Car accidents can happen when we least expect them, leaving us confused and overwhelmed by the aftermath. While some minor collisions may only require filing an insurance claim, there are situations where seeking legal representation becomes essential. Whether dealing with complex legal issues, disputing liability, or negotiating fair compensation for your injuries and damages, knowing when to get an attorney for a car accident in Colorado can make all the difference in achieving a favorable outcome.
Car accident injury statute of limitations in Colorado
The statute of limitations in Colorado is the specific time frame within which car accident injury claims must be filed. According to the law, individuals injured in a car wreck generally have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
It’s crucial to understand that if this deadline passes without taking legal action, you lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries and other related damages. However, it’s important to note that certain exceptions or circumstances might alter this time limit.
For instance, if the accident involves a government entity or employee, special rules apply and require prompt action. Additionally, cases involving minors may also have different statutes of limitations.
Why is it best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident?
Contacting an attorney in Colorado as soon as possible after a car wreck is beneficial for several reasons:
- Protecting your rights: An experienced attorney will protect your rights throughout the legal process. They will guide you on what to say and what not to say, preventing any statements or actions that could potentially harm your case.
- Communication with insurance companies: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging and complex. By involving an attorney, they can handle all communication on your behalf, ensuring you do not inadvertently provide information that could be used against you. This allows you to focus on your recovery while knowing that a professional advocates for your best interests.
- Accurate damages calculation: Determining the true value of your damages requires careful consideration of various factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage repairs/replacement costs, pain and suffering, and future medical needs. An attorney has the expertise to accurately calculate these damages, ensuring that no potential compensation is overlooked in negotiations or litigation.
- Meeting deadlines: Legal proceedings have strict deadlines for filing claims or initiating lawsuits related to car accidents. By contacting an attorney promptly, they will ensure all necessary paperwork is prepared correctly and filed within the prescribed time limits so you can pursue rightful compensation.
- Ensuring good faith from insurance companies: Insurance companies may act in bad faith by delaying settlements unreasonably or offering inadequate compensation amounts without valid justification. An attorney can help hold them accountable by navigating through their tactics and negotiating for fair settlement offers based on the merits of your case.
- Legal guidance: Car accident cases involve complex legal procedures and requirements. An attorney can provide the necessary advice and ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities throughout the process.
- Insurance negotiations: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as adjusters may try to minimize or deny your claim. Having an attorney on your side from the start allows them to handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf, ensuring that no crucial details are overlooked and maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Do I need an attorney in all circumstances after a car accident?
While it may not be necessary to have a car accident lawyer in all circumstances after a car accident, there are specific situations where their expertise becomes especially valuable, including:
- Death or significant injuries: If the accident resulted in severe car accident injuries or fatalities, having an attorney can help you navigate the complexities of wrongful death claims or pursue maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and long-term care needs
- Disputed fault: When there is a dispute over who was at fault for the accident, an attorney can gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf to establish liability and protect your rights
- Multiple parties involved: If multiple parties were involved in the crash, such as other drivers, pedestrians, or entities like government agencies, an attorney can help determine who is responsible for negligence in the accident and ensure that all liable parties are held accountable
- Uninsured or underinsured drivers: Dealing with uninsured or underinsured drivers adds another layer of complexity to your claim process. An experienced attorney can explore alternative sources of compensation, such as uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage through your own insurance policy, and negotiate with these parties to seek adequate compensation.
Should I talk to the insurance company before or after consulting with an attorney?
It is generally recommended to consult with a Colorado car accident lawyer before speaking directly with the insurance company. Should you need to report the accident to start the claims process for medical coverage benefits, you can speak to the insurance company but only provide minimal details, such as the date, time, and location of the accident.
However, you should refrain from giving any statements or discussing the accident in detail without first consulting with an attorney. Here’s why:
- Insurance companies have their best interests in mind and may try to get you to admit partial fault or complete fault to minimize or deny your claim
- During conversations with insurance adjusters, innocent statements or inadvertent mistakes could be used against you to devalue or deny your claim
- Insurance companies are in business to make money, not pay it out in claims. As such, they undervalue the amount of compensation you are actually entitled to receive.
- Insurance companies and insurance adjusters have access to their own team of lawyers to protect their interests. Consulting with an attorney helps even the playing field.
Get the justice you deserve with help from Bachus & Schanker car accident attorneys
Do not wait to get help after a car accident by contacting Bachus & Schanker now. Our car accident attorneys fight aggressively for your rights to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Whether it’s handling insurance settlement negotiations, investigating complex cases, or pursuing fair compensation through litigation, we are here to help represent your interests and provide the support you need so you can focus on healing and recovery.
Insurance Bad Faith Law. (2023).