Common Personal Injury Questions We Hear
After an accident with injuries, people often have questions. The following are the questions we at Ross Law P.C. in Colorado, hear frequently.
What is my case worth?
It is our experience that it is highly difficult, if not impossible, to determine what a case is worth without significant due diligence, review of records, and a determination of the injured parties’ long-term prognosis. This is true whether you have been in a car accident, had a slip-and-fall or trip-and fall accident, or were injured in some other type of accidents involving a negligent party.
In Colorado, damages (case value) can include up to three categories: (1) economic damages (past, present, and future medical bills, lost wages, etc.); (2) noneconomic damages (pain and suffering, inconvenience, scarring, etc.); and (3) punitive damages (damages as punishment for particularly egregious or intentional behavior).
In order to determine a fair amount, or range, for each of these categories, it is critical for your attorney to evaluate the entirety of your circumstances to give the insurance company an appropriate demand for compensation.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
Different claims have different time frames (usually referred to as the “statute of limitations”) for filing a lawsuit. Additionally, certain claims require a pre-filing notice of intent to sue, which can happen sooner than the statute of limitations for the claim itself.
If you believe you have a case, it may be critical for you to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to determine how long you have to file a lawsuit and/or provide notice of an intent to sue. This is important for at least two reasons: (1) different statutes of limitations apply for different claims; and (2) anything you say to an opposing party or insurance company (or any releases, agreements, etc., that you sign) can be used against you to reduce, or eliminate, your potential claim.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
Resolution of an injury case varies heavily depending upon the case. For most cases, it is best if the injured party can receive full treatment for their injuries prior to engaging the opposing insurance company in any settlement negotiations. Once settlement negotiations begin with the insurance company, claims can be resolved within a few weeks to a few months. If you are unable to resolve your claims informally, through negotiation with the insurance company, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. The time frame to resolve a lawsuit can vary heavily. Many cases can be resolved early on, within the first few months, through a settlement at mediation or negotiated between the lawyers.