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

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.

Do I really need an attorney?

“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.

Ghosts on Trial: Haunted House Lawsuits

When your haunted house visit leaves you with more than just nightmares.

Now that it’s October, signs of fall are popping up all over Denver. Leaves are changing, pumpkins are popping up on front porches, and advertisements for haunted houses are appearing.
If you’re one of many haunted house patrons, you may love the fear and suspense that comes from these attractions. But not everyone leaves haunted houses unafflicted. If you come away feeling harmed, don’t blame the ghosts, clowns, and zombies, accordingly to recent court decisions.

In a recent lawsuit, an adult became frightened while visiting a local haunted house and attempted to flee the house to get away from a saw-wielding employee. During his attempted escape, he fell and injured his arm. The man then sued the haunted house. The lawsuit was eventually thrown out of court with the judge noting that “the point of the [haunted house] is to scare people.”

In another lawsuit, an adult sued a haunted house for emotional distress after seeing what she described as excessively gory and frightening scenes during the tour.

Being frightened is an inherent risk, and often the whole point, of visiting a haunted house. When a customer visits an attraction and becomes injured, either physically or emotionally, due to an inherent risk, it is difficult to recover damages. It is only when the haunted house unreasonably increases the normal inherent risks of a haunted house that they can become responsible for injuries. For example, if a large quantity of fake blood on the floor caused slippery conditions that led to a slip-and-fall injury, this may be actionable. However, simply the fright caused by such a scene would be considered an inherent risk.

If you venture out into one of Denver’s many frightening haunted houses this October, make sure you know what you’re signing up for.

Who Can Bring A Wrongful Death Claim In Colorado?

Wrongful death actions in Colorado are governed by CRS 13-21-201.

During the first year after the death:

  • Only a surviving spouse may bring the claim.

During the second year after the death:

  • A surviving spouse may bring the claim;
  • Any children may bring the claim;
  • If the deceased has no spouse or children, then the parents of the deceased may bring the claim.

Who cannot bring a claim:

  • Siblings of the deceased;
  • Friends of the deceased;
  • Boyfriends / girlfriends of the deceased.

FAQ: The Insurance Company Offered Me a Settlement, What Do I Do?

  • If the insurance company has already offered you a settlement, you should hire The Law Offices of Daniel T. Goodwin to  provide you with an opinion on the fairness of the offer. You cannot accept a settlement unless you release all of your rights to further payment. Accepting a settlement from an insurance company is a complicated decision that is best decided with the advice of a lawyer.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is often associated with car accidents, and occurs when the neck thrashes backwards and forwards forcefully at the collision.

The sudden and intense movement overstretched the muscles and tendons in the neck, causing tears and pain ranging from mild to severe.

The symptoms may include:

  • Pain;
  • Limited range of motion;
  • Tense muscles that feel like knots;
  • Pain when rocking your head back and forth or side to side;
  • Tender, sensitive muscles; and
  • Headaches

You should seek medical attention immediately after you believe you may have sustained whiplash. Depending on the severity of your injury, treatment may include:

  • Applying ice or heat to the area;
  • Massage;
  • Pain medications; and
  • A neck brace.

I’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident – What’s My Case Worth?

Judging the value of your case is a complicated procedure that involves a variety of factors. Your case evaluation will generally consider the two sources of damages: Compensatory Damages and Punitive Damages.

1. Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are paid to compensate the claimant for actual damages suffered from the incident. Actual damages are sub-divided into two categories: Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages. Economic damages are damages for which a monetary amount has already been assigned, for example, medical bills, damaged property, and lost wages. Non-economic damages are essentially non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering, physical deformities, and a loss in the claimant’s quality of life.

2. Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are intended to reform the actor and deter him from committing the same incident again. While punitive damages are not intended to compensate the claimant, the claimant may receive all or a portion of the damages award.

What Should You Do After Being Injured in an Auto Accident?

This guide briefly describes actions that you should take in the days and weeks following an accident. Contact a local personal injury attorney for an evaluation of your case.

1. Exchange Information
Always get the other driver’s license information, phone number, address, and insurance information before leaving the scene.

2. Call the Police
The police will write up an accident report and evaluate the scene.

3. Seek Medical Attention
If you think that you may need it, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

4. Retain all Medical and Accident Records and Photos
Get copies of any medical records, accident reports, and photos taken of the scene and your car. If you suffer bodily injury, make sure to take pictures of your injuries.

5. Contact An Attorney!
Certain cases have time limits, and if you do not bring your claim within the time limit, you may forfeit your right to pursue the claim and get compensation. Speak with a local attorney who specializes in personal injury law as early as possible.