Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Accidents
Traffic accidents can leave you with not only extensive injuries, but also countless questions about the legal (and practical) considerations. At Flesch & Beck Law in the Denver area, we can help you navigate these issues, applying decades of personal injury experience to fight for you.
Read about some common questions we hear:
- Is it worth it to hire an attorney?
- What does it cost to hire a lawyer?
- How do I file an insurance claim?
- How can I protect my rights when dealing with the insurance company?
- What should (and shouldn’t) I say to the insurance company?
- What should I do if the insurance company offers me a settlement?
- What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
- What are the time limits for bringing a claim?
- Do I need to pursue a personal injury claim too?
- How much is my claim worth?
- How do I get coverage for my medical bills?
- What kinds of damages can I get?
- How long will it take to get compensation?
After an accident, you should notify your insurance company as soon as possible. They will initiate their own investigation to determine what happened and who was at fault. They may ask for evidence, documents and paperwork. They may also try to pressure you into a making a formal statement. DON’T give a statement before speaking with an attorney about your situation. Likewise, DON’T accept a settlement offer unless you’ve first talked with a lawyer about it.
It’s important to understand that insurance companies — even your own — aren’t on your side. Ultimately, their foremost interest is their own bottom line, not yours.
You can protect your rights (and avoid leaving money on the table) by following these do’s and don’ts:
- DO hire your own lawyer as soon as possible. Unlike your insurance company, your lawyer is committed to your interests alone
- DON’T provide an official statement to the insurance company unless you’ve spoken with a lawyer.
- DON’T by tempted by the first low-ball settlement insurance offers. Wait until you have an attorney who can advise you whether you’re leaving money on the table.
- DON’T post anything about the accident on social media, as that could later be used against you.
Insurance issues are complicated. By hiring Flesch & Beck Law at the outset, you can avoid having to deal with these confusing issues — and have confidence that your rights are in good hands.
It depends. If the accident was minor and you’re able to get adequate coverage through insurance (your own or the other driver’s), you may not need to pursue additional compensation. However, in more serious accidents, the medical bills alone can readily exceed policy limits. You may need to file a personal injury claim to recover the rest. Likewise, in complex accident cases — those involving commercial drivers or defective auto parts, for example — you may have claims against other parties that require filing a lawsuit.
Before pursuing a lawsuit, it’s important to know not only whether your case has a strong chance of success, but also whether you’d be able to actually collect on the judgment in your favor. Suing someone who has no personal assets or net worth, for example, may not be worth the time and expense.
Because these decisions are so case-specific, it’s important to discuss your situation with a lawyer who understands Colorado injury law. Our team can help you pursue the right strategy.
Many factors influence how much a claim might be worth, including:
- The extent of your injuries
- Long-term needs such as rehabilitation, in-home care assistance, home modifications and the like
- The amount of accident-related expenses you’ve incurred for medical care (including transportation to and from medical appointments), property damage and the like
- Whether you’ve been unable to work because of the accident
- Whether you’ll be able to work in the future
- The pain and suffering involved
- The egregiousness of the defendant’s reckless conduct
It takes experience to know what a claim is worth — and to support that claim with the right documentation. At Flesch & Beck Law, by handling hundreds of cases and obtaining millions of dollars on behalf of injury victims, we have developed the insight necessary to value cases.
Generally, in car accident cases, you can pursue compensation for:
- Economic damages: This category includes out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident such as medical bills (past and future), car repairs, lost paychecks due to time off work, medical equipment and rehabilitation. Detailed documentation is essential for proving these damages.
- Noneconomic damages: This category covers non-quantifiable harm such as pain and suffering. In fatal accidents, surviving family members may also be able to recover damages for loss of companionship, loss of financial support and the like.
In cases involving egregious misconduct — such as intoxicated driving — punitive damages may also be available. These damages are significant amounts intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others.
The insurance process takes time, as do injury lawsuits. Case-specific factors — such as the severity of your injury, the complexity of the case, and the opposing party’s willingness to reach a fair settlement — can also impact the timeline. It might take anywhere from a few months to several years.
At Flesch & Beck Law, we understand that time is money. No amount of compensation will do you any good if it never reaches your hands. Drawing on decades of experience, we’ll work hard to avoid delays and expedite the process to the fullest extent possible — without jeopardizing your rights.