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What’s the first thing your Colorado car accident lawyer will do to settle your case?

Once you hire a lawyer (and they determine that you do have a case) their first step is filing a demand letter with the insurance company of whoever hit you. This is a complex document that establishes the facts of your accident, and shows the insurer that you are a serious plaintiff with a real case.

Car accident lawyers are experienced in drafting these letters in an airtight fashion with all the right information to get you a settlement.

What are the next few steps your Colorado car accident lawyer will take?

Most people who get into a car crash are confused about what comes next in terms of getting a settlement. There can be a lot of “moving pieces.” And it’s easy to lose your bearings if you’re new to this process. Below, we’ll try to demystify things for you.

First
You choose a lawyer to take your case

It all starts with hiring a lawyer to get the ball rolling. Most offer free initial consultations, so that you can share what happened to you, and feel out if they are the lawyer you want to work with.

During the consultation, the lawyer will ask you questions about your accident: what happened, where it happened, who saw it, what injuries you sustained, who your insurance provider is, and more. From there, the lawyer will break down how they charge for their services, and what legal fees you can expect.

A few things to expect during your initial consultation with a lawyer:

  • Signing a medical release form (so the lawyer can access your medical records).
  • Discussing all of your legal options (such as whether to pursue a settlement with whoever hurt you, or whether to file a lawsuit against them).
  • Asking all of the questions you have, in order to feel confident that this lawyer is right for you.
Second
Your lawyer investigates the details of your case

Once you officially hire a lawyer, they will kick off a process known as “discovery.” That’s when the lawyer asks you follow-up questions about your case. Gathers important documents from police, hospitals, and insurance companies. And collects sworn statements from you (called “depositions”) that, if a lawsuit is filed, will be submitted to the courts.

A few things to expect when your lawyer starts the discovery process:

  • Waiting for the process to unfold (every case differs, but it’s common for discovery to take some time!).
  • Responding promptly to your lawyer’s questions (the faster you supply key information, the faster they can resolve your case).
  • Being 100% truthful in sworn statements (lying or omitting information will reduce your chances of securing a settlement).
Third
You decide whether to settle your case or sue

Finally — after the lawyer you hire finishes the discovery process — you will decide whether to settle your injury case out of court. Or whether to file a lawsuit for a higher reward. Most cases end in settlement, but you’ll want to make this decision based on the details of your unique case. (Your lawyer, of course, will provide their professional opinion on which way to go.)

A few factors to consider when deciding whether to settle or sue:

  • How high are your chances of winning at trial?
  • How much will it cost to pursue a trial (and how long will it take)?
  • How much more money does your lawyer think you can win in court versus an out-of-court settlement?

What do Colorado car accident lawyers charge?

A car accident lawyer charges for their services using a contingency model. What this means is that if you’ve been in an accident, a lawyer will take your case and pursue a settlement for you at no up-front cost.

In exchange, you promise that lawyer a percentage of the proceeds from your settlement. When your case settles, the lawyer takes their cut first, and you receive the remaining amount. If the lawyer fails to settle your case, you pay nothing.

Naturally, you want the best legal representation you can get, for the smallest bite out of your settlement.

To help you select the best lawyer for your case, we’ve provided a directory of car accident lawyers in Colorado that you can consider, or call to receive more information.

What if I need treatment, but I don’t have medical insurance?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident but don’t have health insurance, what can you do to obtain the treatment you need? This is more common than a lot of folks think, and it’s important to know that you have two solid options.

Option 1
Medicaid

If you don’t have health insurance privately or through your employer, you may qualify for Medicaid. This is a federal program that gives health insurance to low income earners at the state level. Visit Colorado’s Medicaid office to see if you qualify.

If you do, Medicaid will pay your medical bills from that point forward. They may even pay some of your past bills.

Option 2
Personal Injury Liens

Another option that not everyone knows about is to finance your medical treatment with a personal injury lien. (Also known as a Letter of Protection, or LOP.) This is when a doctor treats you for no up-front cost, in exchange for some of the proceeds of your future settlement. When your case settles, your doctor gets paid first, and you receive the remaining amount.

This same arrangement can also be used to obtain day-to-day spending money (for bills, food, rent, and so forth) while you are waiting for your case to settle. Your lawyer — once authorized by you — can issue the LOP on your behalf to the doctor or medical facility providing you treatment.

Most Colorado auto accident lawyers are experienced with setting up personal injury liens for clients who need to finance medical care this way.

Auto Accident Statistics That Colorado Car Accident Lawyers Consider

A car crash in the mountainous roads of Colorado is not what anyone wants, but if you’ve been through one, you’re hardly the only one. Here are the statistics from 2019, the most recent year for which data was available.

  • 596 people were killed in car accidents in Colorado in 2019, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
  • 164 of those people died while driving a passenger car.
  • 211 of those people died while driving a pickup truck or sport utility vehicle.
  • 12 of them died while driving a large truck.
  • 103 of them were riding motorcycles.
  • 73 of them were pedestrians, not driving any vehicle whatsoever.
  • And another 20 of those killed in car accidents were riding bicycles at the time of impact.
  • On top of that, another 3,190 people suffered “serious injuries” on Colorado’s roads and highways that same year.

Relevant Laws That Colorado's Car Accident Lawyers Know

Like in any other state, your chances of securing a settlement for your injuries and / or property damage depend partially on the laws governing car accidents in Colorado. Including those laws pertaining to car insurance coverage.

  • The deadline for filing a lawsuit related to injuries OR property damage from an accident in Colorado is three years according to Colorado Revised Statutes Section 13-80-101.
  • Colorado follows a “modified comparative fault” rule, which means that you can only recover financial damages in an auto accident lawsuit when you were less responsible for causing the accident than the other driver (or drivers) involved.
  • You are legally responsible for reporting any accident resulting in death, injury, or even very minor property damage to the police as soon as possible. (This differs from some other states, where you only have to report accidents involving death, injury, or damage over $1,000.)
  • Colorado is not a state where you want to get caught driving without insurance. The first offense means a $500 fine, up to 40 hours community service, suspension of driving privileges until you restore insurance, a $40 reinstatement fee, and the requirement that you keep an SR-22 certificate for three full years thereafter. Plus 4 points on your license to boot.
  • Second and third offenses involve $1,000 fines, 49 hours community service, 10 days to a year in jail, and suspended driving privileges of 4 and 8 months, respectively.

Colorado Car Accident Lawyer Prep: Fast Facts on Drivers & Vehicles

One factor that influences how safe (or dangerous) it is to drive in a given state are the number of drivers out on the road. Here are some key statistics for 2019, the most recent year for which these data were collected:

  • There are 4,235,384 licensed drivers in Colorado.
  • There are 1,639,028 licensed vehicles in Colorado.

If you're injured, there are Colorado accident lawyers who can help

We know this isn’t a position you ever wanted to be in. It’s scary, confusing, and you would love nothing more than to just put it all behind you.

The good news is: you don’t need to call the first Colorado auto accident lawyer you see on a billboard. (And hope they take good care of you.) And you don’t need to choose someone at random after aimlessly looking online. We’ve organized a list of Colorado accident lawyers right here on this page, with full contact information in one tidy chart.

This way, you can pick one, call them up, and start getting justice.