What You Need to Settle a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, or are considering filing one, you need to engage in at least some self-education, even if you are appropriately represented by a Colorado personal injury lawyer. If nothing else, you need to be able to converse intelligently with your lawyer. Indeed, you need at least some basic information about a personal injury lawsuit, including what is involved in a settling a matter, in order to ask appropriate questions of your personal injury attorney.

At the heart of what is needed to settle a personal injury lawsuit is a consideration and examination of the theory of the case itself. This involves a consideration of the facts and applicable law which combine to answer the question as to why you are right in pressing a particular claim.

In order to settle a Colorado personal injury lawsuit, you need to know all of your damages. You need to have a reasonably accurate estimate of such damages as current and future medical bills, current and future lost wages, pain and suffering and any other losses sustained as the result of the negligence of someone else.

As part of the settlement process, you need to make sure that you have collected all relevant records – and redacted (removed or concealed) information that simply is not relevant to the case according to Colorado law. (The need for properly limiting the conveyance of irrelevant but potentially harmful information to the “other side” underscores the need for a capable, experienced Colorado personal injury lawyer.)

The lawyers at Harding & Associates have a proven track record of successfully settling cases on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys are available to meet with you if you have suffered a personal injury and can be reached at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500. There is no charge for an initial consultation.

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What to Look for (Specifically) When Hiring a Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer

The consequences of personal injuries sustained because of the negligence of someone else can be truly life altering. For this reason, if you or someone you love has been injured, you must be certain you engage the services of a qualified, experienced, effective Colorado personal injury attorney. The reality is that the blips of information on a television commercial simply is not sufficient to aid in making a wise decision about hiring a lawyer.

When seeking a Colorado personal injury lawyer, you need to keep a number of factors in mind. First, you need to make certain that a particular lawyer has experience in handling the type of claim you face. For example, car accident cases are different from other types of personal injury claims. Therefore, if you have been injured as the result of an auto accident, you must seek out an attorney with specific experience in dealing with automobile collision lawsuits.

In considering representation by a particular personal injury lawyer, you need to ascertain whether the attorney intends to communicate with you directly or will pass you off to a case administrator (or manager) or a paralegal (or legal assistant). Ideally, you need to engage a lawyer that communicates directly with a client and is responsive to calls and other communications from a client.

You are able to evaluate a Colorado personal injury attorney by scheduling what is known as an initial consultation. Most Colorado personal injury attorneys do not charge a fee for an initial consultation.

The lawyers at Harding & Associates are available to meet with you if you have suffered a personal injury. We can be reached at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500. There is no charge for an initial consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.

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Understanding an Insurance Company’s Case Evaluation Process

You must understand two important facts about insurance companies if you or a member of your family have sustained a personal injury and now need to make a claim. First, the typical large insurance company processes thousands of claims seeking compensation each and every year. Second, insurance companies do not – do not – like paying claims. Indeed, an insurance company’s number one priority is to make money for their shareholders (or minimize expenses incurred for members if the insurer is what is known as a mutual company).

With this in mind, as an individual making a claim against an insurance company, you need to have a basic understanding of the “risk analysis” an insurer undertakes in deciding when and for how much to settle a case. A number of factors come into play in this regard.

An insurance company examines the facts surrounding the incident that gave rise to the injuries in the first instance. Liability (or responsibility) for the injuries sustained are clearer in some cases than they are in others.

An insurance company also analyzes all laws that may have a bearing on a particular claim (as well as previous cases that may have a bearing on how your own matter will be resolved should the case proceed to trial).

Another crucial factor in an insurance company’s risk analysis is whether you have retained a Colorado personal injury attorney. Moreover, if you retained a lawyer, the insurance company also specifically considers which Colorado personal injury lawyer you actually engaged. The fact is that “not all personal injury attorneys are created equally.” The experience, reputation for success and tenacity of an individual attorney or law firm factors in on the willingness of an insurance company to settle a claim – and settle a claim for an appropriate amount – in order to avoid facing such a lawyer in a trial setting.

The lawyers at Harding & Associates have precisely the kind and extent of experience that make insurance companies not only take notice but to closely consider the risks involved in going to trial. Our attorneys are available to meet with you if you have suffered a personal injury and can be reached at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500. There is no charge for an initial consultation.

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Risks of Taking a Personal Injury Case to Trial

Films and television programs frequently feature dramatic trial scenes. Many times, these shows involve criminal trials. On other occasions, the trial scenes arise in personal injury cases. If you only had the entertainment industry as a source of information, you might understandably conclude that personal injury cases frequently end up in trials. In reality, more than 90 percent of all civil cases, including personal injury cases, are settled before they go to trial.

Attorneys (and associated professionals) that are well versed with the judicial system appreciate that a civil trial really is the last resort. Sophisticated professionals, including lawyers with a good amount of experience, understand that because of the inherent risks associated with a trial, every reasonable attempt should be made to settle a personal injury claim.

In the end, when a case goes to trial, a jury of so-called “peers” ultimately are in the position of making a final decision about your claim for compensation. Although every effort will be made to select the most favorable jury, in the end jury selection is more of an art and far from being a science.

In a good number of personal injury cases, there can exist some gray areas – either in regard to the facts or the law. What this means is that a jury reasonably could interpret an aspect of a case in a manner that does not align with the objectives of the injured party.

The attorneys at Harding & Associates are well versed in intelligently evaluating a case. In addition, our lawyers are adept at the settlement negotiation process. Insurance companies and other lawyers understand that we have this experience and tenacity. If you or a loved one has been injured, Harding & Associates schedules no-cost, no obligation initial consultations. You can schedule a consultation by calling 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500.

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Instructions Used by a Jury When Making a Decision in a Personal Injury Case

If you ever find yourself pursuing a personal injury claim, which results in a lawsuit being filed, it is important for you to understand generally the standard applied by a jury when rendering a verdict in this type of case. Of course, a qualified personal injury attorney – like those on the team at Harding & Associates – will advise you of the specifics associated with how a personal injury lawsuit “works.”

At the conclusion of a personal injury trial, a jury is presented with instructions by the judge. These instructions provide the standards and directives individual jurors are required to follow when making a decision regarding a case, when rendering a verdict. In fact, in Colorado, there exist standard jury instructions that are recommended for use in personal injury cases.

With that noted, attorneys for the parties to a personal injury case have the opportunity to suggest instructions to be used by the judge at the conclusion of a trial. In the end, a judge has the discretion to accept or decline any suggestions made by an attorney involved in a particular case. In addition, if the attorney for one party recommends a particular instruction, the attorney for the other party is provided an opportunity to object to that instruction.

Although there is no absolute set number of instructions provided to a jury in a particular case, jurors typically receive about 30 or so instructions from the judge. The judge actually reads the instructions to the jury before they retire for their deliberations. In addition, the jury is provided with a written copy of each instruction for reference during deliberations.

The lawyers at Harding & Associates are available to meet with you if you have suffered a personal injury. We can be reached at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500. There is no charge for an initial consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.

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When to Make a Statement Following an Accident

If you have been injured as the result of the negligence of another person, including as the result of an automobile accident, odds are you will be called upon to make a statement (or more than one statement). With that in mind, you need to understand when you should and should not make a statement if you have been injured as the result of the negligence of someone else.

The key to determining whether or not you should make a statement following an accident is considering who is requesting that you make one. If your own insurance company requests that you make a statement relating to an accident and your injury, you need to comply. However, if the other party’s insurance company requests a statement from you, do not agree.

In fact, Colorado law includes a provision that prevents the use in court proceedings of a statement you may make to the other person’s insurance company if it is provided within 15 days of an accident. Although this Colorado law does provide an injured person some protections, the best course to take when it comes to the aftermath of an accident caused because of someone else’s negligence is hiring a qualified Colorado personal injury lawyer.

Many people delay in retaining the services of a Colorado personal injury attorney, believing that they can handle more immediate matters associated with an accident. In fact, although an insurance company for the person who caused the accident may wait 15 days before seeking a statement, representatives of the company will not delay in attempting to hamper or limit your claim.

The sure way to protect your interests, when called upon to make a statement following an accident, is to schedule a consultation with the tenacious team of attorneys at Harding & Associates. We stand ready to meet your legal needs when it comes to this type of situation. We are happy to schedule a no-cost initial consultation with you at your convenience. Our legal team can be reached at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500.

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Understanding the Colorado Make Whole Law

A person injured because of the negligence of someone else may be able to take advantage of what in Colorado is known as the Make Whole Law. There are a number of ways in which the Colorado Make Whole Law can come into play in a particular case. Before divining into these elements of the law, it is important to note that effectively taking advantage of the Colorado Make Whole Law can be a complicated endeavor for a person who does not have a background in the law. In other words, the best way to protect a person’s rights and interests in the aftermath of an accident is retaining the services of a skilled, experienced Colorado personal injury attorney, like one on the legal team at Harding & Associates.

Subrogation and the Colorado Make Whole Law

Subrogation involves an insurance company claiming proceeds from a settlement or judgment associated with a personal injury claim to reimburse money it previously paid to the injured person. For example, if a health insurance company paid out $8,547 to cover medical bills of an insured injured in a car accident, that insurer may pursue subrogation to obtain a reimbursement of this amount from an ultimate settlement or judgment.

The Colorado Make Whole Law and Attorney Fees

Pursuant to the provision of the Colorado Make Whole Law, if an injured person hired an attorney, the amount sought by the insurance company will be offset by the fees paid to an attorney. For example, if attorney fees in a particular case ended up being $9,000, the health insurance company would not be entitled to any reimbursement under the Colorado Make Whole Law.

The Colorado Make Whole Law and Incomplete Compensation

If after a settlement is reached or a judgment is handed down in a case the injured person has not been fully compensated, the Colorado Make Whole also comes into play. For example, consider a situation in which $10,000 in losses remained outstanding even after a settlement or judgment in a particular case. In such a situation, the health insurance company will not be able to obtain a reimbursement of the $8,547 because the injured party was not fully compensated through the settlement or judgment for his or her injuries.

Professional Legal Assistance from Harding & Associates

A person dealing with the aftermath of a personal injury should schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer from Harding & Associates by calling 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500. There is no cost for an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney from Harding & Associates.

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Understanding the U.S. Jury System: What a Juror is Not Supposed to Know

The jury system frequently is portrayed on television programs as well as in films. While these productions do provide people with a glimpse at how a jury works, these portrayals are not always accurate. For example, when viewing these televisions shows and movies, a person might not realize that there are certain things that a member of a jury cannot know about. This reality exists in both criminal and civil cases.

Typically, before a claim seeking compensation for an injury caused by the negligence of someone else reaches the point that a trial commences, the parties to the dispute have spent what may very well have been a considerable amount of time in settlement negotiations. Through the settlement process, both sides in a case likely have proposed different dollar amounts in an attempt to reach a resolution of the case.

Members of a jury cannot be told about the settlement negotiations between the parties. For example, the attorney for an insurance company defending a claim cannot tell the jury that the insurer attempted to settle the claim or case with the injured person for a certain amount of money. Similarly, the attorney for the injured individual cannot tell the jury of his or her attempts at settling the case prior to the trial.

In addition to being prohibited from disclosing settlement negotiations, a jury additionally cannot be advised of the existence of insurance. For example, the attorney for the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit cannot tell the jury that the plaintiff received certain payments from an insurance company to cover some of the medical expenses incurred as the result of the accident. For example, some of the plaintiff’s medical care and treatment may have been covered by that individual’s health insurance policy in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Again, that information cannot be provided to a jury.

If you or a member of your family is dealing with the aftermath of an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, contact the experienced accident attorneys at Harding & Associates. We will schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with you to discuss your case. An appointment can be scheduled at your convenience by calling us at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500.

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Dealing with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company: Addressing Preexisting Conditions

A common problem following an automobile accident is the aggravation of a preexisting condition. In addition, a person may be more susceptible to being injured because of some sort of preexisting medical condition. If this describes you, and you recently have been in an accident, you may be wondering how to address your preexisting condition when it comes to dealing with an insurance claim. Specifically, you may be wondering what to do in regard to a preexisting condition when dealing with the other driver’s insurance automobile insurance company.

Following an accident, the other driver’s insurance company will contact you to take your statement. You need to appreciate that there exists no legal requirement for you to make any statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Moreover, as will be discussed a bit more in a moment, your interests are best served by engaging the services of an experienced personal injury attorney, like those on the legal team at Harding & Associates, before you ever consent to making any type of statement to the other driver’s insurance company.

With these points understood, your initial inclination may be to avoid talking about a preexisting condition. If you are like most consumers, you have hear stories of insurance companies denying claims for injuries based on the contention that the problem predated the accidents in question. While this is a possible scenario, it most definitely is not common. The reality is that very, very few people ever attempt to file a claim following an accident to obtain compensation for an injury or problem that occurred before the incident. The vast majority of people who file claims are merely trying to get the moneyh they are due.

What understandably is not readily apparent to most people is that the existence of a pre-existing condition actually is not a detriment to any claim you may need to file arising out a car accident. Because you may more easily be injured because of a pre-existing condition, because your injuries may end up being more extensive following a car accident because of a pre-existing condition, an at-fault driver and his or her insurance company may bear even greater responsibility for your injuries and damages.

If you do have pre-existing conditions, and have been involved in a car accident through no fault of your own, please call Harding & Associates to get a better picture of your rights and interests in this regard. We can be reached at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a skilled, experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and assist in developing a strategy to fight to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.

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Dealing with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company: Describing the Accident

Following a car accident in which you claim the other driver is at fault, you will be contacted by that individual’s automobile insurance company. The insurer will want to obtain a statement from you. You must keep in mind that you are under no legal obligation to make any type of statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Indeed, before you even consider making such a statement, you should first meet with a qualified car accident lawyer, like those on the experienced legal team at Harding & Associates, P.C.

One element associated with an insurance company statement is having you describe the circumstances surrounding the accident itself. While this may seem a very simple request on the surface, and information that you easily can provide, this is not usually the case.

If you elect to make a statement to the other driver’s insurance company, you must remember a few specific facts:

• The other driver’s insurance company will do everything possible to protect that individual’s interests.

• The other driver’s insurer will do everything imaginable to pay little or nothing on your valid claim.

• The other driver’s insurance carrier will not be above tricking you into stating things you do not mean during the course of interviewing you about the accident.

The illicit tactics and shenanigans oftentimes associated with an insurance company’s involvement in the settlement of claims many times is nowhere more pronounced than in an insurer’s efforts to get your statement regarding the circumstances of the accident itself. For example, the representative will do virtually anything possible to get you to agree to “things” that do not comport with the reality of the facts surrounding the car accident and which are statements against your own very real interests.
An important factor to bear in mind is that insurance companies can and do use any statement you make regarding the circumstances of the accident against you both during the claim settlement process as well as in a court of law should the case be litigated. This reality, as unfair and inappropriate as it is, underscores the fact that you best protect your rights and interests by engaging the services of skilled, experienced and no-nonsense personal injury lawyers. The tenacious team Harding & Associates stands ready and able to meet your legal needs when it comes to this type of situation.
We are happy to schedule a no-cost initial consultation with you at your convenience to discuss your case and to begin developing a strategy for you. Our legal team can be reached at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500.

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