What’s My Personal Injury Case Worth?

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“What’s my case worth?” This is a question that our personal injury attorneys hear almost daily. The answer is that your case value depends on a lot of different factors. The main factors are:

  • Liability – Who is at fault in your case? If you were involved in a car accident and you were not ticketed, but the other driver was, then you are likely completely not at fault. Other cases are not so simple. Fault can be apportioned between the parties, for example, in a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk, you may be found 30% at fault while the landowner is found 70% at fault. If liability is apportioned, it can greatly decrease the value of your case.
  • Medical Treatment – Did you seek medical treatment immediately after the incident? What kind of treatment did you seek (hospital, physical therapy, etc.)? Did you have to treat for a few months or a few years? How much in medical bills were incurred during your treatment? Injuries requiring invasive surgery or permanent impairment are often worth more than cases involving muscle sprains and strains.
  • Damages – Damages are the largest category for determining the worth of your case. It takes into account medical bills, lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering. If your injury has had a huge impact on your life, for example, you broke both legs and were unable to work for a certain amount of time, the value of your case is likely to be greater than cases involving a nagging or inconvenient injury.

If you’ve been injured, it is important to talk with a personal injury attorney so that you can evaluate the potential value of your case and discuss all your options.

FAQ: “If I make a personal injury claim, will I have to go to trial?”

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In Colorado, individuals who are pursuing personal injury claims relating to an auto accident have three years to file a formal lawsuit against the individual at fault for the accident for compensation of their medical expenses, lost wages, physical impairment, and pain and suffering. During these three years, the majority of cases settle directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Whenever a personal injury claim is made, the insurance company who provides coverage for the at-fault driver assigns an adjuster to the claim. The adjuster evaluates the claim, reviews all relevant documents, speaks with the individual’s attorney, and may take a recorded statement from the individual making the claim. This is where it becomes vital to have a personal injury lawyer representing your claim to the insurance company. A personal injury attorney will know what documents are needed to support your claim and how to present those documents and facts in a way that will maximize the amount of the insurance company’s settlement offer. Presenting your claim to the insurance company is a comprehensive and skilled manner will often allow an injured person to fairly settle their claim without having to go through the time, expense, and uncertainty of a trial.

The Insurance Company Offered Me a Settlement. What Should I do?

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If you were recently in an auto accident and have not yet had the chance to obtain a personal injury attorney, the insurance company might offer you a settlement in order to close your claim before you have had a chance to fully evaluate your injuries and your options. If you accept the settlement, you may be accepting an amount far lower than what you are entitled to.

Settlements are not offered without an absolute release on your behalf. This means that you cannot accept the settlement and cash the settlement check without giving up your rights to further payment from that insurance company. Depending on the permanency of your injury, the extent of your injury, past and future medical bills, and any lost wages that you may have incurred, it is important that a personal injury attorney evaluate your case prior to your accepting a settlement agreement.

If you’re being offered a settlement on an auto accident case and do not know if the settlement is fair, contact the personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel T. Goodwin to discuss your options.

What To Expect During Your Personal Injury Consultation With an Attorney

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So after you have been in a car accident, you’ve made the first step in your personal injury claim: scheduling an appointment with a personal injury lawyer. Here’s what you may expect during this initial consultation:

  • Details about the accident. Your lawyer will likely want to know everything leading up to and after the accident. The time of day, the weather conditions, what you were doing when you were hit, what you experienced upon impact, and all information that you obtained from the other driver. If you have the police report, pictures of the vehicles, and/or exchange of information sheet, make sure to bring a copy for your lawyer to review.
  • Your insurance coverage. Specifically, whether you have UM/UIM (uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage) through your own insurance provider. Make sure you bring your policy information to the appointment.
  • Your medical history. This includes past injuries and past motor vehicle accidents, especially if the car accident has aggravated any previous injuries.
  • Your injuries. What injuries did you incur from the accident, and what medical attention you have sought. Bring the contact information for each medical provider that you have seen, along with any referrals that you have been given.
  • The effect that the car accident has had on your life. Outside of injuries and medical appointments, how have your injuries affected your home life, personal life, work life, physical, emotional, and social health.

Social Media and Your Personal Injury Claim: Part One

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Social Media and Your Personal Injury Claim: Part One

If you have been hurt in an auto accident and are thinking about, or are already, pursuing a personal injury claim, and are one of the millions of people utilizing social media, there are things you need to keep in mind before posting on your online profile.

Anything you post, including seemingly harmless posts about a recent vacation or outing with friends and family, might be used by the insurance company to deny or limit your claim.

Keep the following in mind before you post:

  • Request that your friends do not “tag” you in their posts as you do not have control over what they post.
  • Change your privacy setting to maximum security, make your profile private, or temporarily suspend your profile.
  • Do not accept “friend” or “follow” requests from accounts that you do not know.
  • Do not post anything that you would not want a jury or a judge to see, even if you think you have a good explanation for it.
  • Do not post anything about your personal injury claim.
  • Do not post anything about your medical care.
  • Do not post anything about conversations between you and your attorney.

FAQ: What is Whiplash?

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Whiplash, also known as a neck strain, is a common injury following a car crash. When a car is hit by another vehicle, the impact can cause your head to “whip” forward, backward, or to the sides in a sudden and violent motion. When the force from the collision is strong enough, it can stretch and tear the muscles in your neck.

Symptoms of whiplash may include headaches, tender muscles, pain, stiffness, decreased motion, and a “knotted” feeling.

The symptoms may start immediately after the collision, or they may take up to a week to manifest.

Treatments, such as painkillers, a neck brace, applied heat or ice, or massage therapy may aid in the recovery process, however the injuries may take a significant amount of time to heal. While they heal, the injury can have a significant impact on your life, from your work, to sleep, to physical activities and exercise.

At the Law Offices of Daniel T. Goodwin, our personal injury attorneys are here to protect your interests. We take the worry and stress of a legal claim away from you to let you focus on what matters most: regaining your health and healing your injuries.

Call us today at 303-763-1600 to speak with one of our Broomfield personal injury attorneys.

Do I really need an attorney?

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“Do I really need an attorney?”

After being in an auto accident, you probably have a lot of thoughts and worries. You may not know what to do next or what your rights are.
“How am I going to get my car fixed?”
“Will I still be able to drive to work?”
“Will insurance cover this?”
“Can I afford to be injured?”
You have questions. We have answers.
Our team of personal injury attorneys is here to help you through every step of your claim, including assisting you in obtaining treatment for your injuries, understanding the financial aspect of your claim, and negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company.
Don’t give the insurance company an opportunity to take advantage of you. Insurance companies may try to low-ball you and pressure you into settlement if you do not have an attorney. Make sure that you speak with an attorney first to understand the true value of your claim and the full extent of your injuries.
At the Law Offices of Daniel T. Goodwin, our personal injury attorneys are here to protect your interests. We take the worry and stress of a legal claim away from you to let you focus on what matters most: regaining your health and healing your injuries.
Call us today at 303-763-1600 to speak with one of our Broomfield personal injury attorneys.

What is UIM Coverage?

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If you’ve recently been in an auto-collision, you may have been asked whether or not you have “UIM” Coverage.

UIM or “Underinsured Motorist Insurance” (also sometimes called just “UM”) covers your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages if your damages exceed the amount of coverage that the at-fault driver has. For example, if you are seriously injured in an auto-collision and have $150,000 in medical bills, and the at-fault driver only had coverage for $25,000, you have $125,000 in damages that exceed the at-fault driver’s coverage. If you have your own UIM Coverage in the amount of $300,000, you can make a claim to have your UIM Coverage pay all of your damages in excess of the at-fault driver’s policy up to your own policy limits.

UIM Coverage is important because many drivers in Colorado only carry the state minimum amount of insurance coverage – $25,000. If you are seriously injured by a driver who does not have adequate insurance coverage, you need to have your own coverage to protect yourself. Don’t leave yourself and your family at risk of an underinsured, or uninsured, driver!

Insurance Companies Use Your Facebook Against You

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If you’ve been injured and are involved in a claim against an insurance company, be aware that the insurance company will be looking at everything you post online in order to deny your claim! They will use all of your posts, tweets, and pictures to claim that you aren’t injured.

Setting your Facebook page to “private” doesn’t protect you. During a lawsuit, the insurance company may try to subpoena your entire Facebook page and Twitter account, even asking for all of your passwords and usernames so they can see anything private that you may have done.  And it’s legal!

If you’ve been in an accident, the safest thing for you to do is to de-activate your social media accounts during the claims process.  In the very least, be mindful of what you post, watch what others are “tagging” you in, and remember, social media is public!