on cases that deserve compensation.  As you can see there is a reason why Mr. Kaufman’s law firm has recovered over $65 million for its clients and while past success cannot guarantee future results we would love to help you in seeking a recovery on your claim.

Call Denver accident lawyer Steve Kaufman today for a free consultation and percentage fees.

Denver Accident Lawyer,Denver Personal Injury Lawyer,Denver Injury Attorney,Auto Accident Attorney Denver,Personal Injury Attorneys Colorado

Auto InjuryFind Auto Injury Legal Help And More

When I first meet with clients, many of them tell me that they previously tried to handle their auto injury case on their own, but the insurance company was not treating them fairly. Because insurance companies often do not treat injury claimants fairly, many people have to seek auto injury legal help. As I often tell my clients, if insurance companies did the right thing and paid their auto injury claims, I would not have a job.

However, since insurance companies so rarely do the right thing, injury claimants come to Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. for legal help with their auto injury claims.

Why do you need an attorney for your auto injury claim? There are several reasons why people seek legal help with their auto injury claims. Many people do not really know what the value of their auto injury claim is. At Kidneigh & Kaufman P.C., we have over 30 years of experience working on auto injury cases and can advise you whether the insurance company is making a reasonable offer. Also, many people do not know many of the legal nuances regarding auto injury claims. At Kidneigh & Kaufman P.C. we can provide the legal help to guide you with your personal injury claims.

For instance, did you know that many auto insurance policies have a $5,000 medical payments endorsement that will cover the first $5,000 of medical treatment from your auto injury regardless of fault. Most of all, we are experienced in dealing with insurance companies and auto injury cases. We know how to negotiate with those insurance adjusters and how to maximize the value of your auto injury claim.

I recently had an auto injury case involving two elderly clients who were rear-ended by another driver who was not paying attention. They had spoken to the insurance company about their auto injury claim, but did not feel the insurance adjuster was treating them fairly. When they originally called me for legal help with their auto injury claim, they did not even know where to begin. I quickly filed bodily injury and uninsured motorist claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and also filed an uninsured motorist claim with my client’s insurance company.

We were able to determine that both the at-fault driver and my client had $5,000 in medical payments coverage under each of their policies for medical treatment related to the auto injury.

This was extremely helpful to my clients as both of them had ambulance and hospital bills that needed to be paid. We were later able to settle both my clients’ auto injury cases with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for over $50,000. Although each case is different and past success cannot determine future results, the legal help my clients received certainly helped with their auto injury claims.

Contact Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. today for legal help with your auto injury claim. We handle all types of claims related to auto injury including: bodily injury claims, uninsured motorist claims, underinsured motorist claims, and bad faith claims as well as all other types of injury claims.

Auto Injury,Auto Injury Compensation Settlements,Auto Injury Solutions,Auto Injury Claim

Auto Accident LawyerBest Time To Enlist Services Of An Auto Accident Lawyer
When I meet with my clients, I am always surprised when I hear what the insurance companies have told them.

I hear about how the insurance companies want people to sign medical releases and give statements before they even have a chance to talk to an auto accident lawyer. I hear about how the insurance companies pressure people to settle their cases before they have even started receiving treatment for their injuries. I hear about how the insurance companies encourage injured people not to seek an auto accident lawyer.

It is unfortunate, but it is true: if the insurance companies did what they were supposed to do, then auto accident lawyers like Kidneigh & Kaufman would not be in business. Because the insurance companies so rarely do the right thing, it is important that you have the experienced auto accident lawyers at Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. working on your behalf.

After someone is injured in an auto accident, dealing with an insurance company can be very difficult and confusing. Most people simply do not even know where to begin, which is why it’s so important to have an experienced auto accident lawyer to guide you through the process.
I recently had a young man as a client who was seriously injured in a rollover accident. He had never been in a car accident and never had to deal with an auto insurance company. After attempting to handle things on his own for a while, he decided to contact the auto accident lawyers at Kidneigh & Kaufman to help him through the process.

He had incurred significant medical bills from the ambulance and the emergency room and did not know how he was going to pay his out of pocket medical expenses.

Luckily, his auto accident lawyer was able to determine that there was $5000 in medical payments coverage that could be applied to his out of pocket medical expenses. His auto accident lawyer also figured out that the young man had $20,000 in medical payments coverage under another policy that would pay for any additional out of pocket expenses. Now this client no longer has to worry about how he will pay for his medical bills thanks to his auto accident lawyer at Kidneigh & Kaufman.

Contrary to what many people think and what insurance companies would like you to believe, receiving fair compensation for your injuries is not as simple as calling up the insurance company and sending them a copy of your medical bills. An experienced auto accident lawyer can provide you with direction and help you obtain a fair settlement for your injuries. Kidneigh & Kaufman’s auto accident lawyers know the law and know how to deal with the insurance companies.

Do not talk to the insurance company unless you talk to an auto accident lawyer first.

That recorded statement you agreed to give to the friendly insurance adjuster could later be used against you as evidence that you were partially at-fault for the accident or your injuries were really not that serious. If you are hurt in an auto accident, call the experienced auto accident lawyers at Kidneigh & Kaufman immediately so they can guide you through the process and get you a fair settlement on your case.

Auto Accident Lawyer,Car Accident Lawyers

Contingent Fees

Many people who have been injured in an accident are afraid to see a lawyer because they are worried about the cost.

This shouldn’t be the case.

At Kidneigh and Kaufman, we work on a contingent fee basis. This means that we only get paid if you receive a recovery on your case.

In other words, if you don’t receive compensation, you owe us nothing for our fee.

This is really a good system since you are not paying out-of-pocket as you go along.

And, your lawyer only gets paid for getting something done for you.

Since your lawyer only gets paid for results, there is no incentive to drag your case out, or to mislead you into thinking you have a good case when you really don’t.

Most importantly, the contingent fee system enables people who otherwise could not afford a lawyer to recover for their injuries and what they’ve had to endure.

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