Untruths That Could Impact Your Colorado Accident Case
Personal injury law is a very complex area, and those injured typically don’t have a lot of experience with attorneys and the legal system. This makes them susceptible to the many myths that circulate around about personal injury cases. Read on to discover the five most common myths and the truths behind them.
#1: It’s going to cost me a lot of money to hire an attorney.
Personal injury lawyers typically take cases on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t have to come up with any money upfront and the attorney will get paid an agreed-upon percentage for their fee at the conclusion of the case – but only if they successfully obtain a settlement for you.
#2: My insurance company will take care of all my expenses.
The primary goal of insurance companies is to make more money by paying less on claims, which is why people end up filing personal injury claims. Even with insurance coverage, you likely end up paying something, since private insurers will only pay around 50 percent of the costs, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
#3: My injuries were minor, so I don’t need to see a doctor.
People tend to minimize their injuries, but even seemingly minor injuries can turn into major problems later. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost of the average emergency room visit for an auto accident victim is $3,300; if they are hospitalized, these costs can balloon to as much as $57,000 over their lifetime, most arising in the first year-and-a-half after the accident. Additionally, if you don’t seek medical care after an auto accident, you could be decreasing your chances of receiving fair compensation for them in your personal injury case.
#4: The driver who caused the accident will pay for my injuries.
Automobile accidents often cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage in the form of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, costs that most people would have great difficulty paying out of pocket. In most cases, the at-fault party’s insurance company will end up paying them, unless they didn’t have enough coverage or didn’t have insurance at all, in which case your own insurance could pick up the tab if you have UM/UIM coverage.
#5: I’ll have plenty of time to file a lawsuit later on.
Many accident victims put off talking with an attorney for a variety of reasons, such as:
- They are too busy with medical appointments.
- They are out of work and think they can’t afford an attorney (see #1).
- They think their injuries aren’t severe enough to warrant filing a lawsuit.
- They want to see what the insurance company will do for them first.
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Colorado is two years from the date of the accident, or three years if the accident involved a motor vehicle. While this might seem like a long time, it tends to go by very fast. Many people discover this when they finally get around to consulting an attorney about their accident, only to find out that their injuries occurred too long ago for them to file a claim, and they will never be able to receive compensation for their injuries.