Personal Injury Attorneys in Denver, Colorado
Filing a personal injury claim to obtain compensation can feel like a daunting task. If you are dealing with the effects of personal injury, any additional stress is probably the last thing you need. That is why you may benefit from contacting a skilled personal injury attorney in Denver, Colorado, to guide you through the claims process while you focus on treatment and getting your life back on track.
At Hebets & McCallin P.C., our goal is to make sure our clients get the level of representation they require when dealing with a personal injury caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness. From our office in Denver, Colorado, we represent injured victims throughout the Denver metro area, including Douglas County, Jefferson County, Adams County, and Arapahoe County.
Personal Injury Claims in Colorado
Colorado is an at-fault state, meaning that the person who caused the accident is liable for any damages sustained by the victim. In order to file a successful personal injury claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence directly caused their injuries.
It’s important to note that even if both parties are found liable for an accident, both parties may still be able to recover damages from each other depending on what percentage of fault each party bears. This is because Colorado follows the comparative negligence rule when determining liability in an accident involving multiple parties. Any damages awarded will be reduced based on what percentage of fault each party bears—so if two parties are found 50% responsible for an accident, each party will receive 50% of whatever damages they’re entitled to receive under their respective policy limits. However, if your fault is over 50%, you will not be entitled to compensation under the law.
Under CO Rev Stat § 13-21-111 (2016)(1), Contributory negligence shall not bar recovery in any action by any person or his legal representative to recover damages for negligence resulting in death or in injury to person or property, if such negligence was not as great as the negligence of the person against whom recovery is sought, but any damages allowed shall be diminished in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person for whose injury, damage, or death recovery is made.
For example: If John was found 80% at fault and David’s fault is deemed 20%, then David could file a claim or lawsuit against John but would only collect 80% of the total award. This is because the claim would subtract his portion of responsibility from it.
For most negligence-based personal injury cases, Colorado law sets a two-year statute of limitations. However, for motor vehicle accidents, that statute of limitations is three years. It means that generally in non-motor vehicle accidents, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a suit and recover damages. If you wait too long and the two-year statute of limitations expires, you will most likely be barred from bringing forth your claim unless some exceptions apply.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim vs. Suing the At-Fault Party
Whether you should file a personal injury claim or sue the at-fault party depends on the severity of your injuries and whether or not you have enough evidence to prove that they were negligent. Personal injury claims are usually handled outside of court and are much less expensive than lawsuits.
However, if your injuries are more severe, it may be worth pursuing legal action through a lawsuit instead. It’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before deciding which route to take.
In general, there are two types of compensatory damages available through a personal injury claim: economic losses (such as medical expenses and lost wages) and non-economic losses (including pain and suffering).
However, Colorado law also allows victims to recover punitive damages – which serve as a punishment rather than compensation – when the at-fault party acts in a willful and/or wanton manner. Again, it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney before filing a claim so that you can get advice on which type of damages you should pursue to ensure that you are getting the maximum compensation available to you.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
There are many ways a personal injury attorney can help you with your claim if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence in Denver or other parts of Colorado. Here are five specific ways they support you:
1. Provide Legal Advice and Guidance
The law is complicated and constantly changing, so having an experienced professional on your side can be invaluable. A personal injury attorney will explain all of your legal options and advise you on how best to proceed with your case. They will also make sure that all forms are filled out properly and filed within statutory time limits.
2. Investigate Your Case Claim
In order to be successful in any claim, it’s important to have evidence that supports your claim. A personal injury attorney has access to qualified investigators who can uncover evidence such as photos or videos from the accident scene, witness statements, police reports, medical records, etc. This information is crucial in making your case as strong as possible.
3. Build Your Case Claim
Once all of the evidence has been gathered and analyzed, it’s time for your attorney to build your case. They will collect all relevant documents, such as medical bills or proof of lost wages (like pay stubs), and compile them into a comprehensive argument that demonstrates why you are owed compensation. At this point, they may also consult with expert witnesses who can provide testimony that further strengthens your case.
4. Negotiate With the Insurance Company and Medical Providers
Insurance companies often try to minimize their payout by offering low settlements. A personal injury attorney knows how insurance companies operate and can negotiate on behalf of their client with the goal to get them the highest possible settlement amount. In the vast majority of cases, this amount is significantly more than what would have been offered without the assistance of a skilled lawyer.
These negotiations are extremely important even if the client does not want to take the case to court. A settlement offer by an insurance company may look good to a client, despite the fact that this amount is significantly below what the client is entitled to under Colorado law.
A personal injury attorney can also negotiate reductions of medical fees with doctors and hospitals on behalf of the client. These negotiations are with entities legally entitled to reimbursement from the settlement for expenses incurred on the injured person's behalf, and can significantly reduce an injured person's medical costs.
5. Take Your Case to Court (If Necessary)
If negotiations with the insurance company fail or if no settlement is offered at all, then it may be necessary for a lawsuit to be filed against them in court. In this situation, having an experienced personal injury attorney by your side is especially important since they understand how litigation works and can represent you effectively during trial proceedings.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Denver, Colorado
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you fight fairly for fair compensation for any injuries sustained due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Hebets & McCallin P.C. to start working on your personal injury case today. We provide compassionate and attentive legal support at every step of the claims process. Reach out to our office in Denver, Colorado, to get your free consultation.