Fort Collins, CO’s Trusted Car Accident Attorneys
Victims of automobile accidents that result in personal injuries need a car accident lawyer they can trust to help them collect compensation to pay for their medical bills, car rental, and other expenses. Hadfield Stieben Doutt is your source for car accident lawyers in Fort Collins, CO, and we serve clients throughout Northern Colorado. If you’re involved in an auto accident, it can be stressful to deal with the pain and anguish of injuries and the substantial costs of treating your medical needs, fixing your car, and dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Before you settle for less than you deserve, let us work with you to determine how to proceed and what compensation you should expect from your claim.
How Auto Accidents Happen
Auto accidents occur frequently, and they can result in people getting seriously injured. A car accident can happen due to many reasons, including distracted driving, an inattentive driver, sun glare issues, driver fatigue, and traffic congestion. HSD Law handles many types of auto accidents, such as the following:
- Auto v. Auto
- Auto v. Truck
- Truck v. Truck
- Auto v. Bicycle
- Auto v. Pedestrian
Steps to Take if You Are in an Auto Accident
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, there are steps you need to take so that you can preserve your personal injury claim and obtain the appropriate treatment for your injuries. Consider the following if you find yourself harmed in a traffic collision:
- Seek medical treatment for your injuries. At the scene of the accident, get checked out if you feel you’ve sustained an injury. If you feel pain after the accident, seek follow-up treatment with your primary doctor, an emergency room, or a local urgent care facility. In many cases, the rush of adrenaline from the incident will numb your pain at the collision scene. Getting treatment after an accident is common for accident victims since that’s when they may start to feel pain. Every accident is different, and so is each person involved. However, seeking treatment when you feel you need it is an important action to take.
- Document all the facts. Contact the local authorities so that you can make a report and document information pertaining to the person responsible for the accident. Follow up with the responding agency to obtain an accident report. Make sure you write down anything you observed, collect statements from people who witnessed the accident, and obtain photographs. Keeping a pain journal if you experience pain can be helpful.
- Gather potential evidence. Keeping track of your incurred expenses resulting from the accident is important. Hold on to receipts from rental cars, personal property replacement, prescriptions, medical treatment, and other costs. They can be helpful when you present your case to the insurance company.
- Don’t speak with the at-fault person’s insurance company. They will want information from you shortly after the accident, including you providing a statement in person or over the phone. They will also ask you to sign releases for your medical records, and the insurance company will evaluate the claim quickly to close it and offer you a low settlement. You’re not obligated to cooperate with them, and doing so can even work against you. If you settle your claim early, you’re forfeiting certain rights, and you may settle without understanding the injuries you’ve sustained and whether you’ve reached your maximum medical improvement. Call the experienced attorneys at Hadfield Stieben Doutt before speaking with the insurance company.
- Hire an attorney. Injuries resulting from an auto accident can change your life. The paperwork alone is a time-consuming process, and the insurance company will shortchange you. When you settle any personal injury claim, you have obligations to your health insurance company that the at-fault party’s insurance company won’t explain to you. This can lead to you owing money to your health insurance company after the claim is closed. Our car accident attorneys have ample experience helping clients navigate their personal injury claims to ensure they are protected and compensated.
What Types of Compensation Can I Recover?
The types of compensation that apply to your claim depend on the circumstances pertaining to your case. Your personal injury case can include one or many types of compensation to cover your expenses. You may receive payment to cover your medical bills, including any future healthcare costs related to your injury from the accident. Compensation may also be justifiable to fix or replace your vehicle after the collision has damaged it. If you can no longer work or had to miss work due to the accident, we can help you collect lost wages. Your pain and suffering from an injury caused by an accident may warrant compensation. In extreme cases that involve the at-fault party committing severe misconduct, you might be eligible for punitive damages.
When to Get an Attorney After an Accident
You need to speak with an attorney as quickly as possible following an automotive accident, even if you start with a free consultation. Our experienced car accident attorneys will thoroughly assess your case and explain the types of damages to which you may be entitled. Having an experienced attorney helping you also takes the pressure off as we manage communication with the party at-fault, insurance companies, your health-care provider, and the billing department. Before the evidence fades and witnesses start to forget what they saw, we’ll want to launch an investigation that covers all the details of the accident.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After an Accident?
Under Colorado law, the simple answer is that you have three years from the date of the collision to settle your claim or file a lawsuit and seek compensation. Your best chance of collecting the appropriate funds to cover your pain, anguish, and expenses comes by contacting a lawyer quickly. When you work with an experienced auto accident lawyer from Hadfield Stieben Doutt, we’ll start working on your claim right away to build a strong case. Our goal is to ensure you get the best outcome by pursuing the at-fault party, their insurance company, or another avenue to seek compensation.
How Does Negligence Factor into My Car Accident Case?
Colorado drivers are all responsible for their individual actions and behaviors while on the road. They owe a duty of care to fellow drivers to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly to protect the welfare of themselves and other motorists on the road. When a negligent driver fails to honor that duty, and a car accident happens that injures another person, that driver is responsible for the fallout and can be held liable for damages. There are many examples of negligence while behind the wheel, including the following:
- Drowsy Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Driving While Under the Influence
- Road Rage
- Failing to Yield
- Wrong-Way Drivers
Potential Claims & Sources of Recovery
It’s not so simple to resolve your personal injury claim. There may be ways for you to recover compensation outside of the insurance carrier for the at-fault party. You may have coverage from your own insurance policy that applies to your personal injury claim, even if you’re not at fault for the accident. This type of coverage is called underinsured or uninsured coverage. Your car insurance policy may also include medical payments coverage, which can pay some of your medical bills that result from the accident. You might not get adequate compensation if you try to settle the claim without upholding your right to seek coverage under your own insurance policy. We can help you determine whether you have the necessary coverage and if it applies to your personal injury claim. Similarly, the party responsible for the accident may have additional information that they don’t realize or disclose that applies to your claim. This information is important if your personal injury claim’s value exceeds the limits of the applicable insurance policy. Hadfield Stieben & Doutt auto accident lawyers are here to help you collect the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to get professional legal help on your claim from an automobile accident.