Car Accident Injuries & Claims
Car Accident Lawyers in Colorado
Laybourne Law Firm specializes in handling claims for bodily injuries resulting from auto accidents. We have a track record of obtaining justice in the form of money damages for victims of these tragedies. In Colorado, the law requires anyone operating a motor vehicle to carry insurance, so luckily there is usually some amount of coverage to help reimburse you for your damages.
The process for this type of claim is complicated, but here is a general outline:
- It might surprise you to know that is usually better for you to settle your case without having to go to court. Why? It is expensive to fight your case in court. The costs include filing fees, expert witness fees, deposition fees, etc. Laybourne Law Firm fronts the costs of these expenses so that you do not have to come up with the money out of your pocket. However, the costs come out of your settlement at the end of the case, which reduces the amount in your pocket. Court also delays your recovery while the case is pending in court. Sometimes it takes years to get a case resolved in court. You may have to go to court if the insurance company is not willing to offer a reasonable settlement amount for one reason or another, but it is vitally important that your lawyer makes every effort to get the case settled without going to court.
- The first place your claim goes to is data entry centers to be analyzed by a computer program. You simply must have a lawyer who knows how to optimize your claim documents to maximize the number that this computer program spits out. This number becomes a sort of frame or basis for the negotiations to follow. Laybourne Law Firm has studied this computer program, and we have implemented a proven system for preparing claim documents in a way that gets the best results from this important first step of the process. If your lawyer has not made himself an expert in this computer program, you are costing yourself a lot of money.
- You will have to reimburse the health insurance company for the money they paid for your medical treatment. Colorado law says that you cannot collect from the car insurance company and the health insurance company at the same time. This rule applies to Medicare, Medicaid, or whoever else paid for your treatment. There may be a health insurance policy that is part of your car insurance policy that is called “medical payments.” If you use this policy, it does not have to be repaid. However, the amount that has to be repaid to health insurance is negotiable, and it is subject to many complicated laws. It is possible to get the amount you owe back reduced or even waived in certain circumstances.
- Eventually, we do get to talk to a real person at the insurance company about your case. This person is called an “adjuster.” This person has some latitude in negotiating a settlement. Some haggling will take place. After this, we will have a number to discuss with you.
- We will discuss with you what you will end up with in your pocket once your attorney fees and what you owe in reimbursement to your health insurance is subtracted from the settlement amount. In no circumstance will you end up with less in your pocket than what you pay us in fees. No other lawyer in Colorado Springs offers this guarantee.
- You will make a decision whether to accept the settlement offer or whether to proceed to court. Our experience can help you make this decision. Sometimes, we can tell you that you should definitely accept the settlement offer. Other times, we can tell you that you should definitely not accept it and proceed to court. Most of the time, we can help you make the decision based on your individual tolerance for risk or whether you need the money immediately or can wait while the court case plays out.
The types of claims that we are expert in are:
We have handled all types of car accidents. We are especially experienced in helping those who have been hit by drunk drivers. It is our passion to help these types of people who have been put into tragic situations through no fault of their own. The most common areas for these types of crashes are freeway exits from I-25. Take a look at our rundown of the most dangerous areas for car wrecks.
No two car accidents are the same — in any incident, there are likely to be a number of different factors at play, each of which has a role in determining liability. Driver error, alcohol or drug use, weather and road conditions, and mechanical problems may all be involved. The role of a skilled car accident lawyer is to take these factors into account and mount a compelling argument that will get you the settlement you deserve.
Tractor trailers are especially dangerous vehicles, as they weigh much more than the average vehicle and therefore inflict more damage than the average vehicle when they cause an accident. The other reason why truck accidents are the most serious is that the drivers of trucks are often tired or distracted. It is unfortunately not uncommon for truckers to drive too many hours than is safe. It is also surprisingly common for truckers to be distracted. We even handled a case where the trucker was watching a movie while he drove. I-25 is where most of these accidents take place.
Motorcyclists suffer the most severe injuries we see at Laybourne Law Firm. The lack of protection around them is somewhat to blame for this. The failure of other motorists to look out for motorcycles is also to blame. While we see these accidents take place on the major roads of Colorado Springs, we also see them happening in the smaller, more picturesque areas like Manitou Springs and Cripple Creek, as motorcyclists seek out the beauty of Colorado. Learn more about motorcycle accident injury claims.
Car Accident Costs and Stats
According to AAA, the average cost of a car accident with injuries is more than $126,000. This figure includes the damage to the vehicles involved plus related medical costs, physical therapy and rehabilitation, emergency services, lost wages and more — all expenses that can hit the involved parties directly. Compare that figure to the average settlement of $14,653 per person paid out by insurance companies, and it’s clear why many feel the need to pursue additional legal action following a serious crash.
Will Your Car Insurance Protect You?
If the person who caused the accident does not have insurance, you can file a claim against your uninsured motorist insurance. The process for this type of claim is different from a claim against another person’s insurance, but you still need an attorney to handle this claim. The insurance companies have figured out that they can save a ton of money by taking advantage of people in their time of need. You paid the premiums for this insurance over the course of many years in case something happened to you and you needed the coverage. It is important that you have a good lawyer to help you obtain a result that is fair and just.
If the person who caused the accident does not have enough insurance to fully reimburse you for your damages, then you can file a claim against your underinsured motorist insurance. So once the other person’s insurance runs out, you can start the process to collect the rest of the compensation from your own insurance. The law in Colorado only requires people to carry $25,000 of insurance. Often, this is not enough to cover a serious injury. Once we collect the $25,000 from the at-fault driver’s insurance, we begin the claim against your own insurance.
Our clients are often worried that making such a claim will increase their premiums. This is not allowed under Colorado law. You paid these premiums for a reason. When it is time to pursue the benefits you have been paying for all these years, and you should not be punished for that.
It is sometimes necessary to take this type of claim to court as well if your own insurance company is refusing to be fair with you. The only way to force the insurance company to pay what they are supposed to is to take them to court. The settlement offer they extend is only voluntary on their part. You cannot force the insurance company to make you a fair settlement offer before the case proceeds to court. Only a judge or a jury can order the insurance company to pay you what is fair. We just try to avoid that so you do not have to subtract litigation costs from your recovery.
This is why it is vitally important to have a good lawyer on your side when filing one of these claims. If the insurance company is not being fair to you in one way or another, we can take your insurance company to court to force them to do this and to punish them under Colorado insurance laws and regulations for failing to treat you fairly.
Car accidents and the resulting injuries are stressful enough in and of themselves. Fighting with an insurance company over fair compensation adds insult to injury. The qualified attorneys at Laybourne Law Firm can help you navigate this complicated process and obtain the justice you deserve.
Please call 719-381-1707 for a free consultation.