Car Accident FAQ
After being injured in a car accident, you will likely have many questions. At Scardina Law in Denver, our lawyers are committed to getting you answers. While every case is unique, here are some answers to the most common questions:
Do I Have A Claim?
If you believe your car wreck was caused by another party’s negligence, you may have a claim. That party could be another driver, a driver of a car in which you were a passenger, the manufacturer of a defective vehicle or someone else.
It is also important to keep in mind that Colorado law uses comparative fault or comparative negligence, so even if you were partially at fault but the other party was mostly at fault, you may still have a car crash claim.
Ultimately, there is no risk in discussing the matter with an attorney to determine for certain whether or not you have a claim. Consultations are free.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
Determining the amount of damages is one of the most important aspects of any personal injury claim, and it is important not to rush this aspect. You want to ensure that you pursue sufficient compensation to cover all costs related to the car wreck — past, present and future.
Generally speaking, you may be able to get compensation for medical bills and lost wages. These are referred to as economic damages. You may also be able to get compensation for pain and suffering, a noneconomic damage that can be more complex to calculate.
How Long Will It Take To Get Compensation?
The reality is that car crash claims take time if you want to ensure fair compensation. Sometimes, the full extent of your injuries may not be clear to your doctors, and it may be worth waiting to see exactly how severe they are and what the course of treatment will be.
Beyond that, the duration of a case will depend on whether the insurance company is willing to cooperate. If they refuse to provide the money you need to move forward with your life, it may be necessary to go to trial. This can add time to a case, but may be worth it.
Will My Case Go To Trial?
Car accident cases rarely go to trial. However, it is a possibility, and one that you and your lawyer should be prepared for. You can benefit by enlisting a lawyer who is willing to prepare your case for trial in the event that the insurance company is not cooperative.
Do I Need An Attorney?
There is no legal requirement to enlist an attorney to handle your car accident claim. However, an attorney will know how to efficiently and effectively navigate the process. An attorney will know how to calculate compensation that is fair and make sure you are not underpaid by the insurance company. An attorney will have the strength to stand up to a powerful insurance company, should the company be unwilling to provide the compensation you deserve.
What If The Settlement Offered Is Too Low?
Do not accept any settlement before speaking with an attorney, especially if you feel it is too low. You are not required to accept the first, or any, settlement you are offered. Remember, insurance companies are looking to save money. They want to offer you the least amount possible.
It is very common for insurance companies to try to devalue your claim or “lowball” their offer. This is why it is important to speak with a lawyer before you accept a settlement. We have years of experience with car accident claims. Additionally, two of our attorneys used to work as personal injury defense attorneys, so they know how insurance companies operate.
Are Passengers Hurt In Car Accidents Able To Get Compensation?
Yes. In Colorado, passengers who are injured in car accidents may file a claim with the insurance company of the driver of the car they are in. They may also file a claim with the insurance company of the driver of another vehicle that was involved in the crash.
Because a passenger is unlikely to be at fault for the accident, Colorado’s comparative negligence law will not apply and they should be able to recover the compensation they need. If you were at fault or partially at fault as a passenger, please contact us to learn how the law may apply to you.
What If The Negligent Driver Does Not Have Enough (Or Any) Insurance?
Being in a car accident is bad enough, but if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, the situation can be even more difficult. However, you may still have options if you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with your policy. Under Colorado law, auto insurance companies are required to offer this type of coverage when you purchase your policy.
If you did purchase this coverage, you can make a claim with your insurance company. Depending on your policy, this may cover your medical bills and vehicle damage.