Boulder Personal Injury Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A BOULDER PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER TODAY
People who cause accidents should be held accountable. Where an injury occurs on behalf of another person or entity’s negligence, Colorado law believes that the responsible party should be held liable for the role they played in causing the accident and most importantly in causing your injuries.
The last thing a recovering victim needs is the burden of getting better and fighting a legal battle all on his or her own. Allow a team of experienced attorneys to fight for your best interests so you can seek the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries.
Common personal injury cases
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Dog bites
- Wrongful death
Most of the time, a personal injury claim must show that the at-fault party was negligent. Negligence claims have four main parts:
- 1) Duty,
- 2) Breach,
- 3) Causation, and
- 4) Damages
To be able to state a negligence claim, you will need to be able to show that another party owed you a duty to act in a particular way and then subsequently failed to act according to that standard. This breach of duty needs to have ultimately led to causing you injury. The general standard is that individuals have a duty to act as a reasonable person would. This is objective. For example, if you are operating a vehicle, you have a duty to follow the speed limit. Following the speed limit is what a reasonable person would do. If you fail to follow the speed limit and end up causing an accident that leads to injuries, then you may be held liable for your negligence.
What if I am Partially at Fault?
When considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to look at the role you may have played in the incident that led to your injuries. Each state handles this differently. Colorado law uses a system of modified comparative fault. This means that an injured party can collect damages if they are less than 50% at fault. If you are 50% or more at fault for the accident that led to your injuries, then you will not receive any compensation.
Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim
When you file a personal injury claim, generally, there will be two types of damages available to you. These two types are referred to as economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages compensate you for things that can be easily calculated. This may include medical bills, lost wages, and other incidental costs of getting your life back on track after an accident. All of these costs have a price tag and may be easily quantifiable.
Non-economic damages, however, are not so easily calculated. These damages typically seek to compensate a victim for long-lasting emotional injuries. Typically, this is referred to as pain and suffering. Experienced attorneys generally calculate pain and suffering by taking your amount of medical costs and multiplying it by a number between one and five, depending on the severity of your injuries.
In some cases, punitive damages may be available. Victims in Colorado cannot expressly seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate victims, but rather to punish the defendant’s conduct. That is why these damages are only available in certain types of personal injury cases where the court may find it appropriate. Courts are reluctant to award punitive damages for anything except egregious conduct.
What to do after a Personal Injury
Seek Medical Attention
No matter what, the most important thing to do after a personal injury is to receive immediate medical attention. Even where injuries may not be readily apparent, it is still important to make sure you receive medical treatment after being involved in an accident. Some injuries are obvious, but sometimes they lie below the surface. Prompt care is always in your best interest. Additionally, receiving professional medical treatment can make a big difference in your claim because a doctor can create an official record of your injuries and treatment plan.
Call the Police
Calling the police to the scene of an accident is always important if you can do so. First, your memory recall will be better. People often forgo getting the police involved initially after an accident because they just want to get everyone’s information and go home. However, the longer you wait to discuss your story of what happened, the harder it becomes to remember details that could be important later on. Second, the police can create an official report that can be used as evidence when bringing a claim. Your attorney and insurance may use this report to help you with your claim.
Good documentation after an accident can be helpful to support your claim. No matter how clear-cut the accident may seem, there are always a lot of unanswered questions you or the opposing party may have when investigating a claim. The more tangible evidence you have to support your claim the better. Document anything and everything you can by taking photos, making notes, and speaking with any eyewitnesses who might have seen the accident take place.
Speak with an Attorney
Having an attorney with experience dealing with personal injury claims is the best way to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. An attorney may be able to help open a claim with your insurance carrier and negotiate compensation. An attorney may be able to assist you in the process of determining what you are owed and arguing for why you should receive that amount. Additionally, an experienced attorney may help advise you at each milestone of your claim, such as when to accept a settlement offer, when to decline an offer, and whether or not to proceed with a trial.
Time Limits in a Personal Injury Case
One of the most important considerations when filing a personal injury claim for compensation is time. Every state places a time limit on your ability to file a personal injury claim for compensation. This is known as a statute of limitations. Generally, this time limit may be about two or three years depending on the laws of your state. Under Colorado law, you have two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury claim, except for cases arising from motor vehicle accidents, which have a three-year statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations may vary depending on whether you are filing a traditional personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim, or even a claim on behalf of or by a minor. An experienced attorney can help you figure out the applicable time limit for your claim.
Time limits in a Wrongful Death Action
In a typical personal injury lawsuit, the clock starts ticking on the statute of limitations the second you are injured, not when you decide you want to sue for those injuries. However, wrongful death suits are a little bit different. The clock starts ticking on a wrongful death action once the party bringing the suit has discovered, or should have discovered with reasonable diligence, the cause of death of the victim.
In Colorado, you have two years from the day you have discovered or should have discovered the death of the victim to file a lawsuit. After two years, you are likely to be barred from recovery.
Do You Need an Attorney to File a Personal Injury Claim?
The simple answer is no. You do not need an attorney to file a personal injury claim. However, having an experienced attorney may be able to make a large difference in your ability to seek the compensation that you may be entitled to after experiencing injuries as the result of an accident.
Our injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group help injury victims build a strong case against the responsible party. While time is one important consideration of filing a legal claim, money is also an important consideration. That is why our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. You can call our office today at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation with a Boulder personal injury lawyer to determine how we may be able to help.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.