Some stereotypes are criminal, including the image of accident lawyers in pinstripe suits, business cards in hand, chasing an ambulance in hopes of representing an injured person. But “ambulance chasing” is actually against the law in the U.S., and violates Rule 7.3 of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct and in some instances is a ground for disbarment.
So what do personal injury attorneys in Colorado really do?
Compensation for Injured People
Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes seek to increase their profits and save money by denying coverage to their policyholders. People who are injured in car accidents‚ motorcycle accidents‚ or by dangerous drugs or defective products retain personal injury attorneys because they know that an accident attorney will represent their rights‚ not those of an insurance company.
Some of the matters that personal injury lawyers handle include injury and wrongful death claims resulting from:
- Car, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents
- Collisions involving large trucks
- Construction accidents
- Violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA)
- Premises liability
- Dangerous drug and medical device liability
- Toxic and mass torts
- Medical malpractice
Plaintiffs who bring a successful personal injury suit stand to recover monetary damages for present and future medical expenses, lost or diminished wages, property damage, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
Accountability for Colorado Consumers
But personal injury attorneys not only assist people when they’re injured; their efforts also help ensure that consumers live in a safer world. Corporations, insurance companies, and negligent individuals sometimes must be reminded that they are required to act in a reasonable manner or risk facing consequences. Many of the safety laws and regulations that protect us today arose from personal injury litigation.
Checks and Balances for Colorado Insurers
One way personal injury lawyers protect the rights of ordinary citizens is by representing them in bad faith claims against insurance companies that unlawfully refuse to investigate and pay claims.
Under the law of most jurisdictions in the U.S., including Colorado, insurance companies owe policyholders a duty of good faith and fair dealing under the terms of their insurance contract.
When an insurance company breaches that duty of good faith by unlawfully finding ways to delay, diminish, or deny payment of claims, it is considered to be acting in bad faith, and personal injury lawyers help policyholders hold them accountable through bad faith insurance claims.
If corporate America and big insurance called all the shots, they’d likely tell the rest of us what we can and can’t do, but personal injury attorneys stand in their way by holding those responsible for wrongdoing accountable for illegal and harmful conduct.
The reality is that if personal injury lawyers did not hold big insurance companies and others accountable, who else would?