Car Accident FAQs
After a crash, you need answers. Here they are. You can also get them by contacting Bell and Pollock, P.C. We can give you the advice you need to make good choices for you and your family going forward.
How Long After My Accident Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
It depends on who you are filing your case against. According to Colorado law, you have:
- 180 days to file cases against government entities
- 3 years to file claims against non-government entitles
This time frame counts down from the date of the accident or the date on which the accident’s injuries are discovered. In cases of wrongful death, the state date for the claim timeline would be the date of death, regardless of whether that was the same as the date of the accident.
What Is Negligence in a Car Accident Case?
Traffic violations, impaired driving, and failures to keep the roads safe are just a few examples of the negligence that can cause car crashes and be the basis for accident claims. Of course, negligence can come in several other forms of irresponsible and reckless behavior, and not all negligent parties may have been at the scene of the crash when it happened.
Understanding how negligence plays a role in causing a crash, however, will be essential to issues of liability and the success of accident claims.
When Should I Hire an Attorney?
ASAP. A lawyer can immediately get to work preserving evidence, building your claim, and protecting your rights. The longer you wait, the more challenges your potential claim may face in the future. If you wait too long, you may run out the clock and lose the opportunity to seek accident compensation.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Attorney?
We work at no upfront cost to our clients. Our contingency-fee representation means that you never pay for our services until or unless there is financial compensation for your case. That can relieve a lot of financial stress while giving you confidence that we will be working hard at every step to try to get you a favorable outcome and full compensation.
Does My Attorney Deal with the Insurance Companies?
Yes, a good lawyer should handle all dealings with the insurance company (or companies) involved with your case. This can offer you many benefits like:
- Letting you focus on getting medical care and recovering from your injuries
- Giving you peace of mind that a professional is handling the administrative work and hard negotiations that can be necessary to advance your claim
How Will I Pay My Medical Bills if I Can’t Work After an Accident?
There can be various options for helping with medical bills after an accident. If you have health insurance, that may offset some costs. Also, consider negotiating with health care providers to see if they are open to reduced payments or extended payment deadlines. If you explain your circumstances and let your doctors and other providers know that you have an accident claim that may bring compensation, they can be more open to finding workable solutions.
What if I Was Partially at Fault? Am I Eligible for Compensation?
It depends on how much fault rests with you. If you are more than 49% to blame for the accident, you will not be eligible under Colorado law to seek compensation.
If you are 49% or less (or less than 50%) at fault for the accident, you can still be entitled to seek compensation. In this situation, your compensation will be reduced by the same percentage as your fault in causing the crash.
I Wasn’t Wearing a Seat Belt. Can I Still File for Damages?
Your potential damages will be limited because failing to wear a seat belt:
- Violates Colorado law: All drivers and front-seat passengers must wear seatbelts, according to state law. Therefore, you are not entitled to damages for pain and suffering if you weren’t buckled up when the crash happened.
- Can be viewed as contributing to your injuries: If you did wear a seatbelt, you may have not suffered as extensive (or the same) injuries, an insurance company will argue. They can use this to say you played a role in worsening your own injuries and, therefore, should not get full (or possibly any) damages.
Nevertheless, if another party’s negligence causes the accident, you can still have a claim for other types of damages, like lost earnings, medical expenses, and loss of consortium. A lawyer can provide more answers about the damages you may be eligible for, after hearing more about your situation.
I Have Been Offered a Settlement for My Accident. Should I Accept the Offer?
No, do not automatically accept any offer or cash any check an insurance company sends you. Cashing a check can signify that you have accepted an offer in some cases. Always talk to a lawyer and have the offer reviewed before you take any action.
How We Build the Strongest Cases for Victims:
Providing unparalleled representation and compassionate support, our lawyers always tailor their service to meet the unique needs and circumstances of car accident victims.
For any case we take on, however, our clients can count on us to what’s necessary to build them the strongest possible claim (and to set them up for the best possible outcome).
To this end, our lawyers will:
- Carefully investigate the cause(s) of a crash to determine every liable party (and all options for recovery)
- Gather all available evidence, including crash photos, surveillance footage, police reports, witness accounts, etc.
- Find and work with expert witnesses (like tire tread analysts, medical professionals and accident reconstructionists) to strengthen our clients’ claims
- Stand up to insurance companies to make sure they don’t try to compromise or undercut our clients’ rights
- Aggressively pursue all available legal remedies to help our clients maximize their recoveries.