When it comes to dealing with auto accident claims, time is of the essence. In the state of Colorado, you may only have 180 days to file a claim against the at-fault driver. Insurance companies are well aware of this—and they use this to their advantage. Many people mistakenly believe that insurance companies are only there to help out the innocent party. While insurance companies can absolutely be a big help in recovering your losses, it is important to remember that every insurance provider is a business like any other. Every dollar that goes to you comes out of their own pockets—meaning they have every reason to minimize the settlement amount they offer you.
Recovering from a car accident can be a long and stressful process. Still, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to use this time to begin pressuring victims to reach a settlement. They may even try to get you to agree to an offer before the full extent of your injuries is known. This means that you may end up paying more out-of-pocket costs in the long run.
At the same time, it is not hard to see why so many victims agree to quick settlements. After all, recovery costs money—and settlements promise money. And many times, people are under the false impression that pursuing an auto accident claim would be more trouble than it is worth. Keep in mind that it is very rare to get the full valuation of your claim through an insurance company, especially if it is agreed upon while you are still recovering. Working with an experienced Colorado car accident claim attorney can help you get the full damages you are owed in a timely manner.
First things first, it is important to realize that no two cases are the same. Because of this, there are many different factors that can prolong how long it may take to successfully resolve an auto accident claim. One of the most important factors is the type of claim you are pursuing. A glass claim, for instance, will only take around a few days to resolve, while a roadside assistance claim or physical damage claim may take a few weeks.
Medical claims tend to take even longer to resolve since they generally cannot be assessed until after the victim’s treatment has concluded. The type of injuries sustained will also affect a case’s resolution time. Naturally, more severe injuries will lead to a longer case time. If you are expecting to undergo future surgeries or other major medical procedures, your attorney may need to ask your physician for an estimate of your likely future expenses.
You must also account for any other damages involved in the case. Damages can be both economic or non-economic. Economic damages include things like property damage, lost wages, and medical expenses. These are relatively easy to quantify. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, include things like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of quality of life. Because these are more abstract, they may take longer to be quantified.
Finally, issues of liability can also greatly impact the amount of time it takes to resolve a case. Cases with no disputes regarding liability tend to get resolved rather quickly. In contrast, cases with complicated liability issues tend to be prolonged. This is especially true because Colorado is a 50 percent modified comparative negligence state. In other words, anyone found to be at least 50 percent at fault for their accident is ineligible to receive any compensation for their losses. Furthermore, the degree to which you are determined liable for the accident will affect the amount of compensation you may receive.
In general, you can also expect your case time to be a bit prolonged after filing a third-party claim. Such claims are handled by the other driver’s insurance provider. They also require proof of liability. Because of this, third-party claims are only settled if there is compelling evidence that the other driver was directly responsible for your accident.
You can speed up this process by collecting evidence from the very beginning. This includes taking photographs of the accident scene and of all the involved vehicles, along with procuring any eyewitness testimonies. Still, it can be difficult to create a compelling case on your own, especially if you do not have a full and comprehensive understanding of the law. Fortunately, working with a competent Colorado auto accident claim attorney can help. Your lawyer may be able to work with an accident reconstruction expert to recreate the conditions of your accident. They may also be able to subpoena black box data, examine copies of police reports, and procure expert witness testimony on your behalf.
Preparing for third-party claims takes time—especially because the other party will be building their own case. If you are involved in a third-party claim, you can also expect the insurance company to inspect any damage and obtain their own estimates of your repair costs. They may even try to investigate your injuries, accident conditions, and social media accounts.
It can feel difficult and overwhelming to take care of an auto accident claim on your own, especially if you do not have a full and comprehensive understanding of the law. You need someone on your side you can trust. Fortunately, you do not have to go through it alone.
If you or a loved one have recently been involved in a car accident, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country.
You should never have to pay for somebody else’s mistakes. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our trusted nationwide auto accident attorneys. We have helped countless clients successfully resolve their automobile accident cases. We can help you too. Let us fight for you and get you the compensation you rightfully deserve.