Common Misconceptions People Have About Colorado Accident Cases
Most personal injury clients don’t know a lot about law, and many have never even been in a lawyer’s office before. Here are 5 myths about Colorado personal injury law that need to be dispelled:
Personal injury lawyers are expensive.
Different types of lawyers have different fee arrangements, and some require a significant retainer before they will accept a case. However, this is not true of personal injury lawyers, who usually take cases on a contingency basis, meaning they will work on your case free of charge and then deduct their fee when the matter concludes. They will get paid only if you receive compensation for your damages.
Since the accident wasn’t my fault, my insurance company will cover my expenses.
Unfortunately, insurance companies pay only a fraction of the costs associated with auto accidents. Even with insurance, you’re likely going to have to pay some accident-related expenses out of your own pocket, such as health insurance co-pays and deductibles. Even if your insurance company does pay your medical bills and reimburse you for your property damage and lost wages, if you receive a settlement from a third party, your insurer will request reimbursement for the bills it paid on your behalf.
I have only minor injuries, so I don’t need a lawyer.
You should never worry about whether or not you need legal representation — most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations to discuss your injuries and what your options might be, no matter how large or small your case might appear to be. Also, many people downplay their injuries, not realizing that “minor” injuries can cost as much to treat as more serious ones. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost of the average emergency room visit for someone injured in an automobile accident was $3,300 in 2014. If the injured person is hospitalized, the bill inflates to a daunting $57,000 on the average, with 75 percent of those costs being amassed during the first 18 months after the accident.
I don’t want to deal with a lawsuit now. I’ll have plenty of time for that later.
It is not uncommon for people to wait until their lives are somewhat back to normal before they consider talking to a personal injury attorney about their accident. But personal injury claims must be filed during a specific period of time. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years, or three years if the injury arose from the use or operation of a motor vehicle. Under Colorado’s “delayed discovery” rule, however, if someone suffers a personal injury but doesn’t discover it until several years after the accident, the rule allows the statute of limitations to begin running from the time the injury was discovered, not when it actually happened.
Personal injury cases almost always end up in court.
The thought of an adversarial case that ends up in a trial prevents some people from initiating a personal injury case. But most personal injury cases end in settlement. About 95 percent of all injury cases conclude via a settlement between the parties, not in front of a jury, despite the fact that the negotiation process can be time-consuming.
If you suffered an injury in a Colorado car or motorcycle accident and need legal guidance, contact personal injury attorney Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation.