Types of Personal Injury
Personal injuries are most often the result of car accidents, on-the-job accidents, slip and fall accidents, assault claims, accidents in your home, accidents because of defective products and accidents during the holidays.
In addition, medical and dental accidents can result in personal injuries that lead to medical malpractice or negligence claims.
There are other injury types that are considered industrial disease cases. Some examples include mesothelioma, emphysema, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, occupational deafness and repetitive strain injury.
Liability and the Personal Injury Case
Personal injury cases typically hinge on two questions: who was at fault in the accident that caused the injury, and was that party negligent. If so, then the injured party may be able to get monetary compensation from the negligent party. Oftentimes that money comes from an insurance company that will do everything it can to keep from paying anything.
Obtaining compensation for your injury requires proving negligence. Negligence is a legal concept that at its most basic means showing who is responsible for you getting hurt. It involves three basic aspects. First, you must demonstrate that the defendant acted in a way that runs contrary to the way a normal, reasonable person would act in the same circumstance. Essentially, you are showing that they either behaved in a very irresponsible way, or that they failed to behave responsibly.
Second, you must prove that it was this irresponsible action or failure to act which resulted in the accident. Finally, you must demonstrate that the accident caused by the defendant was either the direct cause or proximate cause of your injuries.
If these seems straightforward, also remember that Colorado has a concept called contributory negligence which you will need to navigate.
What Is Contributory Negligence?
Contributory negligence is a legal concept that says your compensation can be reduced based on any responsibility you hold for the accident. In other words, if you were even a little bit at fault, you will get less. If, for example, your accident is deemed to be worth $100,000, but it is ruled that you hold 10% of the responsibility for it, you will only receive $90,000. This is important because it’s one of the primary tactics the insurance company will take to avoid paying out your claim.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are businesses and they’re out to make a profit. Naturally, this doesn’t happen from them paying out hundreds of thousands, or even millions, in claims. As such, they will go to any length to avoid paying your case, and they don’t really care about you as the victim.
They will often start by appearing compassionate but by tendering a very lowball settlement for your injuries. They might try any manner of convincing and trickery to get you to sign off on this offer. If you do, you could damage your case. If you refuse, they might turn more threatening, blaming you for the accident, claiming you’ll get nothing if you pursue the case, even saying you’re faking your injuries.
Dealing with these insurance companies requires someone in your corner who knows the laws, who knows exactly how to step up and hold them accountable, and who can defend your rights. The right personal injury lawyer will remind everyone who the victim is, and give you the best possible shot at significant compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered, damage to your quality of life and relationships, your mounting medical bills, lost wages and more.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Most people who’ve been injured quickly learn that they need a lawyer to have the best chance for a successful outcome. Cases can become very complex and the insurance company works hard to make them more complicated and intimidating.
The average person who’s been severely injured may have little understanding of their options. Having a lawyer on your side helps to even the odds and keep the person or company responsible for your injury from taking advantage of you.
Be sure to learn all you can about any attorney you consider hiring. Your lawyer speaks for you and you have to know you can trust him to do what’s best for you and your family. And even with that trust, you need open communication with your legal team and access to them so you can ask questions about your case.
Heuser & Heuser in Colorado Springs
We at Heuser & Heuser have dedicated ourselves to exactly that kind of open, helpful law practice. The Heuser brothers’ more than 25 years of legal experience allow us to handle any type of personal injury case for residents of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, Pueblo, Alamosa, along the Arkansas Valley and elsewhere on the Front Range.
Please follow the links below to learn more about the kinds of cases and injuries the firm handles: