Despite myths about greedy lawyers and people trying to get rich off of car accidents, the truth is most people are terrified of court and have no desire to pursue litigation. For experienced attorneys like the team at the Springs law Group, the court is just another place of business where transactions occur. We understand the day-to-day manner in which the civil justice system operates. However, we can genuinely appreciate that court is not something most people want to encounter.
For this reason, we know that the majority of clients are looking to efficiently and fairly resolve their insurance claims without a trial. Still, there are times when a trial is the only answer. To help you understand this a bit better, consider the following.
How Are Insurance Claims Handled?
First, if you’ve been hurt in a car accident, it’s important to size up how the crash happened and who is at fault. The heart and soul of personal injury law are assigning blame. This is known as a liability. If you are able to demonstrate that the other party involved was negligent or careless in some way and that this directly caused your injuries, then logic (and the law) says that you should be compensated.
So, to obtain compensation, you bring a claim with the at-fault individual’s insurance company and give them an opportunity to make it right by paying for your injuries. Here are some of the steps involved:
- File the claim
- Provide documentation of the crash
- Provide proof of your injuries, such as medical records and bills
- Provide other evidence, such as witness statements
- Provide evidence of lost income (if applicable)
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Negotiate with your health providers to reduce your bills and expenses
- Negotiate with lien holders, such as health insurance companies and government benefit plans, like Medicare and Medicaid
- Agree upon a settlement
- Settle the case
When Is Trial Necessary?
As you can probably tell from the procedure above, everything is pretty straightforward until you get to negotiations. There is a myriad of things that can create obstacles. Perhaps a health insurance carrier paid a hospital bill and wants to keep the majority of your settlement. Perhaps you received unrelated medical care, but Medicare is seeking to be reimbursed for it, thus taking most of your money. These are all things that could require a court to intervene.
The more common reason for a case being filed before a Colorado court is that you and the insurance company simply cannot agree on the reasonable and fair value of your injury claim. An experienced attorney can help you assess this and make a rational decision about whether you might do better taking your case before a jury. If so, then you would need to file a lawsuit.
Does Filing a Lawsuit Mean I Can’t Settle?
Not at all. In fact, most cases that are filed as lawsuits eventually do settle prior to trial. Therefore, only a very small number of cases end up before a jury. Still, you should always work with a skilled Colorado car accident lawyer who has the know-how and experience to take a case all the way if necessary. This gives you a technical advantage from the very start.
To learn more or get help with your case, call the Springs Law Group for a free case evaluation today. We only get paid if we collect compensation for you, so you have nothing to lose by making the call.
Jacob Kimball is a Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from the Ohio State Moritz College of Law, and has been practicing law for 13 years now. Jacob Kimball firmly believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.