Top 5 Mistakes in Representing Yourself in a Car Accident Case
When you’re involved in a car accident, it can be a very emotional event that can cause significant disruption in both your personal and professional life. You may suffer property damage such as the loss of your vehicle, emotional pain and suffering, and physical injury resulting in exorbitant medical bills and lost wages. As a result of circumstances and losses such as these, you may unwittingly sabotage your chances of recovering fair compensation by making a few simple, avoidable mistakes. One common mistake many people make is failing to hire an experienced car accident attorney to represent them in filing a personal injury claim, opting instead to represent themselves. This can have many negative repercussions. Here are the top five mistakes in representing yourself in a car accident case:
- Undervalued injuries. Unrepresented injury victims cannot adequately assess the value of personal injury claims; this takes knowledge and experience laypersons do not have. Colorado Law on damages is complex and allows for past and future losses for economic damages, non-economic losses, and permanent impairment. An attorney will be knowledgeable on these discrete damage categories and able to represent your best interests in negotiating a fair and complete settlement.
- Misunderstanding of insurance contracts and provisions. Unrepresented injury victims cannot adequately analyze the applicable insurance agreements that require strict adherence to preserve victims’ rights. Insurance contracts require thorough and diligent review by an attorney to understand and comply with the policy coverage provisions and conditions. Furthermore, some aspects of insurance agreements are unenforceable in Colorado and require a well-articulated public policy legal challenge by an experienced personal injury attorney.
- Subrogation issues. Colorado Law requires injury victims to pay back medical providers and health insurance carriers for treatment relating to the accident resulting in personal injury. However, these amounts can be significantly negotiated down by an injury attorney and, in some cases, can be waived and forgiven under Colorado’s Made Whole Doctrine. Therefore, the client can see a greater recovery through a clear subrogation strategy put together by your experienced injury attorney. Failing to address these complex subrogation issues in your personal injury case can lead to adverse action against your personal credit score and credit worthiness, and may lead to independent actions by medical creditors in small claims court and/or bankruptcy actions that could cause irreparable financial harm to you and your family.
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Claims. UIM claims made against your own insurance carrier are complicated and must be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the insurance industry standards that guide the evaluation of your injury claim. First party benefit claims are highly regulated by state and governmental agencies that monitor the insurance industry. Your insurance company could commit bad faith in the handling of your claim that could lead to additional causes of action and damages that you may be rightfully entitled to in your case. If your insurance company commits bad faith, you need an experienced injury attorney to hold the carrier civilly liable, under Colorado Law, for damages that may go beyond the limits of your actual policy. There are statutes in place that can serve as a penalty for insurance companies that commit bad faith. Your injury attorney can recover more money in your case by applying these statutes and applicable penalties, where the conduct by your insurance company is bad enough to support it.
- Hiring Experts. Successful injury claims require critical supporting expert opinions by medical doctors, liability and risk management experts, life care planners, functional capacity examiners, accountants, economists, billing experts and various other licensed professionals to win your case. You need an experienced injury attorney to hire these individuals to assist in the presentation of your injury claim.
If you’re involved in an automobile accident where losses and/or injuries are incurred, you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side, especially when dealing with insurance companies and complex legal issues. Our firm exclusively represents clients against insurance companies and corporations in personal injury matters. At Whalen Hersh, we’ve represented many car accident clients over the years and have recovered over $25 million in settlements and judgments on behalf of our clients. Our goal in representing you is to establish a direct, meaningful, trusted and reliable relationship and secure a settlement for you that is fair and equitable.
Settling too quickly with an insurance company usually means that your injuries and long term prognosis have not been thoroughly investigated and understood, and your losses are not adequately compensated. Our car accident lawyers will work closely with you in pursuing a personal injury claim to ensure that you receive the medical attention you need, the support you deserve, and the representation you depend on. When you suffer injury as a result of a car accident, you should have the freedom to concentrate on healing and resuming your life, not worrying about the legalities involved in filing a claim and being compensated for your losses and damages in the injury case.
Past Case Results
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you may have a legal right to seek financial compensation for your damages. To do this, you’ll need a skilled legal team of lawyers to pursue a civil lawsuit against the responsible party or parties. When you need a compassionate, experienced personal injury attorney with a proven track record of success who will fight for your best interests, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your options.
You can reach us in Denver at (720) 307-2666 or in Colorado Springs at (719) 644-7000 to learn more. Our offices are located in the Denver Tech Center at 7955 East Arapahoe Court, Suite 2375, Centennial, CO 80112, and in Colorado Springs in the Alamo Corporate Center located at 102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 1100. We look forward to working with you to help you receive fair and just compensation for your losses and damages.