How Do I File a Claim After an Injury Car Accident?
Injured in an Auto Accident? Here’s What You Should Know About Filing a Claim
How long do I have to file a claim after an injury accident?
Starting from the date of the accident, you generally have three years after a car accident to make a claim in Colorado, though some circumstances might make that window even smaller. Any claims that are filed after that the allotted time frame risk being dismissed.
The statute of limitations in a car accident case applies to everyone who conceivably has been impacted by the incident. Drivers in both cars, along with passengers all have grounds to file a case. Pedestrians or bicyclists who were involved are also subject to this timeframe.
Regardless of the statute of limitations, it’s a good idea to start moving on your case quickly. Memories can fade and evidence can lose impact if you wait too long, and filing a claim early gives you better momentum in negotiating a settlement. Additionally, medical bills stemming from a hospital stay won’t wait long before they start piling up, and this can be magnified by additional recovery costs such as rehabilitation, physical therapy, or trauma counseling.
Why do I need to file an insurance claim after an accident?
Simply put, your insurance claim is how you get paid. When you’re injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you have several different avenues toward getting paid. As Colorado is not a “No-Fault” state, two of your main pathways involve filing an insurance claim with either your own insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
If this claim is successful, the company will compensate you for the costs of your recovery up to policy limits. These auto accident insurance settlements represent your main way of getting your medical bills paid after being in an auto accident.
Do I need a lawyer to file a claim?
Yes and no. You can always file a claim on your own, but we strongly recommend hiring a lawyer after an injury accident. Numerous studies have shown that auto accident victims who hire a lawyer face universally better prospects for their claim. Not only are these claims rejected at a much lower rate, but victims who hire a lawyer consistently see settlements that are multiple times higher than what they could expect otherwise.
For all these reasons, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after getting injured in an auto accident. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can mean the difference in getting a large enough settlement to cover the costs of your recovery.
What bills will insurance cover after a car accident?
Colorado is considered a “Fault” car accident state. This means that the person who was at-fault for the accident is required to pay the damages suffered by their victims. Most of the time, their insurance company is responsible for covering these costs.
Settlements from auto insurance claims are intended to compensate for any costs of recovery that arise after the initial accident. This can include medical expenses–including trauma counseling and physical rehabilitation–along with lost wages, property damages, payment for pain and suffering, and more.
What if my insurance claim is rejected?
It’s always possible that your insurance claim will be rejected, especially if you submit it on your own. Insurance companies have no financial incentive to pay injured parties, and that means that they’re always looking for opportunities to reject a claim.
If your auto accident insurance claim is rejected, your immediate next step should be to hire a lawyer. A Colorado auto accident lawyer will guide you through your next steps and even the playing field when dealing with insurance companies.
What if my insurance settlement is too low?
While insurance companies may not outright reject your claim, they may still try to avoid losses by offering you a settlement that is far too low to cover your expenses and then pressuring you to settle. It’s worth noting that a good car accident insurance settlement won’t just cover the bills you’ve currently amassed–it will also cover any additional and future costs of recovery along with offsetting any losses that came from missing work.
If your insurance claim isn’t substantive enough to actually cover the costs of your recovery, your next step should be to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf in order to ensure that you’re adequately compensated.
For more than 40 years, McDivitt has been fighting for injured victims all across Colorado. With offices in Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo, we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients get the settlements that they deserve. Our affordable Colorado personal injury lawyers know how to hold insurance companies accountable, and we’ll ensure that any injuries, pain and suffering, or missed work is properly covered. Contact us today to see how McDivitt makes a difference!Back to the Blog