In our previous blog, we looked at some of the essential steps you should take if you have been in a car accident. These steps are important to ensure your safety and well-being, as well as to ensure that you are compensated appropriately by the insurance companies. Of course, injuries can occur outside of auto accidents — and, just like auto accidents, these events can be overwhelming, frightening, and stressful. There are important steps for you to take so that you get what you deserve.
In today’s blog, we will take a look at eight important steps to take if you’ve been injured. Unlike our previous post about auto accidents, these are important steps to take in seeking appropriate compensation for your injuries, including seeking out a personal injury attorney. In any case, priority number one should always be ensuring your own safety and the safety of others. Be sure to seek appropriate medical care for any injuries you may have sustained.
Now, let’s take a look at some other important steps to take. And, as always, be sure to reach out to Hadfield Stieben & Doutt with any questions you may have. We have a team of trusted personal injury attorneys who will help you get what you deserve. Contact our office in Fort Collins to learn more.
What Constitutes a Personal Injury?
If you’ve recently been hurt, you might be wondering if your situation justifies making a claim and seeking compensation. So, what exactly counts as a personal injury? Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy answer to this question. Things quickly become complicated due to the fact that every situation brings with it unique variables.
Just because there might not be a simple answer as to whether or not your situation demands a personal injury attorney, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t important things for you to do. Luckily, HSD Law offers free consultations for this exact reason. This leads us into the first step in making your plan after an injury.
1. Schedule a Consultation
As we mentioned, each case is unique. This is why we offer no-obligation consultations with our personal injury attorneys. A consultation will allow us to go over the specifics of your case and decide on what will be the best route to take. This is a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. It is, in short, an opportunity for us to get to know each other and decide what to do going forward.
This consultation will consist of going over your concerns, answering your questions, and, of course, going into some detail as to what occurred when you or your loved one was harmed. After going over those details, we will also give you an idea of what you can expect from our team of personal injury lawyers. For instance, we will discuss what the plan will need to be in order for you to obtain your recovery. This will then lead to an estimated timeline of the case. We want to be able to give you a sense of how long the case will take, from beginning to end.
Our team tries to be as flexible and accommodating as possible. Many of our consultations take place in our office, but we are also able to do consultations over the phone. There are situations where you may not be able to commute to our office — sometimes due to the very injury that you are contacting us about. Not to worry. We can also meet at your location. After our free consultation, it will be up to you if you want to hire us to pursue your case. If you decide to pursue the case, then we will next . . .
2. Work Out Representation
The last thing that anyone needs after suffering from an injury is to be inundated with calls, emails, and letters from insurance companies, claims adjusters, lawyers, and others. This can make an already-stressful situation all the more overwhelming. On top of that, you will have to be vigilant of potential scammers trying to take advantage of your situation. You shouldn’t have to deal with any of that.
When working with us, we will contact the insurance companies, claims adjusters, and lawyers to ensure that all future communication about your case will go through us first. Moving forward, you won’t have to deal with that barrage of calls and emails. If a situation does arise where you must give a statement about your case, our personal injury attorneys will guide you and advise you. We will be there with you every step of the way.
On top of all of this, you will not pay us any attorney’s fees while your case is pending. At HSD Law we offer contingent fee agreements for personal injury cases, and an attorney can discuss the details with you during your free consultation. This means that we don’t collect fees unless we win your case. We only collect fees from money that we recover in your case. If we don’t recover anything, then we don’t get paid any fees. After resolving your case, our fees are paid using a portion of the settlement. The exact split varies from attorney to attorney, so it is important to read your fee agreement closely and discuss it with the attorney. You can learn more about our fees by visiting our FAQ page. After working out representation, we will then . . .
3. Begin Investigating Your Case
Now that you won’t have to deal with the calls and emails from claims adjusters and insurance companies, our next step is to start building the strongest case possible. In order to do this, our personal injury attorneys will start to investigate and obtain as much evidence as possible to support your claim. We are meticulous and detail-oriented in order to ensure that you get what you deserve.
Our investigations involve several steps, including the following:
- Obtaining incident reports
- Interviewing witnesses
- Interviewing police and other people who investigated the incident
- Inspecting and photographing the scene of the incident
- Inspecting and photographing physical evidence involved in the incident
In addition to these essential steps, we will notify anyone who may have evidence revolving around your case to ensure that they preserve it. It’s important that we obtain medical records and any relevant bills as well. Through this investigative process, we will also determine any parties who may be liable for your injuries (or any other damages). After these initial investigations, we will then determine if we need to . . .
4. Seek Out Expert Involvement
Part of our ongoing research to gather evidence to support your claim comes through consultation with experts. This ensures that the information we have gathered is as concrete and detailed as possible.
We will want to consult with your doctors regarding the nature of your injuries, including the potential for ongoing care or risks of permanent impairment. And, as we’ve said, each case is unique, so we will seek out any other experts who might be beneficial to your case. This could include crash reconstructionists, expert witnesses, or other medical professionals. After putting together the details of your case and consulting with appropriate experts, we will then . . .
5. Attempt Settlement
Statistically, the majority of cases will be settled without needing to involve the courts. This is typically a desirable outcome. This is accomplished when we present the evidence of your case to the at-fault party and the relevant insurance companies. Together, we will decide on a fair amount of monetary compensation to request from the at-fault party and insurance company.
Typically, this will result in the settlement of your case. At this point, your claim will be resolved and we turn to reimbursement obligations. However, there are times when an out-of-court settlement cannot be reached. This can happen if the at-fault party refuses to pay you a fair amount. In these cases, you may need to pursue . . .
In situations where a settlement is not able to be reached, then you might need to file a lawsuit to get a fair recovery. Ultimately, this will be your decision to make. Of course, our personal injury attorneys will use their extensive experience to advise you as to the fairness of any offers that are made. You make the final decision whether or not to pursue litigation or go to court.
Luckily, going to court is rarely required. As mentioned, the majority of cases reach a settlement without a trial. Deals can be reached, and we’re here to ensure that you’re able to get a fair settlement. Even after litigation begins, it still usually takes many months to over a year before the case actually goes to trial. Most cases that enter litigation are settled prior to trial. If a settlement has been reached, then our next step is to help assist with . . .
7. Reimbursement Obligations
Our personal injury attorneys will be in communication with your health insurance company and any other insurers that paid for your medical treatment. We will negotiate on your behalf to get them to waive or reduce their reimbursement claim as much possible — all so you can take home more of your recovered money.
The reason why we will be negotiating on your behalf is because health insurance companies and medical providers have the right to be repaid from the recovered money in a process known as subrogation. Failure to pay the medical providers and insurance companies could lead you to being sued for payment. But you rarely have to pay 100% of the reimbursement claim. It’s too often the case that people are not made aware of the discounts they are entitled to in these situations. That’s where our personal injury attorneys come in. You can learn more about subrogation by visiting our glossary of terms.
After all of this, we finally arrive at the final step of your plan. All that’s left is . . .
8. Collecting Your Disbursement
This is the part where you collect the check. Our personal injury attorneys have helped you get the compensation you are entitled to and all of the issues have been resolved. There are no more obligations. You can count your case as officially closed.
Contacting Our Fort Collins Personal Injury Attorneys
This is a very basic overview of the plan of action that you can count on after a personal injury. We can provide legal assistance for a variety of potential injuries, including the following:
In addition to personal injuries, we can also help assist with any insurance disputes that you might run into. You can learn more and have some of your questions answered by visiting our FAQ page. We also have a helpful glossary for clarifying any legal terms you may have come across.
In the end, there’s no better way to have your questions answered and to figure out the best ways to proceed than scheduling a free consultation. Hadfield Stieben & Doutt is here to help you every step of the way. If you or a loved one has been harmed, then contact our Fort Collins office today.