If the accident was the fault of the other driver, you will need to collect the name of his/her insurance company, claim and/or policy number. A copy of your police report is a good way to locate this information. If you have Med-Pay on your insurance policy, your insurance company will be responsible for the payment of your medical bills up to your policy limit.
B. Legal Rights:
If you are injured in a car accident due to the fault of another driver, you are entitled to assert a claim for bodily injury against their insurance company. This includes seeking reimbursement for your medical bills, lost wages, damages for pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional stress, impairment of the quality of life, physical impairment and disfigurement.
IMPORTANT: You have exactly three years from the date of your accident to settle your claim with the insurance company or file a lawsuit. Failure to settle or file suit by this date will result in the total loss of your legal rights in the claim.
C. Medical Treatment & Bills:
Most importantly, you will want to seek immediate and appropriate medical care for your injuries. You will want to submit all medical bills to our office as a result of the accident. For example, you would submit bills for the ambulance, emergency room and physical therapy. If you do not have health insurance or Med-Pay on your insurance policy and you are unable to pay for the bills as they are incurred, we can refer you to a treatment provider that treats on a lien basis, which means that they will treat you and not require payment until your case has settled.
Upon completion of your medical care, our office will gather together all of your medical records, medical bills, and related accident documentation. Mark will prepare these documents along with a comprehensive legal analysis and submit this information as a demand to the insurance company.
E. Fees and Costs:
Mark Simon works on a contingency fee basis, charging a percentage of the total settlement amount, at the end of your settlement. Therefore, we have an incentive to get the most for your case. Should you decide to proceed with a lawsuit, Mark will notify you of additional potential costs. You are not required to put any money down and any costs covered by our office will be recovered out of your final settlement.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What if the driver that hit me doesn’t have insurance?
A: You will need to determine if you have purchased Uninsured Motorist Coverage applicable to you. Uninsured Motorist Coverage allows the insurance company to fill in for the other driver’s insurance company and pay your medical bills and damages. You may also be eligible for Uninsured Motorist Coverage through a resident relative.
Q: How long does it take to reach a settlement?
A: After you have finished with your medical care, our office will begin creating your demand for submission to the insurance company. Once the demand has been submitted to the insurance company, it can take from 4 – 6 weeks for an initial offer of settlement from the insurance company. Mark will continue negotiations until an acceptable offer of settlement is reached, with your permission. If the insurer doesn’t resolve your claim, you have the option of having us file a lawsuit to recover your damages.
Q: Will the other driver’s insurance pay for my medical care?
A: The other driver’s insurance company is responsible for the payment of your medical bills resulting from the accident at the end of your claim. They are not responsible for paying your bills as they are incurred. If you had health insurance or Med-Pay coverage on your insurance policy at the time of the accident, Mark can submit your medical bills to your insurance company.
Q: How much is my case worth?
A: The insurance company evaluates your case based on the following items among others: 1) the nature of your injuries and permanent impairment, 2) property damage, 3) the total amount of medical bills, 4) length and type of treatment, 5) lost wages or vocational impairment, 6) expenses, and 7) factors such as pain, suffering, emotional stress and inconvenience. The ultimate value of your case also revolves around the policy limit of the other driver. In Colorado, drivers are required to have a minimum of $25,000.00 liability coverage; many drivers have more coverage and you may have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage under your insurance. ANY ATTORNEY WHO TELLS YOU THEY CAN DETERMINE THE VALUE OF YOUR CLAIM WITHOUT COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION OF YOUR INJURIES AND ALL OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ACCIDENT IS MISLEADING YOU.
Q: What do I do if the insurance company is offering me less than my case is worth or refuses to settle?
A: If you feel that the insurance company is offering you a settlement less than the value of your case, your option is to file a suit against the other driver or insurance company.
Q: Am I entitled to future medical benefits after I settle with the insurance company?
A: If you do not have health insurance or Med-Pay coverage, once you sign settlement paperwork, you are not entitled to future medical benefits or reimbursement for medical costs, so it is important not to settle your case prematurely.
Mark A. Simon, Attorney at Law proudly serves clients from his office in Denver, Colorado. Contact him for representation in Aurora, Centennial, Northglenn, or Lakewood.