James H. Chalat - Chalat Hatten & Banker PC

James H. Chalat

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2014
Phone: 303-861-1042

Experience, credentials and results.  I handle cases of paralysis, brain damage, severe burns, catastrophic injury and wrongful death, malpractice, skiing/snowboarding and recreational accident cases.  Our results include 7 and 8 figure verdicts and settlements. My clients rate me as "Superb" 10/10 on AVVO, and I get the highest grades on other consumer site such as Martindale.

I also devote substantial time to pro bono matters, academic and community service.  The Colorado Supreme Court has acknowledged me and my firm for their our bono service. 

Born 9 April1953 Livermore, CA. Married to Linda J. Chalat attorney at law, with four children. Residence: Evergreen, Colorado

Admitted to active practice before: Colorado State and Federal courts (1977) Michigan State courts (by examination - 1983) the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit (1981) and the United States Supreme Court (1981).  Admitted pro hac vice: California,  Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Virginia & Wyoming. 

Teaching experience and lecture invitations include CLE programs across the State of Colorado, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, University of Colorado School of Law, Harvard Law School.

Additional Information

Car and truck accident cases — These include pedestrian, hit and run, "dram shop," cases and bicycle cases.  Additionally, over-the-road long haul trucking accidents on our nations Interstate Highways.  These include multi-vehicle collisions in Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and New Mexico involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.  Claims have included violations of FMCSA and DOT, CDL requirements, complex reconstruction and engineering, multi-state investigations and depositions. 
Skiing, snowboarding, chairlift or ski lift accidents — The firm is the most experienced law firm in Colorado in handling victims' claims in ski, snowboarding, chairlift and ski lift accident cases.  These have included claims against ski resorts based on the relevant Ski Safety Act, snowmobile or groomer versus skier accidents, claims based on regulations governing lift operations.  Additionally, skier vs. skier cases which have included death, catastrophic injury, paralysis, and severe orthopedic injuries.  We have handled ski cases in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, California, New York and Virginia. 
Medical Malpractice — Pediatric, Neurosurgery, Emergency Medicine, Hospital, OB/GYN, Surgical cases. 
University of MichiganUniversity of Denver, College of LawJ.D. 1977
Thompson G. Marsh American Inn of CourtAmerican Board of Trial AdvocatesAmerican Association for JusticeColorado Trial Lawyers AssociationFaculty of Federal AdvocatesSkilex-EuropeUniversity of Denver Sturm College of LawHarvard Law School

Case History

Mendakota v. Savage et al., 2008 CV 104, District Court Clear Creek County, Colorado

$18.5 Million bench trial judgment entered February 17, 2010. Appeal dism’d., and settled in a companion bad faith case.  This was a DUI auto versus pedestrian case.  The driver, after hours of drinking and smoking pot lost control of his car, and ran over Paul Savage who was working on his car, parked in his driveway.  Savage sustained severe injuries resulting in paraplegia.  The driver was later convicted of a felony for his actions.  

The car in question was insured by Mendakota.  The owner's son was riding shotgun at the time of  the incident, having given the keys to his drunken buddy.  After the incident and through our office, Savage offered to settle for the Mendakota insurer's policy limits of $25,000  in exchange for a release in favor of the car owner, and his son, but not the felon-driver.  Arguing that it needed to also protect the driver, as a permissive user, the insurer refused.  At a contested trial, the court entered judgment for $18.5 million.  The case then proceeded to a federal court "bad faith" action.  Prior to trial Mendakota settled for a substantial portion of the judgment.   

Bargai v. Carlson, 2006CV1550, Denver District Court, Colorado, June 18, 2007. — Medical malpractice, Jury Verdict for $10.1 Million. The underlying case, Edden Bargai and Neta Bargai, Ph.D. v Nancy Carlson, M.D., Denver District Court Case No. 06 CV 1550, was a medical negligence case. Dr. Bargai, individually and on behalf of her son Edden sued Edden’s former pediatrician, Nancy Carlson, M.D., for the pediatrician’s failure to timely refer Edden for an MRI which would have revealed that he had a Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma (a type of brain tumor) in the hypothalamic region of his brain. Because of Dr. Carlson’s mis-diagnosis and failure to timely refer Edden for an MRI, Edden did not have his brain tumor diagnosed until May 10, 2005, at which time he was admitted to the Children’s Hospital, Denver. The tumor bled early in the morning of May 12, 2005, and Edden underwent emergency brain surgery on May 13, 2005. As a result of the bleed and then the required surgery (both occasioned by the delay in diagnosis), Edden suffered extensive, permanent injuries, including: (1) extensive brain damage with resulting cognitive deficits, most notably in mental processing speed, new learning ability, working memory, executive functioning, and verbal processing, (2) total blindness in the right eye, (3) one-half visual field loss in the left eye, (4) diabetes insipidus, (5) hypothyroidism, (6) pan-hypopituitarism, (7) excessive hunger and (8) tic and movement disorders.  The case settled post-trial for a confidential amount. 
Grigg v. Wintergreen, CL-03-9452, Circuit Court for Albermarle County, Virginia, July 16, 2004. — $8.3 Million verdict in a ski case.  Co-counsel with Bryan Slaughter of Charlottesville, VA.  On MLK day in 2004 Jessica Grigg was skiing at Wintergreen Ski Area.  A snow groomer was coming uphill on an open slope.  Jessica fell uphill of the groomer and slid into its blade, sustaining a severe brain injury which left her permanently disabled.
Nguyen v. Stecher, 01 CV 2541 Arapahoe County District Court (6/27/02) — $1.4 Million jury verdict in a medical malpractice wrongful case against a neurosurgeon.   A patient with cervical spinal stenosis was taken to the O.R. for an anterior cervical discectomy.   During the procedure, the surgeon inadvertently punctured the patient's carotid artery, causing her death.   

Office Location

1600 Broadway, Suite 1920
Denver, CO 80202
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Professional Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs of the Denver Metro Area
James H. Chalat has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!

Practice Areas

Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Professional Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs