How long after my accident do I have to file a lawsuit?
Per Colorado law, you will have 180 days to file any claims about injuries sustained in your car accident.
What damages can I recover?
The damages recovered in a car accident case are Compensatory Damages. Compensatory Damages are to compensate you for whatever losses you sustained in the car accident.
Compensatory Damages can include:
- Lost Income
- Pain and Suffering
- Vehicle Damage
- Past and Future Medical Treatment
- Future Lost Earnings
If the car accident was caused by reckless behavior or willful and malicious conduct, then you may be entitled to Punitive Damages as well.
What is negligence in a car accident case?
Some car accidents are genuine accidents, but most have some form of negligence involved. We all have a responsibility to follow the rules of the road and drive safely. If a driver neglects the obligation to follow these rules, then it is likely a car accident will occur.
For most car accidents, the argument will revolve around the cause of the accident or who is at fault.
To prove negligence, evidence must prove that one of the drivers breached their duty of care.
What types of compensation can I recover?
Colorado has limitations and caps on amounts you can recover from your auto accident.
Pain and suffering, physical impairment, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses like these are classified as Non-Economic Damages. The compensation for these damages is capped at $250,000 (plus inflation).
If someone died as a result of the accident, the compensation for Wrongful Death is capped at the same amount as Non-Economic Damages.
When should I hire an attorney?
If you have sustained any injuries as the result of a car accident, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
How Much does it cost to hire an attorney?
Some law firms will charge you by the hour or even require you to pay a substantial retainer up front to secure their representation. At Bell & Pollock, that is not how we operate.
We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not need to pay by the hour, nor do you need to pay for the cost of our services up front.
Instead, we don’t take a single dime unless we recover monetary compensation for you.
If your case does not result in financial compensation, you are not responsible for any charges or fees whatsoever.
Does my attorney deal with the insurance companies?
When you have been in a car accident, the last thing you want to do is be stuck on the phone with the insurance adjuster for hours on end. Insurance claims employees know how to work this situation to their advantage, so you must tread carefully.
To avoid the mistake of saying anything that could hurt your claim, you should have your attorney help you file your claim and ask them to keep in contact with the insurance companies on your behalf.
How will I pay my medical bills if I can’t work after a car accident?
There are a variety of injuries that can result from a car accident, and you should immediately seek medical attention for them.
Medical treatment is expensive, and the bills will begin to pile up. If you have health insurance, this should help with a part of your medical bills,
Try to negotiate with the hospital and ask to lower your payment. Explain your situation and that you are waiting on a settlement from your car accident. Many doctors and hospitals will be willing to work with you if they know your situation.
What if I was partially at fault? Am I eligible for compensation?
In Colorado, if you are in any way at fault in a car accident, you cannot receive 100% compensation for damages incurred. Yet, this does not mean that you are not entitled to any compensation at all.
The Modified Comparative Fault rule that Colorado abides by allows the court to determine your percentage of fault in the car accident and then reduce the total amount of recoverable damages you would be entitled to by that percentage.
If the court finds that you are more than 50% at fault for the accident, you might not receive any compensation.
I was hit by an uninsured driver. Can I still file a claim?
Car insurance policies sold in the state of Colorado provide coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers.
If you are in a car accident and the other driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance, the uninsured or underinsured coverage on your car insurance policy will pay for damages.
Collecting benefits from these policies is not an easy task. To see if you should file a claim, contact one of our attorneys today.
I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Can I still file for damages?
Colorado law requires that all drivers and front seat passengers in a car must be wearing a seatbelt while moving.
If you are in a car accident and sustain injuries, but you were not wearing a seatbelt, you cannot file for all damages.
Because you breached your duty of care, you are not entitled to damages for pain and suffering.
That said, you can still file for other damages, such as, emotional distress, loss of earnings, medical expenses, and impairment of quality of life. You should speak with an attorney who can guide you to your best options.
I have been offered a settlement for my accident. Should I accept the offer?
No. The goal of many insurance companies it to get away with paying you far less than you are entitled to for the injuries sustained in your car accident.