MAKING A CAR ACCIDENT INJURY CLAIM IN COLORADO
Because Colorado is a no-fault insurance state, you must first submit a claim against your insurance if you are involved in a car accident. If your insurance coverage for your injuries is insufficient, you may submit a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Finally, if both insurance plans do not cover your injuries, you have the option of suing the at-fault driver. In certain circumstances, you and the at-fault driver have sufficient coverage. Still, the insurance companies refuse your claim or offer you a low settlement that does not cover all of the losses you allege. In this instance, you may choose to pursue your case in court with the help of an expert car accident lawyer.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN IN A CAR ACCIDENT
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, you should always get them checked out by a doctor. Some injuries take hours, or even days, to show symptoms. Let the doctor know you were in a car accident when you go to the doctor or the emergency room so he or she can do the necessary testing.
You might still contact your attorney from the hospital if EMS transported you. We pay visits to customers in hospitals, particularly if they are expected to be in the hospital for many days or weeks.
COLLABORATION WITH INSURANCE FIRMS
Following an accident, you should always conduct the following three things: Get medical help, report the collision to your insurance carrier, and contact a personal injury lawyer. Tell your insurance provider the following when you contact them:
That you were involved in an accident Your policy number
Your car’s year, make, and model
The defendant’s contact information and car details The accident’s date, time, and location
Your attorney’s contact information
The insurance company will question you. Refer it to your lawyer since the representative can attempt to exploit what you say later against you. It’s important to remember that insurance companies exist to earn a profit. The more claims they have to pay out, the more their bottom lines suffer. In certain situations, the insurance company will attempt to reject your claim, and if that is not feasible, it will pay you the smallest sum available. You may not get enough to pay your medical bills, much alone additional damages you are entitled to.
If you don’t have an attorney when you phone the insurance company, tell them you’re reporting an accident and that you’ll provide the attorney’s contact information and have the attorney call the insurance company as soon as you find one.
LIMITATION PERIOD FOR CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS
While Colorado permits you to pursue a negligence lawsuit for up to three years, insurance companies need you to make a claim much sooner—usually within 30 days. However, some may grant you considerably less time. If you are involved in an accident, tell your insurance carrier as soon as possible, even if you are waiting for your attorney to assist you in filing the claim.
You should also get in touch with your lawyer as soon as possible. Insurance company negotiations take time, and you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to properly pursue your claim.
CAR ACCIDENT CASE SETTLEMENT AND LITIGATION COMPLICATIONS
ATTORNEY JEREMY D. EARLE, JD, SPECIALIZES IN CAR ACCIDENTS.
The possible cause might grow difficult due to the number of persons involved in more than one defendant is at fault, and your injuries are serious enough that your insurance coverage does not cover all recoverable damages. Even in a two-party collision, you and the defendant may be represented by four or more lawyers: one for you, one for the defendant, one for your insurance company, and one for the defendant’s insurance company. At least one attorney is added to the list of people participating in the litigation with each subsequent defendant.
If one or more business cars are involved, the situation may get more difficult.
The driver and his or her attorney;
The driver’s insurance company’s attorney; The truck owner’s attorney;
The truck owner’s insurance company’s attorney;
A maintenance company, its attorney, and its insurance company’s attorney; A parts manufacturer, its attorney, and its insurance company’s attorney; and
Suppose a person or corporation is designated as a defendant but does not have an attorney. In that case, you must send all court papers to that person or company, as well as to any lawyers representing that person or company.
When you’re negotiating a settlement, each defendant may be assigned a proportion of the blame rather than being held entirely responsible. You’d have to figure out how much money you’re owed in damages, then figure out what amount of guilt each defendant bears.
Defendants will often contend that they have little to no blame. If you can’t reach an agreement with the defendants, you may have to either settle for less or take your case to court, where a jury will determine who should carry what part of the blame. To put it another way, the defendants may begin disputing amongst themselves, delaying a settlement judgment.
For example, suppose a truck driver crosses the middle line and collides with you head-on. You feel you are entitled to a monetary award of $10 million for permanent injuries. The driver had broken the hours-of-service rules. The driver might claim that the dispatch business or his employer pressured him to violate the hours of service laws by suggesting that he had to meet a four-hour deadline or risk losing his job.
That journey usually takes at least six hours. This would urge the motorist to drive faster or for longer than the nationally required amount of time. If you or the driver can show that someone coerced the driver to breach the hours of service requirements, the dispatcher or firm owner may share blame for the accident.
CAR ACCIDENT INJURIES
Depending on the conditions, accident injuries may vary from mild bruising to long-term or irreversible traumatic brain damage or paralysis. The number of cars involved, their size and/or weight, the combined speed of the cars, and a variety of other variables all have a role in the injuries you sustain and their severity.
Bumps, bruises, scratches, and cuts are all possible injuries.
Strains, sprains, muscles strained and/or ripped, and other soft tissue injuries. Fractures, both simple and complex.
Injuries to the head, neck, and shoulders. Injuries to the back and spinal cord.
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Paralysis. \s• Death.
To calculate what damages you may be entitled to, insurance firms look at normal healing durations. However, if you have an underlying ailment that requires more time to recuperate, tell your lawyer. Diabetes and immunodeficiency illnesses are two underlying ailments that might complicate recovery from car accident injuries. Furthermore, if you use medicines or therapies that weaken your immune system, such as chemotherapy, your recovery period may be significantly prolonged.
While the at-fault motorist is not responsible for your underlying condition, the injuries you incur and the extra treatment you need due to the lengthier recovery periods are, since you would not have needed medical attention for these injuries if it weren’t for the driver’s acts or inaction.
DAMAGES THAT CAN BE RECOVERED
Colorado allows for three sorts of damages following an car accident: Special, general, and punitive damages are all available.
Economic damages, often known as special damages, are those that have a monetary value attached. These products are paid for by someone, either you or your insurance provider.
Past medical expenditures for injuries you incurred in the accident as a result of the accident.
Future medical expenditures for future operations, follow-up visits, and other medical treatment related to the injuries you experienced in the accident, as well as secondary ailments, including infections.
Future lost income for the period you will be unable to work due to your injury. Even if you return to work, if you suffer a chronic or long-term ailment that requires you to work for less money than before, you may be able to claim future lost income. For example, if you have a job that pays $75,000 per year, but your injuries prevent you from doing those tasks, and you accept a job that pays $30,000 per year, you may be eligible for a portion of what you would have earned if your injuries had not occurred.
Medical items such as mobility aids, house modifications to accommodate a wheelchair, and other medical equipment such as shower chairs and oxygen treatment tanks
Physiotherapy, cognitive therapy, and/or psychiatric counseling. After being in a terrible accident, some individuals develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Some people suffer from depression due to their long-term handicap as a result of the accident, particularly those who were very active or who can no longer work in their chosen profession.
Costs of a funeral and burial.
Noneconomic damages, often known as general damages, are those that have no monetary value. Noneconomic damages are awarded in most circumstances if physicians predict your injuries to be long-term or permanent. Long-term injuries are defined differently by insurance providers. Nonetheless, a long-term impairment is defined by the Social Security Administration as one that lasts more than 12 months or will end in Death.
The following are examples of general damages: Pain and suffering.
Companionship is lost if your loved one is unable to join in family activities.
Companionship loss if your partner is unable to establish a physical connection with you.
Amputation of a physical part or function, such as your hand or vision. Disfigurement.
Inconvenience if you have to pay someone to perform your regular activities, such as grocery shopping, cleaning, house maintenance, and lawn care.
DAMAGES FOR PUNISHMENT
In certain cases, punitive damages are allowed in Colorado. If your claim does not fulfill specific criteria, the court will limit punitive damages at three times the amount of compensatory damages, or $500,000. Suppose the court finds that the defendant’s actions were motivated by financial gain, that they were unreasonably dangerous, and that the defendant knew or should have known that you would be injured as a result of the defendant’s actions. In that case, the court may award punitive damages of up to four times the compensatory damages, or $2 million.
Furthermore, if the court determines that the defendant intended to hurt you, punitive damages may not be limited.
YOUR CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM AND DOCUMENTATION
Document the accident site if at all feasible after an accident. Photograph the collision from all sides. Find out what the witnesses observed in addition to receiving their contact information. Obtain copies of your medical records as soon as feasible. If you’re having problems obtaining any of the papers you’ll need to establish your case, contact your lawyer for assistance. A copy of the police report is also required. Suppose you have an underlying condition that might cause you to heal more slowly or prevent you from fully recovering from your accident injuries. In that case, you may be required to submit medical documents linked to that condition.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER NOW.
In any case, one of the greatest things you can do to assure a favorable resolution to your physical injury claim is to call a personal injury attorney you can trust. Your lawyer can help you find accountable parties, make sure you get the medical attention you need, compile a detailed accounting of any losses you’ve experienced as a result of the accident, and, most significantly, serve as your advocate throughout the bodily injury claims process.