The Denver personal Injury lawyers of Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, represent victims of negligence. Our firm provides aggressive representation for victims throughout all of Colorado. In an effort to assist injury victims in their search for information, our personal injury lawyers have prepared answers to some of the most common questions related to injury claims. The following explanations should not be construed as legal advice. Understandably, each case presents a different set of facts and issues. As such, our Denver personal injury lawyers are available for a free consultation to discuss your individual claim.
Do I need a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer?
Whenever someone is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, they have to ask themselves about the seriousness of the injuries. If a person is able to recover quickly, there may be no need to hire an attorney. Moreover, in car accidents involving only property damage, the insurance companies will promptly arrange for payment for repairs.
When a victim suffers serious injuries, however, they can quickly find themselves at a distinct disadvantage. Insurance companies work in an extensive network of adjusters, medical providers, and other experts whose job is to devalue your claims. Most victims do not have the resources or experience to go head-to-head with insurance companies. In addition, adjusters will often present themselves as your friend in an effort to gain your confidence. They do so to convince you that contacting an attorney is not in your best interest.
If you were injured, you would absolutely benefit by consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer can explain your legal rights and help you with handling your personal injury claim. From the initial investigation to scheduling medical treatment, a personal injury attorney is a valuable advocate to have on your side.
How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?
Our Denver personal injury lawyers serve as your most important tool in obtaining fair compensation. After you retain legal counsel, your lawyer will start investigating your claim immediately. The necessary facts are gathered in order to help evaluate who was at fault and what kind of compensation you may be eligible to receive. This may require interviewing witnesses, reviewing the police report, visiting the scene of the accident, and examining medical records.
After all of the facts are gathered and evaluation, your attorney will file a claim on your behalf. This is an important aspect of your claim because the attorney will fully understand how to go about ensuring fair compensation. If the insurance company refuses to fairly compensate you, your attorney will likely have to represent you in court. In addition to ensuring all procedures and filings are done according to Colorado law, your attorney will proceed through discovery with an eye toward proving the necessary components of your claim.
What Will it Cost to Retain an Injury Attorney?
Our clients do not pay any fees unless the case is resolved and money is recovered. If no money is ever recovered, our clients do not pay attorney’s fees or expenses. When money is recovered, our firm charges a percentage of the amount recovered. This percentage is paid after the settlement and is based upon the entire settlement amount. In addition, our firm is reimbursed for all out-of-pocket expenses, including medical records and reports, filing fees, discovery charges, copy charges, and similarly necessary expenses. These expenses are deducted after the percentage for attorney’s fees is deducted.
How do I Find the Best Attorney?
From the start, it is important for you to understand that you will be working with your personal injury lawyer for an extended period of time. Some injury claims take upwards of three years to reach a resolution. It is therefore important to select an attorney who understands what you are going through and who can meet your needs. Before making your selection, be sure to personally meet with the attorney who will be handling your claim. You want to select an attorney who will ensure fair and full compensation. When meeting with prospective attorneys, ask the difficult questions:
- How long have you been practicing?
- Do you limit your practice to the fields of personal injury?
- Are you willing to take my case to trial if necessary?
- How many cases have you tried to a jury?
Any law firm can purchase advertising time. Insurance adjusters do not settle claims based on advertising. They do, however, evaluate the quality of legal representation provided by firms. When judging quality, they consider experience, the lawyer’s willingness to go to court, and the ability of the lawyer. If a lawyer has developed a reputation for consistently accepting the insurance company’s offer, the offers decrease on a case-by-case basis to the detriment of the client.
Choosing an experienced attorney may be the most important step in assuring that you receive full and fair recovery for your injuries. If you follow the recommendations above, you should have no trouble selecting the best attorney for your needs.
How Does Insurance Work?
Auto insurance understandably has very different coverage models. Most states require citizens to purchase a minimum amount of certain kinds of coverage. In Colorado, the minimum coverage is $25,000.00. The state minimum can be eaten up real quick if the accident was serious, as medical bills will likely be pretty hefty.
Liability Insurance: this insurance is the foundation of any auto policy. The at-fault driver’s insurance will pay for bodily injury and other property damage expenses caused in an accident. This includes all medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages.
Collision Coverage: this insurance pays for vehicle repairs. You will not be able to collect in excess of the cash value of your car, which is not the same as the replacement cost. Collision coverage is typically the most expensive component of an auto policy. By choosing a higher deductible, you can keep your premiums down but keep in mind you have to pay the deductible before the insurance company makes any payment.
Comprehensive Coverage: this insurance pays for damages not caused by an auto accident, such as damage from theft, fire, vandalism, or natural disasters. Comprehensive coverage also comes with a deductible so your insurance company will only pay after your deductible is met.
Medical Payments: this insurance pays for your medical expenses and the medical expenses of any passengers after an accident. Your Med Pay applies to you whether you are driving your car, someone else’s car, or as a pedestrian. The coverage will pay regardless of who is at fault.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage pays for your injuries if a hit-and-run driver or someone who doesn’t have auto insurance strikes you. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage will pay if the driver who hit you causes more damage than the liability coverage can cover.
Health Insurance: medical insurance pays the large expenses that can be incurred when you go to a doctor, hospital, or seek other costly medical services. Health insurance allows you to obtain high quality medical care without severe financial hardship. If you have assets, they can be taken away if you run up large medical costs. Medical insurance insures your assets and assures your access to good medical care. Listed below is a brief description of the major types of medical insurance.
How Long will My Personal Injury Claim Take to Resolve?
It depends on many factors. If you were injured, your lawyer will likely not start negotiating a settlement until you have sufficiently recovered. It is not necessary for you to return to pre-accident condition or maximum medical improvement. Rather, your attorney will not attempt to resolve your claim until you reach a point where no further improvement in your physical ability is possible. If you have permanent residual problems, you are going to have to live with them. The important part is that your attorney does not reach a settlement before you know the true extent of your injuries.
When you are discharged from medical care, your attorney will order the medical records and bills necessary for a Settlement Demand. In addition to records and bills, the Demand will include information relating to lost wages, missed work, limitations due to injuries, and any emotional and psychological symptoms which are not addressed in the medical records. Your lawyer will then request a sizable amount of money to resolve the matter.
When the insurance company reviews all of the records submitted, they will likely conduct their own investigation. When the evaluation is complete, the adjuster will provide an offer of settlement. Your lawyer is required to discuss with you the settlement offer because, ultimately, it is your decision whether or not to accept or reject an offer. Of course, your attorney will provide an opinion but it is your choice. If the insurance company provides inadequate offers, they are not serious about settlement and you may choose to litigate.
Filing a lawsuit does not necessarily mean your case is going to trial. It does, however, mean you will be subject to various discovery, including disclosures and possibly depositions. You may also be required to submit to mediation. These activities take a lot of time. In fact, most cases do not get to trial for at least a year after filing the Complaint. All cases are different. Continue reading for additional details regarding personal injury matters in Colorado.
Do I have to Give a Recorded Statement?
In general, you are under no obligation to provide a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Keep in mind, however, that if you elect to give a recorded statement, the insurance adjuster is in a position to try to devalue or deny your claim. They do so by asking questions that benefit the insurance company. You should make sure a personal injury lawyer is present with you are speaking with an insurance adjuster.
What Damages Can I Receive?
There are various forms of damages you can receive in a personal injury case. Compensatory damages are given to compensate an injury victim for the money lost due to injuries. These damages typically include property damage, damage to other property destroyed in a crash, past, present, and future medical bills, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. In addition, damages for pain and suffering are taken into consideration.
Punitive damages are given to punish a negligent party for particularly abhorrent behavior. These damages are not given to compensate a victim. In Colorado, an injury victim cannot request punitive damages until a verdict is reached. Moreover, punitive damages are prohibited from exceeding compensatory damages.
What if I was Partially at Fault?
Comparative negligence allocates damages by the percentage of fault of each person involved. Colorado follows a modified comparative fault rule, meaning a victim’s fault must be lower than the negligent party’s fault.
What is Negligence in Colorado?
We are all expected to act in a manner that does not cause undue harm to other individuals in society. Negligence occurs when action or inaction is responsible for an injury to another person. It can take the form of recklessness, malicious intent, and even malpractice. We all have the responsibility to act in accordance with the laws that govern and ensure the safety of our society.
What is the Difference Between a Criminal and Civil?
In the criminal context, an accused is brought to trial in order to determine their guilt or innocence in a crime. A criminal lawsuit is to determine responsibility for a crime and deciding upon an appropriate punishment in the event the accused is found guilty. In the civil arena, litigation is concerned with establishing responsibility, similar to a criminal lawsuit, but solely to determine if an injured party is entitled to compensation and, if so, how much.
- What Cases Do Your Denver Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?
Will my Case go to Trial?
The reality is that most personal injury cases will settle before the word “trial” is whispered. Importantly, however, it is up to your attorney to prepare the case properly. A small proportion of cases go before a jury because there usually involves questions surrounding liability or treatment.
Where Can I Get a Free Consultation?
Injury claims can be very complex, often requiring both medical and legal expertise. In order for your case to be as well-prepared as possible, it is important to seek out an attorney who is experienced in personal injury law. The personal injury lawyers at Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you with your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What can I expect from Your Denver Personal Injury Lawyers?
- You can expect a free initial consultation, whether that it conducted at our Denver office or at your home or in the hospital. We are happy to travel to the ends of the State, including Adams County, Arapahoe County, Boulder County, Clear Creek County, Denver County, Douglas County, El Paso County, Gilpin County, Larimer County, Teller County, and Weld County.
- You can expect a personal injury attorney to work on your case and treat you with respect.
- You can expect a legal team that communicates with you regularly.
- You can expect an experienced injury attorney who clearly explains the law and discusses possible outcomes.
- You can expect our office to notify the insurance companies, discuss your treatment with doctors, collect necessary evidence, investigate further information, draft a demand, negotiate, and even take your case to trial in the event there is not a fair settlement.
- You can expect a personal injury lawyer who makes decisions with your best interests in mind and not simply what is easiest or most convenient.
Contact our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
We service Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Commerce City, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and other parts of metropolitan Denver, Colorado.