Longmont Personal Injury Lawyers
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Personal injury cases relate to a wide variety of lawsuits. Generally, personal injury lawsuits revolve around an accident that was caused by someone else. If you were injured through no fault of your own, the person responsible for your injuries should be held financially responsible for your recovery.
A personal injury lawyer in Longmont can help you assess your claim and explain what your legal options are. There are many factors involved in a personal injury claim, but an experienced Colorado personal injury lawyer will know how to handle them all and can help you recover the maximum settlement amount possible.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the fault of someone else, call our personal injury attorneys in Longmont, Colorado, at Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation.
the basic structure of personal injury cases
Most personal injury claims are brought under a legal theory called negligence. Negligence has four main elements, all of which must be proven to be successful in your claim. As the victim and the one claiming injury, you have the burden of proving that the other party harmed you.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is a legal term; negligence occurs when a person fails to act as a reasonable person would have under the same or similar circumstances. Sometimes there are standards for how a person should act depending on social situations, employment or industry standards, or set by law. The standard of care can also vary depending on who the parties are, their relationship to one another, where the actions took place, and the surrounding circumstances.
Some examples of standards in society include a physician’s duty to keep a patient safe and reasonably informed of all medical risks. Other examples include traffic laws meant to keep drivers on the road safe, such as speed limits and it being illegal to drive while under the influence. If a person chooses to violate the law and they cause injury to you as a result, they can be held liable for their negligence; alternatively, if a person did not violate any law, but he or she was acting in a manner that was not reasonable, they may be liable to you for negligence for causing harm to you.
The four main elements of negligence are:
1. There was a duty owed to you.
2. That duty was breached.
3. The breach caused your injuries.
4. You were actually injured or financially harmed in some way.
Many accidents cause personal injury to someone and therefore fall under the personal injury category of lawsuits. Some cases can become complex and the assistance of an experienced attorney would be helpful. A Colorado injury attorney will be knowledgeable about the local laws and be able to provide greater assistance than would an attorney who lives in another state.
common types of personal injury lawsuits
Accidents can happen no matter how careful you are because you cannot control the actions of others. Many accidents could be the basis of a negligence claim. Call one of our Longmont, CO, injury attorneys if any of the below have happened to you:
- Bicycle accident
- Car accident
- Dog bite or attack
- Drunk driving accident
- Exposure to toxic or harmful chemicals or materials
- Gas explosion
- Injury from using a defective product, device, food, or drug
- Injury occurring on another person’s property
- Medical malpractice
- Mesothelioma diagnosis
- Motorcycle accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Slip and fall accident
- Truck accident
- Workplace accident
- Wrongful death
how do I know if i need a personal injury attorney?
Before worrying about whether you can prove the four elements discussed above, the two main questions you should ask yourself to determine whether or not you need a personal injury attorney are:
1. Was the accident caused by someone else?
2. Do you have injuries or damages?
If you were harmed because of someone else’s actions or failure to act to keep you safe, then they may be liable to you for any harm you suffered; liability means that they are legally responsible. Injuries are usually referred to as damages and include personal harm, damage to personal property, and any out-of-pocket financial costs in dealing with your injuries. A personal injury claim is meant to allow victims a way to financially recover for harm that was out of their control and makes the responsible party compensate them for their damages.
Colorado follows a “comparative negligence” statute. This means that if you contributed to your injuries or were partially responsible, this does not bar your claim in Colorado; some states will bar your claim if you contributed to your injuries by being negligent. As long as your negligence, if any, does not exceed the negligence of the person you want compensation from, you will be able to seek a claim for personal injury compensation.
Colorado law requires that the judge or jury evaluate the negligence of each party; the negligence is measured by a percentage. Even if you are partially responsible for the accident, you still have a valid claim for negligence so long as you are not more responsible than the other party. A personal injury attorney in Longmont will be able to assist you with your claim if you were harmed due to the negligence of someone else.
what types of damages are recoverable?
To be successful in your personal injury claim, you must have suffered some form of damages; this can be from physical injury or it can be from the damage of personal property. Any costs associated with the accident is potentially recoverable. Any future damages that result from the accident such as long-term care are also recoverable.
The most common damages that are recoverable are for physical injuries, but lost wages and compensation for mental distress are also common. Some accidents may cause you to experience a reduced quality of life and you may feel emotional distress in dealing with life after an accident; these are all factors that your personal injury attorney will consider when negotiating your settlement amount.
Some damages will be easy to prove, such as hospital visits and treatment; these can usually be proven by bills or receipts. If you missed work due to your injuries, this can easily be calculated as well by determining how many days of work were lost and how much in wages were expected. Other damages might not be as easy to prove.
Damages that are subjective and personal to the victim such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life are harder to calculate. Proof of therapy sessions may help, and therefore recovering the costs for these damages would be easier to prove. An experienced personal injury attorney will work with you to understand your case and help come up with a settlement that is fair for all your damages.
other factors to consider when filing a personal injury claim
If you choose to file a personal injury claim, there are a few other factors to remember to ensure your best chance at financial recovery. Two main factors to remember are to file on time and to preserve your claim for court. Your Longmont, CO, injury lawyer can help you with both of these.
Filing on Time
There is a deadline for filing personal injury cases called the statute of limitations; in Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case depends on the type of accident. For all personal injury cases except for car accidents, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury; this includes any negligence claim such as slip and falls to dog bites. For car accidents, the deadline for filing a lawsuit in Colorado is three years from the date of the accident.
If you miss the deadline to file, you will not be able to recover for any damages and must pay for everything out of pocket. There are a few exceptions that allow filing after the deadline has passed, such as if the injured person is mentally incompetent or under the age of 18 at the time of the accident. In these rare situations, the statute of limitations will “toll” or stop running until the injured person turns 18 or the mental competency is restored.
Preserving Your Claim for Court
You should also take special care to preserve your claim for court; this means not doing or saying something that could jeopardize your ability to recover. For example, avoid posting details about your accident to social media or talking to too many people other than your attorney. The other party or insurance claims adjusters could take something you said out of context or use your words against you to avoid paying you.
Be sure to follow up with your physician and complete all recommended treatment to avoid delays in your recovery. Do not go back to work until your doctor has cleared you for those activities, and keep records of treatment so that you have proof of it.
Get Help from colorado injury attorneys
At Zinda Law Group, we can help you find the best personal injury lawyer in Longmont, Colorado. We are experienced and have handled many cases involving victims of personal injury accidents; we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and to help recover the best possible outcome for your case.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our Longmont personal injury lawyers in Colorado. You will pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.