The value of your case depends on a variety of factors. A fair evaluation would include information regarding the injury, medical bills, loss of income, permanency of the injury and the amount of comparative negligence, if any. Each case has to be looked at individually.
Colorado allows recovery for economic and non-economic damages and impairment. Your recovery may include: Loss of income (past wages, future wages, lost earning capacity); Pain and Suffering (physical pain, enjoyment of life, psychological problems relating to the accident, emotional distress, disfigurement); Expenses (medical treatments, medical examinations, travel expenses, prescriptions, property damage); and Impairment (temporary disability, partial disability, permanent and total disability). In the event of a fatality you can recover for the wrongful death damages for the loss of a loved one, funeral expenses, and reasonably anticipated loss of income.
We handle accident claims for a contingency fee, which means that the law firm’s fee is subtracted from any amount that the firm collects for you. If no amount is recovered, then the firm receives no fee, but the client is typically responsible for actual expenses, such as court filing fees or witness fees, whether s/he wins or loses.
There are a couple of different ways to pay for your medical expenses if you don’t have insurance.
There will be some medical payments coverage paid for by your own car insurance. This is known as “MedPay”.
Some medical providers will allow you to continue to treat as long you provide them a lien. This lien obligates the attorney to notify the doctor of any settlement and pay him or her for his or her services out of settlement or judgment proceeds. Typically, we can reduce the amount of medical bills by having the doctor agree to a compromise settlement figure which reduces the amount that you have to pay.
If the person that hit you is at fault for the accident then his Bodily Injury Liability Coverage will pay money or compensatory damages to you, up to the limit of his or her coverage. The limit of coverage depends on what the driver paid for when s/he took out his or her car insurance policy. This is usually expressed as a per person/per accident limitation.
If he or she does not have enough insurance coverage available to pay for your injuries then you would look next to your own Uninsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Colorado requires that motorists have at least some Bodily Injury Liability Coverage.
The minimum amount of coverage for bodily injury liability policy required by Colorado law is $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident. If you are seriously injured, this amount will not cover your medical treatment and the effects the injury will have on your life. In that case, an Uninsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage would be helpful and prudent to have.
If the person that hit you does not carry Bodily Injury Liability insurance then you will not receive fair compensation for your injuries unless you have Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist coverage on your policy. This insurance has a mandatory minimum and pays you money damages if you are hit by someone at fault who does not carry enough or any insurance coverage. It is called Uninsured coverage (UM) if the other driver doesn’t carry any insurance and Under Insured Coverage (UIM) if s/he does not carry enough insurance coverage.
You should always pay for UM/UIM coverage in order to protect you and your family.
First you have to make a claim against the driver that hit you. Once you confirm that he does not have coverage or adequate coverage you can make a claim against your own insurance company for compensation for your injuries up to the limits of your policy. If you settle the claim against the driver that has inadequate coverage it is important that you get your own insurance company’s permission to settle prior to going after their Underinsured Coverage. This is another time that you want to seek the advice of an attorney. If you have multiple vehicles on your policy, you may be able to “stack” or add these coverages’ together for additional limits.
Each case is different. The first stage of the case is getting the proper medical treatment for your injuries, receiving advice from the medical providers on the care you need and making your own personal decisions about how you are going to get better.
Typically, for less severe injuries, you will wait until the end of your treatment and you are significantly better before you ask the insurance company for compensation. Doctors say that you should wait at least 6 months after car collision to see if you are better.
For severe injuries, treatment may span over one year or more.
The insurance company is supposed to review your request for compensation within a month from when it is sent, although sometimes it can take longer. The insurance company may request additional information. The negotiations with the insurance company may take several months.
If the case does not settle during these negotiations, then you will file a complaint in Court. The case could settle while the case is pending in Court. However, if it does not, your case will likely be decided by a jury within one year from the date that you filed the case.
1. Seek medical attention to make sure that you are not injured. Often people are under an adrenaline rush after a car crash. Once this adrenaline wears off, the person starts to feel pain. If you have any indication or feeling that you are injured, please see the doctor at the emergency room, urgent care clinic or other health care provider.
2. Report the collision to the police. The police are there to document what happened. You will regret not reporting the collision to the police later on when the person who caused the collision disappears or changes the story of how the collision happened. After a collision, most people are not thinking clearly. The police have experience handling these situations. Let the police do their job and report the collision.
3. Seek legal advice. Car collisions involve complex issues of insurance laws and personal injury laws. The insurance companies all have legal counsel. Before you speak with any insurance company, you should get legal advice from an attorney.