Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions

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Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions

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Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions

Answers from Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney

Have Questions About Your Case, Look Here

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Denver accident caused by the negligence of another individual, it is important to obtain guidance from an experienced Denver accident lawyer at our law firm. We understand that this is likely a very frustrating and difficult time for you, which is why we offer experienced, accessible accident representation. Our personal injury law firm can answer your questions pertaining surrounding your personal injury accident. Whether you have been injured from a defective product or the negligent driving of a drunk driver, it is important to get all of your questions answered as thoroughly as necessary.

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General Personal Injury Law Questions

  • 1) Should I accept a check from the insurance company of the liable party?
  • 2) What are the initial steps I should take after a personal injury?
  • 3) What if I am partially at fault for the accident?
  • 4) What is a "mass tort" or an "MDL"?
  • 5) What is a third party lawsuit?
  • 6) What is Colorado's statute of limitations? (video)
  • 7) Will the physicians wait for payment if I cannot pay my bills?

It is important to retain an experienced attorney's legal assistance if you are being pressured by the at-fault driver's insurance company. Their primary objective is to settle for the minimum amount. For that reason, you should retain the legal representation of a Denver personal injury lawyer who can speak with the insurance company on your behalf. It is helpful to wait to settle the case until your lawyer has become an active participant in your case.

The very first step you should take after sustaining injuries from an accident caused by another's reckless or negligent behavior is to obtain medical attention. It is important to follow the doctor's suggestions and take the necessary steps to recovery. You should be keeping a clear record of your time missed from work. You should also look into contacting an attorney from our firm to help you achieve the best results.

In Colorado, there is a comparative negligence/contributory fault statute. The statute basically says that you can still recover some compensation even if you were partially at fault. In most cases, you will not be able to recover compensation if you were more than 50 percent at fault. However, if you were 20 percent at fault, you could recover up to 80 percent (the other party's percentage of fault).

Mass torts and MDLs are similar, but not the same. A mass tort is a type of civil action involving multiple plaintiffs. These are common in dangerous prescription drug cases or in product liability cases. These can be filed in either state or federal court. Multi-district litigation (MDL) is a federal legal procedure for complex civil actions involving people in multiple districts who are all bringing a similar claim against the same party or parties.

In the context of workers' compensation and injuries at the workplace, a third party lawsuit is a lawsuit filed by the employee against a party other than their employer, aka a "third" party. Say, for example, a construction worker was injured on the job involving a nail gun. The construction worker could collect workers' comp from his work insurance and also file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the nail gun in a product liability case.

Every state has a time period in which the individual bringing a personal injury claim can file. The state of Colorado has a two year limit that begins the day the injury takes place. This statute of limitations means that every individual who has been injured through the negligence of another individual will have two years to file a personal injury claim.

In many cases, there will not be the need for immediate payment to your medical bills if the case is not completed and the compensation has not been released. It is important to inform medical providers that you have no insurance or do not have the means to pay off medical bills. Once the case is finally resolved through settlement or verdict, you can pay the medical providers. In many circumstances, the compensation funds can be obtained within one to two weeks after the release has been signed. Large settlement cases can take longer.

Going to Trial Questions

  • 1) How time-consuming will trial be for me?
  • 2) What, if anything should I tell friends, family, or boss?
  • 3) What's expected of me during trial?
  • 4) How should I dress?
  • 5) How do we pick a jury?
  • 6) Can my family attend and watch?
  • 7) What do I do if I see a juror?
  • 8) Will I get a chance to tell my story?

All cases are unique in this regard. Generally, in the month before trial, you should expect to field one to two calls per week from my staff or me. It may be just a quick call to ask you to inform friends on the witness list that I will be calling them. Also, I may call you to discuss trail strategy. On average, expect to spend about an hour per week on the phone with a paralegal or me in the month before trial.

Expect at least one in-person meeting with me, usually on the Saturday or Sunday before trial. Oftentimes, that meeting will include witnesses like your friends and family.

During the week of trial, you will need to be at court with me every day of the trial. Trial usually lasts a week. You will need to be in the courtroom from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day. You should not expect court to proceed at night. However, on the evening before your testimony, you should expect to meet with me for a few hours for prep work.

Generally, as the plaintiff, you will not testify on the first day of trail. Most likely, the trial will be on its second or third day before we call you to the stand. Because you will be present for the whole trial, you should be more comfortable about the process when you testify.

Tell your closest friends and family that your case is going to trial. During the week of trial, you’re going to be unavailable to take calls or email until after 5 p.m. each day.

During the trial, be careful when you talk to friends and family members who are witnesses in your case. Witnesses are not allowed to watch trial so that other witnesses do not improperly influence their testimony. Consequently, witnesses are not allowed to watch trial and can only be in the courtroom when they are testifying. You will be present for the whole trial. You might be tempted to tell your friends and family how the trial is going, but you must fight this urge because you would be violating a court order.

I expect my clients to help me with the trial. I will likely ask you questions during the trial like how you feel about a prospective juror or what you think about a particular witness. Please be honest with me. I respect your opinions. Also, jurors, who are generally as new to the process as you, will see things like you do. I’m not asking for your praise. I’m looking for brutal honesty. Based on what you tell me, I may ask a witness different questions, bring in different witnesses, or alter my strategy. Your input is really important.

I will also need you to turn off your cell phone and pay attention. You must avoid distractions and be attentive to the trial process. If you don’t pay attention some jurors will notice and wonder why they should pay attention.

You should also do your homework. I can tell when a client has’t read his deposition or reviewed his medical records like I asked him to do before giving testimony. When I give you homework, it’s because I think it will help you avoid problems on the witness stand.

Dress the way you would if you were attending church on a normal Sunday (not Easter or Christmas). Dress respectfully, but not flashy or ostentatious. Excess jewelry, too much makeup, or looking too rich or too fashionable rarely works in court. If you have tattoos and they can be reasonably covered with long sleeves or pants, consider doing so.

In Colorado, jurors are not selected as much as they are de-selected. Each side is given a certain number of jurors they can eliminate from the jury pool. I expect clients to voice their opinions about possible jurors. After all, there are usually certain types of people that you do not get along with. Consequently, I need you to speak up if you are concerned about certain jurors.

At the beginning of trial, each side is given a certain amount of time to question prospective jurors. After each side has their turn, a list of jurors is passed back and forth between the lawyers. The list contains the names of every prospective juror. Each lawyer gets to cross off the names of prospective jurors until six or seven remain.

Yes, if they are not scheduled to testify. If they are scheduled to testify, they can watch only the closing argument at the end of the case.

Jurors will be instructed not to talk to any trial participants. Parties are also not allowed to speak or interact with jurors. They will be told that if you look away and say nothing to them, you are simply complying with the court order. After we win, the jury will be free to talk with you at length.

Once, I celebrated a jury trial win with some of the jurors after the trial. This is rare because after a week of serving on a jury, most jurors chose to leave without talking to anyone when the verdict comes out.

Yes. I generally bring my client to the stand after all other witnesses have testified. You get to bat cleanup.

Auto Accident Personal Injury Questions

The Denver personal injury lawyers at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn understand the complications and the headaches associated with filing an auto accident claim with your auto insurance company. Our law firm is here to help you navigate through the process so that you can recover what you deserve and nothing less!

  • 1) How do I know if I'm being offered a fair settlement for my auto accident?
  • 2) I don't think my accident was very serious. Should I still go to the hospital?
  • 3) What are the auto insurance requirements in Colorado?
  • 4) Is Colorado a no-fault or tort state for auto accidents?
  • 5) What if I'm partially at-fault for the accident?
  • 6) How is the value of my claim calculated?

It can be difficult for a driver to know how much they're entitled to after a car accident. Many drivers accept the insurance company's first settlement offer because they trust that it's fair and will be enough to cover all accident-related expenses. This is not always the case. We encourage drivers to consult with a car accident attorney after a collision for a second opinion on how much your claim is worth. More often than not, insurance companies offer claimants far less than they actually deserve.

Many people do not go to the hospital after car accidents either because they think they are not injured or they fear they will have to pay out of pocket for the visit. Truthfully, many car accident injuries can go undetected and may not begin to bother the victim until days or even weeks after the accident. As a precaution, anyone involved in a moderate to serious car accident should go to the hospital for a physical evaluation. Most likely, this visit will be covered by insurance. Just be sure to keep record of the visit and the payment for the visit.

Auto insurance is a requirement for all Colorado drivers, but about 1 out of every 7 drivers still drives without insurance. In Colorado, there are minimum insurance coverage requirements that must be met. For a policy to meet minimum coverage requirements, it must provide at least $25k per person, $50k per accident for bodily injury and $15k for property damage per accident. Auto insurance companies are also required to offer UM/UIM coverage, although drivers can waive this coverage.

Colorado had no-fault insurance laws until 2003 when they were repealed. Now, Colorado is considered a tort state for auto accidents. This means that the at-fault party's insurance company is responsible for paying the settlement. In a no-fault state, all drivers involved in accidents go to their own insurance companies to collect a settlement.

Colorado has comparative/contributory negligence laws. This means that even drivers who are partially at fault for accidents can recover compensation from insurance. However, this does not apply to drivers who are more than 50 percent at fault for the collision. For example, if the insurance adjusters decided that you were 20 percent at-fault and the other driver was 80 percent at-fault, then you could collect up to 80 percent from the other driver's insurance.

When a driver is involved in an accident (either a single-vehicle or multi-vehicle accident), they will file a claim with their insurance company. Any other drivers involved will do the same. An insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case to review your auto insurance policy as well as estimate the cost of property damage and bodily injury based on your records. After evaluating all the evidence and comparing it with your (or the at-fault driver's) insurance policy, you will be offered a settlement. This, however, may not be enough to cover all accident-related expenses. You could potentially sue for additional damages such as pain and suffering.

Colorado Workers Compensation Questions

  • 1) Can I still file a lawsuit if I've collected workers' compensation?
  • 2) If I am hurt on the job, what should I do?
  • 3) When it comes to workers' compensation, what are the requirements for an employer?
  • 4) What is considered a covered injury under workers' comp?
  • 5) What is the process for filing a workers' comp claim?
  • 6) What amount of pay am I entitled to when injured?
  • 7) How does choosing a medical provider work?
  • 8) What if the insurance company denies my claim?
  • 9) What if I am released to return to work but feel I am not ready?

Collecting workers' compensation after an accident at the workplace means that you no longer have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer for the accident and ensuing injuries. This does not completely take away your ability to file a lawsuit though. Some injured workers file workers' comp claims and are still able to file third party lawsuits.

The first step you should take is to receive the medical attention you need. Then you should notify your supervisor of your accident in writing. It is always advised that you notify your employer/supervisor before you obtain any medical care. By law, you should notify your employer in writing, within four days of your injury. For every day you delay after the four working days, you can lose up to one day's compensation.

Under Colorado law, all public and private employers in Colorado must provide workers' compensation coverage. If a company employs one or more full or part-time employees, they must have this provision in place. Exceptions to this include:

Contracted Work

  • Casual maintenance/repair work performed for a business for under $2,000 per year
  • Domestic work/maintenance/repair work for a homeowner, not done full-time
  • Independent contractors


  • Licensed real estate agents/brokers working on commission
  • Drivers under a lease agreement with a common or contract carrier
  • A ski area operator who has volunteered his time/services
  • Individuals who provide host home services
  • Federal employees and railroad employees

If your injury occurred during the course and scope of your employment, your injury should be covered under the laws of Workers' compensation. Sometimes there can be disputes arising regarding whether an injury occurred at work or in the scope of employment and having the legal assistance of a workers' compensation lawyer can benefit you greatly in protecting your rights.

You must report an accident resulting in an injury within 4 days of its occurrence or risk losing benefits. It is best to do so in writing. Your employer must then report the injury to their workers' comp insurance company if you miss more than 3 regular days of work because of your injury. You will then also be entitled to temporary disability benefits.

The average weekly wage you normally are paid determines how much you are entitled to in benefits. This can sometimes be a point of contention, as it may include commissions, overtime or even compensation from another employer. Our knowledgeable attorneys at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn can assist you in obtaining the level of pay you are entitled to. Once your weekly wage is established, a formula is used to determine what the figure will be.

Your employer can designate the medical provider all injured employees are to use. If he/she does not do so, you can choose your own medical provider. After the claim is filed, may be examined by another doctor, at the request of the insurance company (at its expense).

When the insurance company denies your claim, you have rights and other options. Sometimes a claim is denied simply because the insurance company does not have enough or accurate information. If the insurance company does not believe that the injury is work-related or believes that further investigation is in order, they can also deny a claim.

To learn more about what you should do when an insurance company denies your claim, check out our "Workers' Comp Denials" page.

This can occur fairly often and requires an independent medical examination to determine if there are still medical issues that keep you from being able to return to work. Your claim for further treatment could be denied, leaving you at risk of a continuous physical problem later in life. Consulting with our office can assist you in fighting for the right to obtain the medical treatment you deserve in order to fully recover.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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