Do I have a Car Accident Case?
If you have been critically wounded in an car accident, you may have a significant claim that an expert personal injury lawyer may assist you with. However, not every injury caused by a car accident is worth money, and not every case requires the assistance of an attorney.
Within a few months of your accident, you should speak with an attorney about the following questions to see if you have a strong case:
WAS THE ACCIDENT CAUSED BY SOMEONE ELSE?
If the accident was caused by someone other than you, you might have a viable case. However, if the collision was caused solely by your irresponsible driving, financial compensation is improbable.
WAS YOUR CAR IN ANY WAY DAMAGED?
Although major property damage isn’t required for a successful personal injury case, photos of car damage can help you prove your case. When there is evidence of moderate to high car impact, judges and juries are more likely to believe severe injuries were caused by accident.
DID A DOCTOR TREAT YOUR INJURY RIGHT AWAY?
A successful car accident injury claim requires both injuries and medical treatment. As a result, you must get medical assistance from your family doctor, chiropractor, emergency department, walk-in clinic, or other certified health care professional as soon as possible following your accident. Furthermore, the worth of your case is determined by whether you followed your doctor’s treatment recommendations.
IS IT LESS THAN A YEAR AFTER YOUR ACCIDENT?
Personal injury lawsuits, such as car accident claims, must be filed within one year after the accident in Colorado. As a result, if it has been more than a year after your accident and you have not yet filed a lawsuit, your claim may be hard to prove.
IS THERE ANY MOTOR INSURANCE THAT WILL COVER YOUR CLAIM?
Your claim might be worthless no matter how serious your property damage and injuries are if the driver who caused the accident has no money or liability insurance. You do not have uninsured motorist (UM) insurance. “You can’t bleed a turnip,” as the phrase goes.
If you responded yes to these questions, you might have a strong case in a car accident.
Because every case is unique, you should contact a car accident lawyer right away to discuss your situation in further detail.
TOP 10 MYTHS ABOUT CAR ACCIDENTS
The following myths cause many incorrect beliefs concerning car accident claims: Myth #1: Receiving compensation from a car accident will make you wealthy.
Myth #2: If you submit a fair settlement demand letter to the insurance company, you will get a reasonable settlement offer in return.
Myth #3: The at-fault driver’s insurance company would not settle with you until you give them a recorded statement and sign their papers.
Myth #4: If you file a claim for uninsured motorist benefits (UM), your insurance premiums will increase.
Myth #5: Attorneys that advertise that they handle car accident or personal injury cases all have the same skills, resources, and expertise to handle your case.
Myth #6: The at-fault driver’s insurance company is expected to pay your medical fees as they arise.
Myth #7: Because the upfront fees and expenditures are too exorbitant, you can’t afford to engage an attorney to manage your case.
Myth #8: Because you were in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you must have some insurance money available to cover your medical costs, missed earnings, and pain and suffering.
Myth #9: In an accident case with identical injuries, you may anticipate the same compensation as your friend, sibling, neighbor, coworker, etc.
Myth #10: Juries in Colorado are generous.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN INJURED IN A CAR ACCIDENT
Following a car accident, there are a few basic procedures you may do to preserve your rights:
seek medical attention;
retain accident and injury evidence;
refuse to speak with the other driver’s insurance adjuster, and consult with a personal injury attorney.
Anyone who causes you injury is responsible for paying for your losses under Colorado law. That implies that if a careless driver causes a car accident in which you are injured, the other motorist is responsible for repairing your car, paying your medical costs, replacing your lost income, and covering your out-of-pocket expenses.
Out-of-pocket expenditures, as well as compensation for your physical and mental pain and suffering. Insurance companies employ claims adjusters, trained risk management professionals who represent the insurance companies’ interests – not yours! When the other driver’s car insurance or other liability insurance applies, insurance companies employ claims adjusters, trained risk management professionals who represent the insurance companies’ interests – not yours!
OBTAIN MEDICAL ATTENTION
First and foremost, you must respond to your injuries by obtaining medical assistance from a doctor as soon as possible. Visit an ER, an urgent care facility, a family practice, an after- hours clinic, a specialist, a chiropractor, or another qualified health care practitioner.
After that, follow your doctor’s instructions for follow-up therapy and attend all of your regular medical appointments. Tell your doctor about all of your symptoms and any previous medical conditions you’ve had. Do not give up.
You are treating your injuries until they heal or your doctor releases you. It is not enough to merely declare you are injured; medical records and expert evidence must confirm injuries.
EVIDENCE SHOULD BE PRESERVED.
You should also get as much information as possible from accident witnesses and other drivers, such as names, addresses, license plate numbers, phone numbers, insurance information, and police information, among other things.
Save all documents related to the accident and your injuries, including accident reports, photos of the scene, your car, and your injuries, witness names and contact information, medical reports, medical bills, and receipts for prescriptions, car repairs, and other related out-of-pocket expenses.
Damages must be supported by objective documentation; the insurance company will not trust your word until you provide objective proof.
DON’T MAKE ANY DECLARATIONS OR SIGN ANY FORMS.
Additionally, save for the police, your physicians, and your lawyer, you should not disclose the circumstances of the accident or your injuries to anybody else. Insurance adjusters who contact you on the phone are unlikely to be fair or to defend your rights in any manner.
Consider the statement from police movies about Miranda Rights: “Anything you say may and will be used against you in a court of law…” Even if you aren’t a criminal, the same idea applies: loose mouths sink ships! Your remarks may be twisted by adjusters and other
witnesses and used against you later.
As a result, do not provide the other driver’s insurance adjuster with a statement or sign any insurance company documents.
Make contact with a car accident lawyer.
Finally, if you have been wounded in a car accident due to no fault of your own, you should seek a free consultation with a Colorado, personal injury attorney. In personal injury cases, attorneys often charge nothing for the first consultation to discuss your case and a contingency fee for future work, which means you don’t pay anything up in advance, and the lawyers don’t get paid until you do, either via a settlement or a judgement.
TOP 5 ERRORS THAT CAN DESTROY YOUR CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM (AND HOW TO AVOID THEM) THE FIRST MISTAKE IS NOT GATHERING ENOUGH INFORMATION AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT.
Your car accident case may be doomed before it even starts if you fail to preserve evidence at the site of the accident. This may be prevented by taking two easy steps: (1) calling the cops; and (2) gathering information on your own.
Accident victims are sometimes hesitant to contact the police to report their accidents. They are concerned that it would waste their time and raise their already expensive car insurance costs. I can appreciate their desire to keep the cops out of it. However, proving an accident injury case becomes considerably more difficult without the police officer’s rapid and (usually) complete inspection of the accident site.
Officers record the evidence of an car accident and make an initial decision of blame. Of course, police officers make errors, but they are more often than not right in their reporting. While police reports aren’t the last word on culpability (and aren’t binding in court), they have a lot of sway with insurance adjusters when it comes to determining liability (responsibility for the accident).
In addition, police officials question witnesses and acquire contact and insurance information from all parties involved. In brief, engaging the police may assist you in obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.
In addition to notifying the police, you may gather useful information on your own. Begin by gathering the names, phone numbers, and addresses of any witnesses who were present at the time of the accident.
Obtain the at-fault driver’s contact information, driver’s license number, and license plate number. This is critical because witnesses may flee the area before the cops arrive.
Photograph the accident site and cars if at all feasible. This might illustrate where and how the accident happened, as well as the extent of the damage. If your phone lacks a camera,
have a disposable camera in your glove compartment just in case!
Remember that after the accident scene has been cleaned, and the debris has been removed, the accident location can never be precisely replicated again.
MISTAKE #2: GIVING THE OTHER SIDE’S INSURANCE COMPANY A RECORDED STATEMENT
Giving the other driver’s insurance company a recorded statement has little benefit and a lot of danger. As previously stated, we normally encourage clients to avoid disclosing specifics of their accident or injury with anybody other than police officers, physicians, and lawyers — particularly insurance adjusters.
Adjusters are trained specialists who are proficient in obtaining damaging statements to downplay the other driver’s culpability in causing the collision and understate your injuries. They may seem to be helpful resources “at your service,” but they work for the insurance company, not you! “Anything you say may and will be used against you in a court of law,” as the saying goes.
Allowing your lawyer to speak for you rather than speaking directly to the insurance adjuster for a recorded statement is a preferable option. Your car accident attorney, like the adjuster, is a seasoned expert who understands which comments may assist or hurt your case.
By interacting with an adjuster, you are considerably more likely to inadvertently undermine your case than by having your lawyer speak on your behalf. Furthermore, unlike your declarations, your attorney’s statements on your behalf may not be admissible at trial.
In other words, your attorney may offer the insurance adjuster all of the facts he or she needs to settle your claim without you having to make a possibly damaging recorded statement.
If you choose to represent yourself and insist on providing the insurance company with a recorded statement, make it brief and uncomplicated. If at all feasible, summarize the accident in a single phrase. (For example, “I was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic signal on Government Street in Baton Rouge looking East.”) Similarly, do not go into great detail about your ailments.
Instead, quickly say that you were hurt in the accident and are being treated by medical personnel as a consequence (if this is accurate). (For example, “I hurt my back and neck in the accident, and as a consequence, I’m seeing Dr Doe.”) Allowing the adjuster to convince you that the accident was your fault or that your injuries were caused by anything other than the collision is a bad idea.
MISTAKE #3: PUTTING OFF SEEING A DOCTOR FOR TOO LONG.
If you have been wounded in a car accident, get medical help as quickly as possible. Avoiding or delaying medical care is perhaps the worst thing you can do to jeopardize your auto accident damage case. Of course, you should visit whatever health care professional you
prefer an emergency department, an urgent care clinic, an after-hours clinic, a family doctor, an orthopedist, a neurologist, a chiropractor, and so on. Simply said, don’t wait until it’s too late.
Physical injuries must be demonstrated in all car accident injury lawsuits using medical records and expert evidence. Insurance companies will not “take your word for it” if you just state that you were injured in the collision but fail to seek medical attention. The insurance company will claim that you are not wounded or that your injuries were caused by anything other than the car accident if you do not have medical documentation from a registered health care practitioner.
They will not compensate you for your injuries unless you can show that they occurred and were caused by medical proof. It’s not enough to treat yourself with home cures and over-the- counter drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen. To show accident-related injuries deserving of reimbursement from the insurance company, you’ll need your doctor’s examination, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plan, and expert opinion on causation.
Not only is medical care important in your instance, but it is also critical that you consult a doctor as quickly as possible following the accident. The longer you wait to get treatment following an accident, the more likely your insurance company may refuse your claim, claiming that the collision did not cause your symptoms (and the more likely a judge or jury will buy that argument).
Some individuals will not accept a valid car accident injury that may occur days, weeks, or months after the collision, despite medical evidence to the contrary. Procrastinators and “tough” consumers who avoid the doctor’s office despite genuine accident injuries have a proof challenge. It’s also a good reason to see a doctor after an accident, even if your symptoms are modest.
Symptoms sometimes develop weeks or even months after the event that caused the injury, particularly with neck and back injuries. It’s not uncommon for car accident victims to “tough it out” and suffer through injury symptoms for months without seeking medical help, only to discover that the condition worsens with time.
It’s too late to file a successful insurance claim for the essential therapy, pain, and suffering by the time they uncover major and irreversible conditions like herniated or bulging discs causing their discomfort. As a result, if you have any pain, stiffness, soreness, aches, or other symptoms as a result of a car accident, whether minor or major, consult a doctor right once. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
4TH MISTAKE: WAITING TOO LONG TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY
Delaying your doctor’s appointment might jeopardize your claim, and waiting too long to call a car accident attorney can do the same. An experienced lawyer understands more about what you need to do to win your case.
The advice of an attorney may be crucial in avoiding costly errors and maximizing the value
of a settlement or judgement. Attorneys are capable of critical action in addition to providing sound guidance. Your attorneys will start by looking into the facts of the case and educate you on the car accident claim procedure.
They will swiftly contact insurance providers on your behalf to begin claims while preventing insurers from contacting you directly. They may get the police report, insurance policy information, medical records and invoices, pictures, and other proof you’ll need to win, and he’ll provide it to the insurance company. They can interrogate accident witnesses and police officers.
Authorities, and healthcare professionals, while also identifying and assessing any legal concerns that arise.
Of course, they’ll determine whether or not you should file a case, and they’ll manage it from beginning to end, recognizing possible issues and anticipating the insurance company’s arguments. These are just a few of the many vital jobs that your attorneys can do for you.
The sooner you engage an expert car accident lawyer, the sooner you can devise a sound strategy for your claim and take necessary action. You’ll avoid significant blunders while taking the necessary steps to safeguard your rights.
5TH MISTAKE: LYING ABOUT ACCIDENTS, INJURIES, INCOME, OR LEVELS OF ACTIVITY
When you start a lawsuit, the insurance company will want to know how many previous accidents you have been in. The truth is that they most likely already know the answer or have quick access to it.
All insurance firms have access to insurance databases, and the only reason they ask you this question is to determine your trustworthiness. If you’ve been in previous accidents, your lawyer can look into it and determine whether or not this is a legitimate issue in your case.
However, suppose you do not inform your lawyer about the prior accidents and you lie to the insurance company about your accident history. In that case, your case is very likely to be lost or severely damaged.
You should tell your attorney about any injuries you had before or after the event. If you visit a doctor or other healthcare professional, the insurance company will be able to discover a record of your visit. If your lawyer is aware of the situation, he can handle it. If you lie about it and the insurance company discovers it, your case is very certainly doomed.
Claimants in many circumstances will have lost income as a result of their accidents. Only if your previous tax returns are genuine and correct will you be allowed to claim your lost income. You don’t want to risk going to prison by claiming a loss of income just to find out later that your previous tax returns do not support your claim.
Furthermore, if you are found guilty of lying about lost pay, the judge or jury is unlikely to trust you on any other concerns. Again, being open and honest with your attorney is the only
way to go since if he knows about the issue, he can deal with it and advise you on the best course of action.
Finally, private investigators are often hired by insurance firms to perform video surveillance. If you claim that you are unable to exercise, dance, run, lift, or play with your children and are captured on film doing so, your claim will be dismissed.
Many customers make the mistake of lying to their insurance company and lawyer about their activity levels, only to have their lies uncovered by insurance company private detectives who record surveillance footage. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
WHAT CAN A SKILLED AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYER DO FOR YOU?
To manage your car accident injury claim, your lawyer may do a variety of things. Each situation is unique, and not all of the activities described below will be required or achievable in every instance, depending on the circumstances. Nonetheless, here is a summary of some, but not nearly all, of the things an experienced car accident attorney could be able to do for you:
Interview the client; Research the case’s facts;
Inform the customer on the procedure of filing a car accident claim; Contact insurance companies on behalf of clients to file claims; Prevent insurance firms from contacting clients directly;
Gather information such as the police accident report, insurance policy information, medical records and bills, pictures, and other proof.
Examine your car, medical payments, uninsured motorists, umbrella, and health insurance policies to determine whether you have any coverage to cover your losses.
Recommend any adjustments to the client’s insurance policies that are required to assure future protection;
Conduct interviews with accident witnesses, police officers, and healthcare professionals, among others;
Recognize and evaluate legal problems such as tort responsibility, comparative culpability, liens, and subrogation, among others.
Obtain narrative reports from treating physicians to assist in explaining and determining the reasonableness of the client’s medical condition.
Determine if any money spent on your medical bills by insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or others must be reimbursed out of the recovery under the law;
Determine whether or not to launch a lawsuit and when to do so;
Draft Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, Subpoenas Duces Tecum, and Requests for Admissions;
Respond to Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, Subpoenas Duces Tecum, and Requests for Admissions issued by opposing counsel;
Take depositions of defendants, healthcare providers, and other witnesses; • prepare and defend clients during depositions; • meet with the court and other counsel;
File the appropriate motions and supporting memoranda with the court, and debate arguments in open court before the judge;
Request that the case be set for trial; • Schedule the case for mediation or settlement conference; • Prepare the client and other witnesses to testify at trial; • Organize and prepare medical records, exhibits, and demonstrative aids for trial; • Try the client’s case before a judge or jury; and • Analyze the judge or jury’s verdict to determine if an appeal is necessary and likely to be successful. How to Select the Best Attorney for Your Case
Experience, credentials, and professional reputation are the most crucial factors to consider when hiring an attorney. There are various places to find out about lawyers, including the Internet, legal directories like Martindale.com and Avvo.com, ads, friends, and other lawyers. While each of these methods may be useful and instructive, the best approach to assess if a lawyer is suited for your situation is to speak with the lawyer personally.
Before formal legal representation begins, most attorneys will speak with you on the phone or in-person at no cost to answer basic questions. This step is crucial since it helps you assess whether or not you like and trust the lawyers and the attorneys to determine whether or not they want to take on your case.
Do not be scared to conduct formal interviews with your attorneys. This will demonstrate to the lawyers that you are serious about your case (and their work). Inquire thoughtfully and directly. Insist on getting clear answers. Consider the facts you’ve gathered carefully and trust your intuition. It’s critical to feel at ease with and confident in your legal counsel.
The following questions should help you make an educated choice about who you want to represent you:
HOW LONG HAVE THE ATTORNEYS BEEN PRACTICING?
Do not only inquire about the number of years the lawyers have been practicing law; inquire about what they have been accomplishing throughout that time. Quality is just as essential as quantity when it comes to experience. For example, inquire about how many comparable injury cases the lawyers have handled, how many of those instances proceeded to litigation, mediation, or trial, and what outcomes they obtained in those situations, among other things. Inquire if the attorneys have experience defending as well as prosecuting car injury
WHAT ARE THE CREDENTIALS OF THE LAWYERS?
Begin with questions concerning school and training, then go on to past job experience, and finally, any other relevant achievements. What legal school did the attorneys attend? How did they fare in school? Have they pursued further education in the subjects relevant to your case? Have they worked as judicial clerks? Did the attorneys’ previous experience in the public sector or at other law firms influence their selection?
Is it resulting in specific knowledge? Are they involved in any legal publications, bar associations, or professional organizations? Have they written any related books, articles, essays, or other materials?
What is the reputation of the lawyers among judges, other attorneys, and legal directories?
This is a challenging issue to discuss and appraise, but it is highly essential. If you have access to judges or other lawyers, ask them directly how they feel about the lawyers in the issue. Whether not, start by asking the attorneys if they have ever been punished by the bar.
Inquire about the lawyers’ Martindale-Hubbell peer ratings, or check them up yourself at Martindale.com (Martindale-Hubbell is known as the “grandfather of lawyer directories”).
You should ideally employ an AV-rated lawyer who has been acknowledged by judges and attorneys alike as having attained the pinnacle of legal competence and ethical standards.
Avvo.com, the world’s biggest legal directory, is another fantastic resource that assesses lawyers on a scale of 1 to 10. Inquire about the attorneys’ Avvo ratings.
Suppose you devote yourself to a comprehensive attorney-client interview that focuses on the attorneys’ experience, credentials, and professional reputation. In that case, you will greatly improve your chances of selecting the best lawyers for your case.
WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE
The Jeremy D. Earle Law firm is not a broad law firm that accepts any matters. We do not practice in every field of law. We don’t pretend to be, don’t want to be, and don’t need to be. Rather than spreading our resources over a broad range of practice areas, we concentrate our efforts on only a few kinds of cases. Our firm’s main practice area is auto accident injuries. We only take on severe injury cases in car accidents, which is excellent for you.
Unlike other car accident law companies, the Jeremy D. Earle Law Firm does not depend on a high volume bulk business. We do not advertise on television, radio, or in the phone book. We are neither a “mill” nor a “chop shop” that turns through hundreds of injury cases each year. In general, we turn down more applications than we accept. In our caseload, we prioritize quality above quantity.
We may be able to devote more resources to your case by handling fewer cases and focusing exclusively on a few key practice areas. If the Warrior Law Firm accepts your case, an experienced team of car accident injury lawyers will handle your case from start to finish. We will not commit the care of your loved ones to unskilled assistants or associates.
We’re going to invest a great deal of work into your case, and it’s going to show. Our team delivers superior client service by actively representing injured clients and communicating with them in a timely and comprehensive manner. At all times, our legal practice conforms to the highest standards of professionalism and ethics.
We have three locations in Colorado Springs. Our team is comprised of seasoned car accident attorneys and exceptional support staff. To provide the best possible service to our clients, we use advanced case management systems, recognized online legal research resources, and cutting-edge communication technology.
Rather than badgering potential clients with high-pressure sales techniques and “your pain is my gain” advertising, we send free consumer guides, newsletters, articles, and other resources to accident victims via mail and the internet for them to review at their leisure in the comfort of their own homes. Clients who are as conscientious about their selections as we are preferred.
We accept car accident injury claims only if they meet all of the following stringent criteria since we are very selective in selecting the right clients and cases for our private law practice:
Cases in which another person caused the accident;
Cases in which your car sustained visible property damage;
Cases in which you received (or will receive) medical treatment shortly after the accident;
Cases in which you followed your doctor’s medical treatment recommendations; Cases in which the accident occurred less than nine months ago; and
Cases in which you have insurance coverage to compensate you for your damages. The Following Cases Are Not Acceptable
Due to the enormous amount of calls and referrals from past clients and other lawyers, our law company has determined that the only way to give great personal care to the clients we accept is to deny those cases that do not fit our stringent selection standards. As a consequence, we usually decline to handle cases involving the following types of motor car accidents:
CASES INVOLVING CAR PROPERTY DAMAGE BUT NO INJURIES.
Cases in which no medical evidence of danger exists. Regrettably, we will not accept your case if you have not sought treatment from a health care practitioner who can prove you were injured in the accident or will not seek treatment. Insurance companies are hesitant to pay large claims in the absence of objective evidence of injury. While there are several lawyers eager to take on such situations, we are not one of them.
Cases involving less than $3,000 in “hard damages” will only evaluate your case if it contains at least $3,000 in the past and future medical expenses. We wish we could represent everyone who needs legal representation, but we are unable to. As a consequence, the total of your previous and future medical expenses must exceed $3,000. If you’re unclear if your future medical expenses will likely exceed $3,000, contact us, and we’ll be pleased to assist you.
When the one-year prescriptive time is about to expire (i.e., the statute of limitations). We need at least three months to properly examine and analyze your claim before we can continue.
Due to a prescriptive restriction, we only contact potential clients within nine months after the accident. We will not allow a potential client’s tardiness or procrastination to become a last-minute problem.
Individuals who have filed several accident claims in the recent past are featured in these cases. Numerous jurors and judges are suspicious of claims with a lengthy history of accidents. We do not represent “frequent filers” since it is unjust, even though it is true.
Instances in which you were charged after an accident investigation by the police. We recognise that police officer sometimes make errors. Still, suppose the officer issued the citation to you rather than the other driver after interviewing witnesses and inspecting the scene of the accident. In that case, we will often reject to represent you.
Cases in which you were directly responsible for an accident. We shall decline to accept your case if there is any evidence that you caused your injury in any way.
In instances when another attorney has already filed your claim or lawsuit. The Jeremy D. Earle Law Firm takes a unique strategy to each case. If another lawyer has already filed your claim or case, that is OK; nevertheless, it means we will be unable to assist you. We handle cases from beginning to end, but we do not take over for other attorneys amid a case. Kindly select us first, or do not choose at all.
ATTORNEY-CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY & PRIVILEGE
Almost every accident victim has the same question: “Can I trust my lawyer to keep our talks confidential?” In a nutshell, the answer is “yes.” While customers often praise lawyers for their aggressiveness, knowledge, and inventiveness, our profession’s most critical quality is loyalty.
Attorneys are obligated to keep client conversations private and are protected from being compelled to divulge client secrets under the attorney-client privilege.
Attorney-client privilege, which dates back to Elizabethan England, is one of the most venerable forms of confidentiality protection. It encourages clients to communicate freely and honestly with their attorneys, enabling them to deliver more effective legal representation. The privilege is critical to attorneys’ ability to serve as advocates because lawyers can only prepare cases adequately with the benefit of complete and candid client disclosure.
You need only interact with your attorney to obtain legal advice to assert attorney-client privilege. Naturally, there are exceptions to the privilege. The most frequent are:
Communications made in the presence of non-clients Communications made in furtherance of a crime
Waiver of communications by the client’s public revelation
The attorney-client privilege continues to apply even after a lawyer has ceased representing you. Attorneys who violate the privilege may face disciplinary action or perhaps disbarment. It is considered a violation of fiduciary responsibility to air clients’ dirty linen.
You may have confidence in your lawyer’s ability to keep your communications private. The attorney-client privilege will safeguard your privacy.
THE LENGTH OF THE CLAIM AND THE LAWSUIT
Predicting the length of a lawsuit is difficult. Each circumstance is unique. Numerous uncontrollable variables may accelerate or delay the operation. Certain cases are quickly resolved, while others drag on for years awaiting trial and appeals.
For instance, in my law practice, I’ve handled cases resolved via trials within a week after the first conflicts. On the other hand, I had tried matters that were filed before I even started law school more than a decade ago! However, the majority of car accident claims and lawsuits fall somewhere in between those two extremes.
Typically, your attorney will spend months attempting to settle your issue without resorting to litigation. After a case is filed, lawyers will begin pre-trial discovery, a process that may take months or even years to complete. It begins with formal written requests for information and evidence and continues with depositions, in which attorneys question witnesses under oath in front of court reporters.
Another frequent pre-trial activity is mediation, which involves meeting with a neutral mediator to facilitate a final resolution. Once a trial date is set, it may last anything from a few hours to several weeks, depending on the case’s complexity, the size of the court’s docket, and if a jury is used.
Of course, litigation does not necessarily conclude with a trial. The parties may appeal the trial verdict. Even longer than the trial court procedure, appeals might be lengthy.
Calculating your case’s time might be challenging due to the delays inherent in trial and appellate litigation. In general, cases with minor injuries and clear blame will be settled more quickly than those involving significant injuries and disputed accountability. Given the unpredictability inherent in trials and appeals, as well as the reality that settlements usually bring quicker outcomes, you should decide as a litigant if “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
Liens, Subrogation, and Reimbursement are all important considerations.
Suppose you were reimbursed for medical expenses by another party (health insurance company, car insurance company, attorney, Medicaid, or Medicare, for example). In that case, you may be forced to repay the amount from your accident case settlement. If this is the case, congratulations “As it turns out, “insurance” is more akin to a “loan.”
The terms “lien,” “reimbursement,” or “recovery” apply to this area of law.”
The phrase “subrogation” is quite cumbersome. As a result, you and your attorney must be aware of the implications in your case to avoid giving back a part of your settlement, if possible.
YOU MAY MANAGE YOUR LAWSUIT WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF A LAWYER.
Numerous car accident injury cases may be resolved fairly without the assistance of an attorney. On the other hand, minor injuries that need less than three months of medical treatment and cost less than $3,000 are often addressed directly between the accident victim and the insurance company. Although I strongly recommend you to consult with a lawyer about your case since each one is unique and strict legal filing deadlines may apply, I recognise that not every accident victim will do so, especially in cases involving minor damages.
If you insist on negotiating with the insurance company without the assistance of an attorney, act cautiously and require the insurance company to reply to the following questions before you provide a statement or sign any forms:
Will you declare in writing that the accident was not my fault?
Will you record the whole amount of insurance that the individual who hit me has, including umbrella coverage?
If I agree to offer a recorded statement, would you first supply me with a copy of any recorded statements collected from the person(s) responsible for the accident?
If I sign the release of medical records, will you please supply me with a copy of whatever you get as a consequence of my signature?
Will you supply me with copies of any witness statements that you obtain?
Will you notify me in writing if you have filmed me?
Will you say whether the driver who caused the accident was acting in the course and scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident?
Will you confirm in writing if the driver who caused the accident has any supplementary insurance, such as umbrella insurance?
Are you willing to give me a copy of any financial information you have on me?
BEWARE OF THE INSURANCE PROVIDER REFUSING TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS BEFORE SIGNING ANY DOCUMENTS OR PROVIDING A STATEMENT.
If you cannot settle your damage claims, you should contact a Colorado car accident injury attorney within six months of the date of the accident for a consultation. By retaining the services of a knowledgeable attorney, you may “level the playing field” with insurance adjusters who make a living negotiating these claims.
HOW TO SAFEGUARD YOURSELF IN THE EVENT OF A MOTOR CAR ACCIDENT
Purchase the maximum amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury insurance coverage, often known as UM insurance, that you can afford to safeguard your family against risky drivers.
Consider the worst-case scenario: your wife and children have sustained life-threatening injuries in a car accident perpetrated by an irresponsible drunk driver. Your wife has a head and spine injury and is in acute need of neurological surgery. For months, if not years, she will be out of bed and ready to return to work. Similarly, your children have been hurt and are needed to stay in the hospital indefinitely.
The cost of medical care is staggering: over $10,000 per day for intensive care; over $5,000 per day for additional hospitalisation; thousands more for X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic tests; tens of thousands for outpatient surgery; and thousands more for physical therapy, rehabilitation, and prescription medications. Finally, the wages and out-of-pocket costs for your wife are substantial.
Who will bear these exorbitant fees, as well as the grief, suffering, and sorrow endured by you and your family as a result of events beyond your control? What about the drunk motorist? Who is his insurer? What is your insurance company’s name?
According to Colorado law, the person who caused the injury is liable for your losses. Legally, the negligent drunk driver is accountable for any injuries sustained by your family. However, if the drunk driver is insolvent, he cannot pay you. He will not compensate you if he declares bankruptcy. Even the best lawyers will be unable to get compensation for
significant injuries caused by a careless driver who lacks funds or insurance. As a consequence, you should never expect the at-fault driver to cover all of your expenses.
Naturally, Colorado law requires all drivers to have motor liability insurance. This is a contract between a driver and an insurance company that requires the insurer to pay damages on the driver’s behalf if the driver causes an accident that results in the death or injury of another person, such as a member of your family.
On the other side, our state requires just $15,000 in insurance coverage (the lowest in the country), and many drivers have no coverage at all. As a consequence, you should not seek help from the intoxicated driver’s insurance.
It is foolish to rely on the other driver’s insurance provider to protect your family from the financial implications of an car accident. To adequately protect the individuals you care about; you must get a substantial quantity of UM insurance. Uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, and hit-and-run insurance are contracts between you and your car insurance company that protect you and your family against financial damage caused by uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run drivers.
Your UM insurer is required to compensate you for your damages up to the limits of your UM policy if the drunk driver who injured your family lacked insurance, had a policy limit of under $15,000 or fled the scene without showing any insurance information or identification. As a consequence, you should immediately get as much UM coverage as you can afford.
Uninsured motorist coverage is far less costly than liability insurance and is well worth the expense.