Sometimes, a Case Is Not Viable
Personal injury attorneys cannot accept every single case they are offered. For whatever reason or combination of reasons, some Colorado personal injury cases are not strong enough to make a favorable outcome likely.
Your injuries are not severe enough.
A personal injury attorney may choose to decline a case if the injuries suffered by the prospective client are not severe enough to warrant filing a lawsuit. Even if you have a valid negligence claim against another party, it may not be worth enough money if your injuries are minor. Insurance companies tend to make low offers to settle a case involving minor injuries, offers that often are insufficient to cover the basic medical expenses that have been incurred.
You were too much at fault.
Even if your injuries are severe, you won’t be able to obtain compensation if you cannot hold someone else more liable than you are yourself. Colorado follows a rule of modified comparative fault. If a victim is 50 percent or less at fault for his injury than another party, he is eligible to be compensated for an injury caused by that other party’s negligence. The compensation will be reduced in proportion to the relative degree of fault. A person found to be more than 50 percent responsible for his injuries is not entitled to seek damages.
Colorado’s statute of limitations has expired.
Even if you have a viable personal injury claim, if you wait too long to file it, you will lose your chance to do so.
Every state establishes a statute of limitations, i.e., the maximum time after an injury during which legal proceedings to seek compensation may be initiated in civil court. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for personal injury or personal property damage related to the use of a motor vehicle is three years from the date of the accident. However, if an injured person doesn’t realize that he has been injured until later, the discovery of harm rule permits the statute of limitations to instead run from the time the injury was discovered.
There’s no way to get paid.
If the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured, you may be unable to recover enough money to pay for all of your damages even if liability can be clearly established. However, if you live in Colorado, you may add uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage to your own policy. If you do, your medical expenses are covered if you are involved in a collision with a driver who is found to be liable and who is uninsured or too little insured to pay the bills.
Colorado insurers must offer UM/UIM coverage equal to the level of liability coverage for bodily injury that you choose when you sign up for the insurance. You may also decline UM/UIM coverage if you wish to take that risk.
Are you considering whether to file a personal injury lawsuit? If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Colorado personal injury attorney Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation with a seasoned attorney.