Even the most minor of car accidents can result in serious injury. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s always best to receive medical treatment from responding EMTs and medical officials. Even if you don’t receive treatment or leave in an ambulance, you can still sue for injuries. If you leave in an ambulance after a car accident, it’s easier to document any injuries you’ve sustained because you’ve received treatment for them. Being able to establish a paper trail of medical treatment you received immediately after your accident makes it very difficult for a defendant to claim your injuries were not because of the accident.
When is taking an ambulance ride necessary?
After a motor vehicle accident, dispatched officers will often arrive on the scene with EMTs and medical professionals. If you sustained visible injuries and are bleeding, have a severe cut, or have hit your head, it’s in your best interest to take an ambulance and have your injuries evaluated further.
In some cases, you’ll want to take an ambulance ride even if you don’t have any visible injuries. Muscle injuries and soft tissue damage might not be immediately visible but can require immediate medical attention to prevent further complications.
Allowing a medical professional that arrives on the scene to evaluate you is the best way to determine whether you should take an ambulance to the hospital.
If you experience any of the following, you should take an ambulance to the hospital:
- Dizziness and confusion
- Blurred vision
- Deep cuts and bleeding that will not stop
- If you were unconscious and then woke up
- Suspected neck or head injuries
Who covers ambulance ride bills?
Colorado is an at-fault state, meaning the insurance company of the at-fault driver will be responsible for any bills associated with medical treatment or property damage.
Drivers in Colorado are required to carry the following auto minimum coverage:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 total per accident for bodily injury
- $15,000 for property damage
All drivers have the option to increase coverage as well.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence and you’ve ridden in an ambulance to the hospital, typically the auto insurance of the at-fault driver will pay your ambulance bill.
If your insurance claim is denied, you’ll be able to file an appeal, however, you’ll need to provide sufficient evidence that the other driver is responsible. Having a lawyer to advocate for your rights is the best way to dispute the claim.
When should you file a claim for a car accident?
There are many reasons a claim might be denied, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for an outcome that is not in your favor. The first thing to do is to file a claim against the other driver.
Immediately after an accident, it’s important to gather the other driver’s contact information — including the insurance information. If you’ve been severely injured and are unable to collect that information, a police report should include the other driver’s details.
I didn’t get transported in an ambulance, now what?
As a general rule of thumb, the longer you delay medical treatment for your injuries following a car accident, the harder it may be to have a successful auto insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Car accident lawsuits are based on the concept of negligence, which includes the following four elements:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
To bring forward a successful personal injury lawsuit, you need to show that you sustained damages because of someone else’s negligence. In a car accident, the most common type of damages are injuries sustained and medical costs for their treatment. If you wait days or weeks after your car accident to seek medical attention, this may weaken your overall claim of negligence.
If you seek medical attention immediately after a car accident, this strengthens the connection between the damages you sustained and the negligence of the other driver.
Injuries do not always present themselves right away
Minor car accidents like fender benders and crashes that don’t result in broken bones or bleeding can still cause you to suffer moderate to severe injury, even if you can’t always tell right away.
Injuries that don’t present themselves right away can include the following:
- Neck and back strains
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
Adrenaline and the immediate shock after an accident can keep you from feeling aches or pains after a car wreck, but you may feel sore days later. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you take an ambulance or at the very least be examined by medical professionals immediately following your wreck.
Colorado’s statute of limitations on car accidents
As with all states, Colorado has a statute of limitations related to personal injury. In Colorado, this statute is typically two years from the date of the injury. If your injury resulted from an automobile accident, Colorado law extends the statute of limitations to 3 years.
What damages can I sue for after a car accident?
When you file a claim with the auto insurance company of the at-fault driver, you might not be able to recover all the expenses needed for your medical and property damage. Working with an experienced car injury attorney can help bolster a higher settlement because of their professional negotiation skills.
If your claim remains lower than what you feel you deserve, you may be able to seek additional relief through a personal injury lawsuit. When filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident, you’ll be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are designed to compensate you for the financial losses incurred after an accident. This can include losses such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of income
- Property damage
Non-economic damages compensate for subjective losses that resulted from a car accident:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In certain circumstances, a plaintiff might also be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant for their negligence and are not typically levied in a typical car accident claim. However, in cases involving truck accidents where there may be more than one defendant, punitive damages may be levied against companies, third parties, and other entities that may have contributed to the accident.
Let Bachus & Schanker help you get justice after a car accident
Get the justice and compensation you deserve after a car accident. Auto insurance companies are in the business of keeping costs low and, unfortunately, this often means lowballing victims during settlement negotiations. The experienced attorneys at Bachus & Schanker have intimate knowledge of working with car insurance companies and can fight for the compensation you deserve.