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Injured in an auto accident? Set up your free consultation with an accident injury lawyer at Elkus & Sisson P.C. today. Our skill and experience in auto accident cases will help you receive all of the compensation you deserve after an accident.
What You Need to Know After Being Injured in a Car Accident
Car accidents can be scary and confusing. In the aftermath of car accident, you need to know how you will secure compensation for any injury expenses you incur. During the latest reporting year in the state of Colorado, there were 119,373 total vehicle crashes. Out of those, there were:
- 601 fatal crashes
- 25,894 injury crashes
If we look closer to home here in Denver County, there were 22,152 total crashes during that same year. Out of the Denver Count crashes, there were:
- 48 fatal crashes
- 4,316 injury crashes
When should I contact an accident injury lawyer?
After an accident, people erroneously assume their insurance company will take care of everything, and that there is no reason to contact a lawyer. However, with so much at stake, it is important to speak with a car accident attorney in Denver as soon as possible after your accident.
Whether you were at fault in the crash or the other driver was at fault, there are various issues to discuss that an attorney can help guide you through.
It is important to understand that insurance companies are not your friends. These are “for-profit” companies that have teams of claims adjusters and lawyers whose purpose is to ensure they pay as little as possible in a settlement. They could even deny your claim.
Because insurance adjusters begin evaluating damages and injuries soon after an accident, you may need to consider securing an attorney immediately after your accident.
How to file an injury claim after an auto accident
When the accident is over and everyone is okay, you need to figure out how to file an insurance claim. If you have secured an auto accident attorney for your case, they will file the claim for you. If you do not use an attorney in your case, you need to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Most insurance companies have rules regarding when a report has to be filed, so be sure you know company’s requirements. Failing to report an accident could jeopardize your ability to recover damages at all. After you make the initial report, make sure you continue following your doctor’s treatment, gather the accident reports, and get copies of your medical records.
What are the benefits of hiring an attorney specializing in motor vehicle accidents?
Not all personal injury law firms are the same. Though you have certainly seen commercials for firms that promise massive settlements, it is important that you find a knowledgeable and experienced accident lawyer to handle your case.
Our skilled auto accident attorneys will:
- Be familiar with common vehicle accident injuries
- Be able to gather all evidence related to the crash, including accident reports, video surveillance, eyewitness statements, medical records, etc.
- Have a network of expert witnesses and healthcare professionals to call on
- Properly calculate all of your economic and non-economic damages
- Negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies and other parties
- Go to trial if necessary to secure the compensation you need
Only an attorney with specialization in Colorado motor vehicle accident cases will be able to handle all of those issues for you. You do not want to waste time with a lawyer who may be good in their field but does not understand the nuances that come with auto accident cases.
When to hire an injury attorney in the insurance claim process
As mentioned above, if you are involved in an auto accident you should consider securing an attorney very soon after the accident. Once the insurance claim process starts, the adjusters are going to get to work investigating all aspects of your case. This will include talking to you multiple times. Please understand that anything you say to the insurance company from the moment you make a claim will be recorded and could be used against you to lower your settlement.
When you secure an attorney, they will handle all communications with the insurance companies or other parties involved. We will never say anything to jeopardize your case. Our team of attorneys will also be able to guide you on other aspects of your case you may not have thought about, such as:
- Being mindful of what you put on social media. It has become instinctive to post everything about our lives online, but you can be sure the insurance company will check your social media accounts. Even if all your accounts are set to private, that does not mean they can’t be seen. Are all of your friend’s and family member’s accounts set to private as well? Insurance companies will find a way to gather information.
- Watching what you say in public about the crash and your injuries. It is best not to speak to anyone outside of your immediate family about the extent of your injuries or who caused the crash.
- Following all treatment plans prescribed by your doctor. This will help link the injuries you suffered to the accident and provide documentation the insurance company will use to determine a settlement.
Can you negotiate an insurance claim for injuries received in a car accident?
You can negotiate with an insurance company after a car accident, but please keep in mind that a Denver car accident lawyer will have much more experience in doing so. Experience is vital in these matters because you can be certain the claims adjusters have plenty of practice at their jobs.
If the other driver was at fault in the accident, their insurance company’s claims adjusters will call you to gather information about the accident. Be prepared for a difficult conversation. They are going to ask detailed questions about what happened. Remember, these adjusters can use what you say in these conversations against you.
Keep your answers short, Keep your answers factual
When the first offer comes in from the insurance company, you can reject it. The first offer is likely going to be lower than what you should receive, but the insurance company is banking on you taking the money. Say no and consider securing an attorney if necessary.
If the evidence in your case is strongly in your favor, use it. By using copies of your medical records, you or your attorney can compare settlements of similar cases and have expert medical witnesses ready to testify.
Remember this – you have rights after an accident, and you should receive a fair settlement when the carelessness or negligence of another person causes you harm.
Who pays my medical bills for injuries suffered in a car accident?
Car accident victims can incur many expenses, including:
- Medical expenses related to the incident
- The cost or rehabilitation or physical therapyLost income and benefits if you are unable to work
- Pain and suffering damagesLoss of enjoyment of life damages
There are three ways to secure compensation for these expenses following a car accident:
- Filing a claim with your insurance company if the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsuredFiling a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Colorado follows the modified comparative negligence legal model. This means that you can seek compensation for your injuries even if you were partially at-fault in the crash but less than 50% at-fault.
Fatal Car Accidents
Losing a loved one in a car accident creates intense emotional turmoil, especially when the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. In addition to helping you with any issues associated with your deceased loved one’s estate, we can help you seek damages to help you through this difficult time.
Damages can be sought to help you with many expenses, including:
- Medical treatment costs
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of services, protection, care and/or assistance
- Loss of future income
- Punitive damages
- Sorrow and mental anguish