The streets of Colorado witness thousands of motor vehicle crashes every year, the instances are so frequent that people have genuine reasons to be concerned about the safety on the road. While the state does what it can to make the roads safer, the onus falls on the drivers.
Distracted driving, drowsiness, drunk driving accidents (under influence of alcohol), defective vehicles, unsafe roadways, reckless driving, and all sorts of factors can come into play for causing or at least worsening the scenario. The streets are not safe, and if the stats are any reference, then they won’t be for another couple of years.
But what can you do if you’re in a car crash?
Considering that you did not cause the accident through your negligence or inaction, you will be demanding compensation for your damages from the at-fault driver. Now, this is where things get uglier with the greedy insurance adjusters and all the technicalities.
But fret not, a decent personal injury attorney, such as one of our folks at the Firouzbakht Law Firm will be more than pleased to assist you and get you compensated as is your right.
We’ll explore in detail the things that your lawyer can and will do for you.
To understand what a car accident lawyer can do for you, you need to first understand how auto accident settlements happen:
The basis of personal injury law in fault states like Colorado is establishing bodily injury liability on part of the liable driver. You need to prove that the damages you received were avoidable and it happened because of someone’s negligence. Even if you are partly at fault, but not primarily, you can still sue the other party for a slashed sum which is still better than nothing.
You need to gather ample evidence, present a cogent narrative, and seek legal representation early on to stand a chance here. The insurance company of the liable party will run an investigation on their end as well just to make sure that your claims are truthful and not exaggerated.
On your end, you can get your lawyer to seek out a private investigation service to fill up any gaps in your evidence collection.
In some cases, it is pretty obvious who’s at fault, and you can expect minimal friction, if any, from the insurance adjuster. For instance, we all know that rear-ending is usually the fault of the person who hits your vehicle from the rear.
Similarly, if the other party was drunk or texting when the accident happened, you’ll have a solid case.
Of course, all of this applies if you were not responsible, not even partly for causing the accident.
But if you do share a percentage of fault, no more than 50% though, you will be able to sue for a smaller sum (based on the percent of fault you had) and not the complete sum. This is Colorado’s modified comparative negligence law and it exists to safeguard your right to fair compensation.
Next, once you’ve established who’s at fault and how much, you need to show the insurance adjuster (or perhaps the jury, based on where your case takes you) the extent of the damages incurred upon you.
Car accidents, as with any other personal injury claim, can cause you serious financial losses and non-economic damages, both of which demand fair compensation.
Based on the intensity of the accident, you may have suffered from anything raging between lacerations, tissue damage, minor fractures, and neck injury to broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis, and so on.
The nature and intensity of the physical injury/injuries will be a major factor in determining your payout, not only because they affect the medical expenses (for medical care and physical therapy), hospital bills, and doctor consultation fees, but also because intense injuries can cause intense emotional distress and physical suffering (non-economic damages), both of these will cause loss of quality of life, either in the short term and long term.
Apart from the aforementioned expenses, a motor vehicle accident will also drain out money in the form of property damage, extra expenses necessitated by the damage, and lost wages. All of these economic and non-economic losses combine together to represent your damages and your financial compensation must address both of these.
In some cases, the damages may be as extreme as a traffic death (loss of consortium and other economic and non-economic damages).
Ideally, the insurance adjuster should be keen to give up an adequate sum to you for your suffering, but they will find ways to delay things until they can come up with excuses to cut down the payout. This is where your auto accident attorney will make a huge difference.
Since Colorado is a fault state, you can sue the other party for your suffering. You need not take matters to the court, but if the insurance adjuster is being completely uncooperative, which they can be at times, there will be no other option.
If that happens, an experienced attorney will prepare your case for trial, compile the evidence, eyewitness testimonies, expert witness opinion, and much more. You will have to convince the judge and jury about the ill fate that befell you with no fault (or minimal fault) of your own.
Chances are, if your case is serious enough, you may also win some punitive damages.
In any case, however, you need to obey the timeline of a traffic accident lawsuit under Colorado’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases which places a two-year limit on your right to file a claim in the court of law.
If your plan is getting compensated fairly, and you don’t mind having to show a bit of patience, then your personal injury lawyer can do much to help you get a maximum settlement for your insurance claim as per the insurance coverage of the at-fault party.
Here’s what car accident attorneys do for their clients, generally:
No two cases are the same. As noted earlier, you need to price that the other driver is liable for the damages incurred upon you, but there is no single way of doing so. And in cases where you may be partly at fault or if the insurance adjuster is being highly unreasonable, things can be very difficult.
Did we say difficult? We meant nightmarish!
But you always have options to count on. Though these options may not be immediately apparent and you may not know what to do in certain situations, your lawyer will know exactly what you can do to get the best out of every situation.
Would you be better off sticking with the settlement negotiations for a while or is it time to jump into a lawsuit, your lawyer will know better.
They’ll help you explore your legal options and thus allow you to make meaningful decisions.
The internet has lots and lots of information about personal injury law in general but you don’t need general info, instead, you need personalized advice about things that can make or break your case. The only person who can do this for you is your lawyer.
If anything’s bugging you about your case, be sure to share the details with your lawyer and they’ll surely guide you the best they can.
If you follow their advice, you are sure to end up with maximum compensation for your damages.
As noted earlier, you can approach a personal injury case in two ways: you either go for settlement negotiations with the insurance adjuster of the liable party, or you take the other driver to the court via a lawsuit. Both options have their pros and cons.
Usually, lawyers prefer to stick to the former as it offers a safer outcome but if the insurance adjuster is being completely uncooperative, then you can expect your lawyer to take the fight to the liable party in a court of law.
Legal representation at all of these levels not only ensures that your best interests are always prioritized but also that your case is presented in the most articulated manner possible.
For instance, if you go before the insurance adjuster on your own, you risk inadvertently doing damage to your case, irreparable damage, and this is what your lawyer will preempt by representing you instead of throwing you out alone to deal with the wolves.
You can expect cooperation and collaboration on all fronts from your lawyers, such as:
And so on…
A little patience on your part, that’s all that our personal injury lawyers at the Firouzbakht Law Firm ask for as they leave no page unturned in their efforts to get you compensated fairly for your car accident claim. You don’t need to worry about being able to pay us upfront either because our teams work on a contingency fee basis which means that you’ll only have to pay when you win your claim.
Call us today to learn more about how we can help your case.