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Settlements for claims involving neck and back injuries due to a car accident in Colorado vary considerably. A variety of details are used to calculate the value of a settlement, and these details are different for every person and every case. However, an experienced Colorado car accident lawyer can help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury after a car accident and you want to seek compensation, you do not have to go through the process alone. Call the Colorado injury attorneys of Zinda Law Group at (512) 246 2224 for a free consultation. If we don't reach a favorable settlement in your case, you won't owe us anything.
How the Parties Value a Potential Case
Neck and back injuries suffered in a car accident can be serious health concerns, but each individual case is unique, so a number of factors are considered when attempting to determine the appropriate compensation for these injuries, also known as valuing. Valuing takes into account not only economic damages such as medical bills but also accounts for pain and suffering damages that may be applicable. The valuing process includes:
- Determining how much the party at fault may be willing or able to pay, and
- Determining the amount that would be acceptable to the victim or person bringing the claim.
Both sides will attempt to estimate these figures and use them to reach a settlement. Many factors go into these estimates, including:
Nature of the Injury
The nature of the neck or back injury will be an important factor in determining compensation. Neck or back injuries can vary from something as relatively minor as a sprain or whiplash, to something as major as a fracture or spinal trauma.
Severity of the Injury
The severity of the injury will also impact the value of potential compensation. An injury that requires major treatments such as surgery or extended periods of physical therapy to ensure a proper recovery may receive larger compensation than less severe injuries.
Length of Injury
The length of time it takes to recover from an injury will also be considered. An injury that requires multiple surgeries and treatments or months, even years of physical therapy will have a considerable impact on potential compensation estimates.
Likelihood of At-Fault Party’s Liability
In attempting to determine potential compensation for a neck or back injury caused by a car accident, the likelihood that a jury will find the defendant, or party being sued, liable for the accident will play a major role. If there is a chance that a jury may find that fault is shared, or fault cannot be determined, this could negatively impact the amount of compensation in a future settlement.
The Type of Treatment Matters
When it comes to treating injuries, not all treatments are valued equally by insurers. Treatments under the care of a doctor, such as surgery, are given more weight by insurers than treatments such as physical therapy, especially if the therapy is conducted outside of the doctor's office or care. This means that when estimating medical damages, insurers are likely to offer less compensation for treatments such as physical therapy than treatment performed by a physician.
Insurers claim that these treatments are often unnecessary or needlessly drawn out. Insurers may also offer less compensation for diagnostic costs. These costs are often lumped in with the cost of treatment and may represent a small portion of the cost.
However, if your doctor must spend more time and resources to determine the extent of your injuries, such as conducting tests or consulting with specialists, it can be quite expensive, even if the treatment is relatively simple. Insurers will often offer lower compensation amounts for these services.
When it comes to what insurers consider to be “alternative medicine,” such as treatments by chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and other non-physician healers, insurers are likely to offer even less compensation for these services.
Circumstances That Influence Higher Settlements
While the injuries you may have sustained provide the basis for your compensation claim, there are other factors not related to your injuries that may also influence the amount of your settlement, such as:
In any personal injury case, liability and negligence must be proven. If liability is not in question or is easily proven, you are much more likely to seek more compensation for your damages. If liability is in question, or cannot be proven, the amount of compensation offered may be much lower.
Amount of Insurance Available
The insurance coverage provided by the at-fault driver can also influence compensation. If the at-fault driver has little or no coverage, your compensation may be capped at the amount of coverage available, though you may be able to pursue a claim through an uninsured motorist policy of your own or through a suit against the at-fault party to the extent the party may have the personal ability to pay any judgment.
Levels of Liability
In some accidents, such as those involving a cargo truck, there may be multiple levels of liability. You may be able to pursue your claim against the driver of the truck, its owner, the company operating it, or the company responsible for loading it. As more layers of liability are added, the amount of insurance coverage available may rise, and potentially raise the amount of compensation you are able to seek.
Every car accident injury represents a unique set of circumstances. Different cases will involve different parties, a variety of different injuries, and varying degrees with which those injuries impact their lives. The financial burden placed on victims as well as the impact on their quality of life and their pain and suffering are taken into account when attempting to estimate possible compensation.
It is important to remember that every case is unique and may result in different amounts of compensation received. Every case has its own unique details that can impact the total amount of potential compensation, and no two injuries are identical, as their severity and effect can differ according to a host of variables, such as medical history, occupation, physical differences, and similar factors.
These are usually the easiest to estimate, as these are based on objective and quantifiable damages.
These will include the cost of any medical treatment you have received or may receive in the future for the injuries suffered from the car accident.
This includes any damage to your vehicle or other property.
Lost wages include time missed from work as a result of your car accident as well as for the loss of future earnings if your injuries prevent you from going back to work or being able to continue working at the same level.
These are much more difficult to predict with certainty, as they are not based on set figures, such as bills, but rather subjective criteria, such as pain and suffering. There are many factors that may impact the compensation for pain and suffering, and these factors will vary case by case, depending on the types and severity of injuries, as well as the impact these injuries have on the quality of life of the victim. If an injury causes detriment to a victim’s day-to-day life, this can possibly increase the amount of compensation a victim receives.
However, pre-existing neck and back injuries may negatively impact the compensation you could potentially seek, as the accident may not be entirely responsible for the loss of quality of life.
Why Hire a Lawyer
Car accidents can be traumatic events, causing the victim to incur heavy financial burdens due to medical treatment or the loss of income due to inability to work. These accidents may also decrease the quality of life of victims, making it difficult or impossible to do the things they may have previously enjoyed.
Seeking compensation for these damages can be difficult, however. Insurers work hard to make sure they pay as little as possible and have their own lawyers to help them to this end. By hiring an experienced Colorado car accident lawyer, you can level the playing field and ensure that you have the best chance to secure the compensation you may be entitled to.
An experienced Colorado car accident attorney will help you to navigate the intricacies of pursuing a claim against the insurance companies. Your attorney will investigate your accident and help you to determine the damages for which you may be able to seek compensation.
Damages from injuries are not just about medical expenses and lost income, and your attorney will help you discover what compensation you may be able to seek for elements such as pain and suffering as well as the medical costs, property damage, and lost income.
How to Seek Compensation with a Lawyer
1. Contact an Attorney
Car accidents can cause severe injuries, and this can result in large medical bills, loss of income from inability to work, as well as pain and agony. If you have been injured due to a car accident, you should contact an experienced Colorado car wreck lawyer. Your attorney can help guide you through the process of claiming compensation and help you to secure a settlement
After you have hired an attorney, they will immediately begin to investigate your accident. They will gather evidence to help determine liability and whether negligence may have been involved in the accident.
3. Determining Damages
Your attorney will gather information to help determine what compensation you may be entitled to. This will include your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. They will be able to help you arrive at an estimate of the amount of compensation you may be able to claim, based on the details of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and other personal details regarding your experience.
Once your lawyer has arrived at an amount estimated to compensate you for your injuries and damages, they will present the claim to the insurer. The insurer, meanwhile, will perform their own calculations to determine what they believe to be the proper amount of compensation. The insurer will counter with a claim amount suggested by these calculations. Your lawyer and the insurer will attempt to negotiate until a settlement agreeable to both parties can be reached.
If a settlement cannot be reached, and both parties are unable to agree upon a settlement amount, the case may go to trial, where a jury will decide on the appropriate size of the settlement, if any.
Legal Time Limits
States set a statute of limitations, which limit the amount of time that may pass before you are no longer eligible to file a claim. In Colorado, the statute of limitations regarding filing a personal injury claim involving a car accident is three years. This means that you have three years in which to file a claim, and after those three years, any claim you file may be dismissed.
OUR CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS WILL FIGHT FOR YOU
At Zinda Law Group, our car accident attorneys have vast experience representing car crash victims nationwide. Our trucking attorneys will provide you with experienced legal advice while working work diligently to reach a fair and just resolution of your claim.
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