According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, there were a total of 50 fatal crashes in Denver for the year 2020, as well as 17 car crashes that resulted in serious injuries. Although this means that Denver is a relatively safe city for motorists, auto accidents still happen and you don't want to end up as a car accident victim.
If you do get involved in an automobile accident, it's logical to concentrate on your rehabilitation and recovery. Any victim would want to focus on themselves first, and leave the legalities over to their insurance companies. However, you should also worry about how much you're going to get in terms of compensation; after all, hospitalization doesn't come cheap. If you want to get the maximum financial compensation you deserve, consider hiring an auto accident attorney from the get-go.
Why should you be so concerned about getting the compensation you deserve? The straight answer is this: if you don't, nobody is going to do it for you. In a perfect world, all accident victims have to worry about is getting better as soon as possible. They call up their insurance companies to file a personal injury claim, and they get enough money for their medical bills and vehicle repairs.
However, the reality is the farthest thing from this scenario. More often than not, accident victims are offered values far lower than what is expected, and lower than what they deserve. This is because auto insurance companies are businesses, not charities. Their goal is to give you the bare minimum and they hope that you're desperate enough to take it. After all, you're looking at serious medical expenses and repair costs, so you might accept any amount given to you.
You'd expect this kind of treatment from the insurance company of the other party, especially since you are suing them for damages. However, do you know that you will also get the same treatment from your own insurance provider? This is the reason why you should start looking for personal injury attorneys if you plan on getting the maximum amount in compensation for damages, not only from your own insurance provider but from the responsible party as well.
As the victim of the vehicular accident, you have the right to seek damages, especially if there's clear evidence of fault on the part of the other driver. To get the maximum amount in insurance claims, hire an attorney to negotiate on your behalf so all auto insurance companies involved will give you a fair settlement.
Colorado is a fault state. This means that the persona responsible for the accident must pay for damages, both on themselves and any other parties involved. As an accident victim, you can definitely file a claim against the other driver, as long as you can prove that the accident was their fault. This means that you must start gathering evidence as soon as an accident happens. If you ever find yourself in a motor vehicle accident, here are some steps you need to take so you can start strong:
Call 911 Immediately
If the accident has left you injured, or if you are the injured victims in an accident, make sure to call 911 immediately. If the accident is the other driver's fault, they might not want the involvement of authorities and may even try to negotiate with you. However, if you are the victim, keep in mind that verbal agreements don't have any bearing on the law. Call 911 immediately so police officers and paramedics will get dispatched to the scene.
Having an officer around will ensure the peaceful collection of data from both drivers and eyewitnesses. The police officer can also provide you with some protection in case the negligent driver is uncooperative or unruly. Most importantly, police officers usually write up a traffic accident report, which can be used as evidence during personal injury claims negotiations..
Get Yourself Checked By Paramedics
As soon as paramedics arrive on the scene, make sure you get yourself checked for serious injuries. Any medical personnel on the scene can also act as an expert witness and can give an objective and accurate narration of how extensive your motor vehicle injuries were. If your physical injuries are not severe, you can go ahead to the next step of the process; however, if you require hospitalization, you need to talk to your insurance representative.
If you feel well enough to walk around, make sure to gather evidence as this will prove useful later during the negotiation process. Take pictures of your car and the other party's car. Take pictures of the scene as well as your injuries. If you have time, go around and collect contact details from eyewitnesses in the area. Look for security cameras that you can use later on.
If you require hospitalization, make sure that all procedures and tests are well-documented. Your medical records will determine the severity of your treatment and will affect the amount you get in compensation later on.
Call Your Insurance Company
If you can't collect evidence on your own because your motor vehicle injuries are severe, you can ask your insurance adjuster to do it for you. Remember to call your insurance company to inform them about the accident. All motorists must carry insurance, so before you sue the other party for damages, you should also file a claim against your own insurance policy to offset medical payments.
Call An Experienced Car Accident Attorney
As an insurance holder, you are obligated to inform your insurance company if you get into a car accident. However, this doesn't mean you're going to rely on them for your compensation. As stated before, insurance companies are businesses and prioritize profits over anything else. This is why you should hire a car accident lawyer to represent you, and make sure your insurance company gives you adequate compensation in accordance with your insurance policy limits..
With a competent lawyer by your side, you can get adequate compensation out of your own insurance policy. However, there are times when your insurance coverage isn't enough to pay for medical care and property damages. In cases like these, you have every right as an accident victim to sue the responsible party for damages..
The first thing that your lawyer will look at is evidence of fault. As stated previously, Colorado is a fault state, which means the person responsible for the accident should pay for damages. Your goal is to prove that the other party is the guilty party. This is where the evidence you've collected comes in.
Secure a copy of the police report - Contact the police officer who responded to the car accident and request a copy of the police report.. Keep in mind that in a lot of higher courts, police reports alone do not count as solid evidence. However, it can be used for pretrial negotiations, as it is possible to get fair compensation without going to trial.
The police report is the initial documentation of the accident. It prevents the other party from changing their story and gives an unbiased retelling of the accident. The police officer can also provide a witness testimonial regarding the accident scene, and the demeanor of the other party after the crash.
Expert Witness Accounts - Testimonials from people who witnessed the accident can also help nudge settlement negotiations in your favor. Aside from people who were just passing by, you can get expert testimonials from the police officers, paramedics, and even medical staff at the hospital. With witnesses who were present at the scene, the goal is to establish who was responsible for the accident. The other expert witnesses are there to prove the severity of your bodily injuries.
Medical Records - All treatments, medication, laboratory tests and paraphernalia used should be documented on your medical records. These records will determine how much you can get in terms of compensation from the other party.
Traffic Cam Footage - Almost all major roadways in the US are filled with cameras. You have traffic cam footage, dashboard cameras, and security cameras from private buildings. Hence, it's easy to get video evidence of the accident to prove that the other party is at fault.
Appraisal of Car Damage - Remember that you're not only seeking compensation for your bodily injuries but the damage done to your vehicle as well. Usually, your car will be taken to a service center so you can get an estimate on how much the repairs will cost. If the vehicle is beyond repair, you can ask for compensation equivalent to the current market value of the vehicle.
Unlike criminal proceedings, you don't need to prove fault beyond a reasonable doubt. Civil cases use the concept of "Preponderance of the evidence", which means that the party must present evidence that is more credible and accurate than the other party, and that there is at least a 51% chance of the claim being true. This means you have a high chance of winning your Denver personal injury lawsuit if you present evidence to the other party that they cannot refute, and the evidence they present against you is weak..
Nobody wants to take a personal injury claim to court, especially if there's overwhelming evidence presented. An experienced lawyer will present all evidence you have convincingly and negotiate a better outcome for you without having to go through lengthy court proceedings.
As a car accident victim, you can get compensated for both economic damages and non-economic ones.. Economic damages include the following:
Non-economic damages include:
Similar to other accident lawsuits, personal injury claims also have a 2-year statute of limitations. This means that you must file your claim within 2 years from the day of the accident. This gives you enough time to not only decide whether or not you will pursue the lawsuit but to gather enough evidence to present a strong case.
As you can see, the process of filing an insurance claim is not that simple, and the other parties involved don't have your best interests in mind. This is why hiring a Denver personal injury lawyer with a proven track record of success in auto accidents is the perfect ally for this long and arduous process. They will not only guide you throughout the process, but they will aggressively fight to give you the fair and just compensation you deserve.
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