If you’ve been injured in an accident, you probably have a lot of questions. Take a look below for some quick answers but please don’t rely solely on this FAQ to determine if you have a case. Call us at 303-792-5595 (or toll-free at 888-895-2080). Our professionals are here to help.
If you have been injured, or a loved one has been injured or killed, due to the fault or negligence of another person or company, you or your loved one may have a right to seek compensation in a lawsuit.
Personal injury is generally defined as any harm caused to a person by the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another.
Personal injuries or wrongful death can be caused by:
1. Automobile, motorcycle, or truck accidents
2. Product defects, such as faulty equipment or dangerous drugs
3. Toxic preservatives and pesticides
4. Slip and fall accidents
5. Negligent conditions that are the cause of dangerous, injurious events, such as gas explosions and avalanches
6. On-the-job injuries
Automobile, motorcycle, or truck accidents: If you have been injured in a car accident with another vehicle, you may have a claim against the other driver. If you were a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an accident, you may have a claim against the driver. If a negligent driver was working at the time of the accident, you may have a claim against the employer of the driver.
Product defects, such as faulty equipment or dangerous drugs: You may have a claim if you have been injured by a product. Product liability claims can be brought against manufacturers and sellers of defectively designed products, defectively manufactured products, and products that do not have proper warnings or guards. The kinds of defective products that can lead to a product liability claim are wide and varied. They can include most any product you may use at home or at work that may be dangerous if not designed or manufactured properly or where proper warnings are not given, from lawn mowers to bicycles, ATV’s to power tools, prescription drugs to food, and construction equipment to heavy machinery.
Toxic preservatives and pesticides: Burg Simpson lawyers have represented individuals affected by sprayed chemicals designed to inhibit the growth and reproduction of bugs and plants.
Sprayed pesticides such as 2-4-D (an active ingredient in “Agent Orange”) cause severe reactions in those who are susceptible to their active ingredient, resulting in reactions ranging from chemical sensitivity pheumonitus, to Reactive Airways Disease Syndrome, and others.
Slip and fall accidents: If you have been injured on someone else’s property, you may have a claim against the property owner as well as other persons who may have been responsible for the property, including snow removal companies, maintenance companies, or property management companies. Claims may be brought for slip and falls, trip and falls, injury from activities being conducted on a property, and certain recreational activities.
Negligent conditions that are the cause of dangerous, injurious events, such as gas explosions and avalanches are possible personal injury claims.
On-the-job injuries: If you have been injured on the job, you may have a personal injury claim against certain people or companies, although generally you will not have a personal injury claim against your employer. This is because you will likely receive workers' compensation through your employer and the law generally does not allow you to bring a lawsuit against your employer. But there may be other companies or persons with whom you may be working against whom you may have a claim.
There may be circumstances that may prevent you from making a claim. Sometimes the law does not allow a claim to be brought against certain people. Some claims against the government are precluded by statute. There are other statutes that may preclude some claims against ski area operators and other providers of recreational activities. Releases or waivers can preclude a claim. The passage of time can also preclude a claim if the claim is brought beyond the applicable statute of limitation. If your injuries were caused by your own fault, your claims may be limited or barred.
Every case is different and whether you have a valid claim depends upon the specific facts of your particular case as well as the applicable law. This is why it is important to consult with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Burg Simpson to discuss any potential claims you may have.
Our attorneys assess and carefully analyze and evaluate several major factors that may affect the value of your personal injury case and subsequent potential recovery of damages. These include, but are not limited to:
1. The nature and extent of the injury and the medical treatment received;
2. The liability of each person involved in the event causing injury;
3. The level of fault of the party causing the accident, and the determination of whether the client shares part or none of the fault;
4. The potential economic loss sustained by the client based on work
history, salary, the client’s ability to return to work, and extent of the
5. The potential for future medical and other life care needs; and
6. Issues pertaining to potential pre-existing medical conditions that could
affect the value of the case, amount of insurance available, or liability.
Personal injury is generally defined as any harm caused to a person by the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another. Many types of damages can result from a personal injury.
Personal injuries or wrongful death can be caused by:
1. Automobile, motorcycle, or truck accidents;
2. Product defects, such as faulty equipment or dangerous drugs;
3. Toxic preservatives and pesticides;
4. Slip and fall accidents; or
5. Negligent conditions that are the cause of dangerous, injurious events, such as gas explosions and avalanches.
When the life of a loved one is lost as a result of negligence or misconduct on the part of another person or entity, the decedent’s spouse, children, or parents can often claim damages.
The sooner you receive legal advice from us, the better chance there is to guide your case in the proper direction. Just as you would not call the police months after your home is burglarized, you should not wait weeks or months after the onset of an injury to have your case reviewed by legal counsel. Note that it is not appropriate for an insurance company representative for the at-fault party to visit you at a hospital. It is not advisable to give a recorded or written statement, or to sign a statement for anyone, even your own insurance company representative, without first consulting with an attorney.
At the initial, no-charge consultation our attorneys can:
1. Discuss the facts and circumstances of your case, including issues relating to injuries, damages, liability, witnesses, and medical treatment;
2. Evaluate the merits of your case; and
3. Determine if it is appropriate for our firm to handle your case. If we feel it is not appropriate for our firm to handle your case, we will be frank in our explanation to you regarding the reason and factors that led to our decision.
At the initial, free consultation meeting, or shortly thereafter, the Burg Simpson attorneys will be able to advise you if you have a viable personal injury case. A meritorious personal injury case requires a top-notch attorney in order to prevail. No attorney can guarantee a result in any case, but Burg Simpson attorneys are adept at navigating the complex legal maze, which includes court filings, court rulings, statutes, case law, administrative rules, judges, depositions, negotiations, and all issues pertaining to insurance companies.
Prior to meeting with an attorney, you may speak to a paralegal who will ask preliminary questions about your case in order to ascertain pertinent information needed to prepare for the consultation with an attorney. The consultation may be in person or by phone, depending on your physical condition. It might be more appropriate or feasible for the attorney to meet with you outside the office at a hospital or other location.
Personal injuries can create emotional and financial concerns. It is acceptable to bring your spouse, family member, or friend to the meeting with a Burg Simpson attorney if it will allow you to better explain your case to us.
1. Economic damages cover property damages, lost income, lost profits, lost value, out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, and future lost earnings and expenses.
2. Non-economic damages include payments for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
3. Permanent impairment or disability damages may be awarded when an injured person will never recover from the injury sustained. Almost any kind of injury can result in a permanent impairment. Permanent impairment or disability damages are particularly significant when the impairment precludes the person from returning to work.
4. Damages for disfigurement are awarded for any injury that disfigures a person, such as scars from an injury or surgery, burns, and amputations.
The damages awarded for permanent impairment and disfigurement are separate from and in addition to any other economic and non-economic damages that may be awarded.
It is important to understand that each personal injury case is unique and the value of your claim depends upon a wide variety of factors.
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on so many factors. The attorneys at Burg Simpson are well aware of the financial and emotional hardships that families must endure through the “long and winding road” of the legal process that generally is resolved by either a settlement or trial. The American legal process, designed to render due process to all parties involved, often results in lengthy, sometimes difficult, circumstances.
Sometimes a settlement can be reached quickly with an insurance company, without having to file a lawsuit, if the liability is clear and the injuries are undisputed. If a lawsuit must be brought, then settlement will typically be delayed by many months while the parties engage in discovery. Discovery provides plaintiffs and defendants the right to obtain information from each other during the course of a case. Cases will often settle very close to trial, which can be a year or more after the case is filed. If a verdict is rendered in your favor and a judgment is entered, the defendant will sometimes pay at that time. Sometimes the defendant will appeal the judgment, which can delay the ultimate recovery by several years while the case proceeds through the appeal process. If you lose at trial, and if appropriate, you have the right to appeal.
Some delays in resolving your injury case can be a result of decisions made by the insurance company. These decisions can include:
1. Improperly denying payment of claims.
2. Underpaying claims.
3. Undervaluing claims.
4. Unreasonably denying coverage.
5. Delaying payment of claims.
6. Using unfair interpretations in translating the language of your policy.
Our attorneys are aware of these, and other, potential problems and we are prepared to vigorously address them during the process of resolving your case.
1. Homeowners Insurance
2. Automobile Insurance
3. Life Insurance
4. Health Insurance
5. Workers’ Compensation Insurance
6. Disability Insurance
7. Commercial Property Insurance
8. Commercial Liability Insurance
9. Business Owners’ Insurance
There may be multiple insurance policies that could provide compensation to a person injured due to the negligence and/or active fault of another person, business, or other entity. It is important to discuss insurance issues with your attorney.
There are a substantial number of automobile drivers who either don’t have car insurance or who buy only the cheapest liability policy coverage. If you are seriously injured in an automobile accident and the at-fault driver has no insurance, or has just a liability policy that does not come close to covering your losses, then your automobile policy may kick in to provide the compensation and benefits that cover your losses. The existence and amount of available insurance coverage must be taken into consideration when evaluating a personal injury claim.
It is important that you carefully discuss all of your insurance options with a qualified insurance representative. When discussing your automobile policy with your insurance representative you should address the following, among other options:
1. Liability Insurance – payment for damages for bodily injury and property damages for which an at-fault, insured driver becomes legally responsible due to an automobile accident.
2. Collision Insurance – damages to your automobile or a non-owned automobile.
3. Comprehensive Insurance – coverage includes transportation expenses in the event of theft of your car.
4. Medical Pay Coverage – this coverage is optional, at an additional cost, and provides payment of your medical expenses. Discuss your health insurance coverage with your insurance representative to determine if you require this coverage.
5. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – this important insurance coverage must be offered to you by your insurance representative. This coverage is optional, but you must decline the coverage in writing. The following example illustrates why it can be a mistake to waive uninsured/ underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage: If an at-fault driver with $50,000 in liability insurance injures you in an auto accident, and you have a $200,000 underinsured motorist policy, then $250,000 is available to compensate you. This is derived from the $50,000 from the at-fault driver’s insurance and $200,000 from your UM/UIM coverage provided by your automobile policy. If the at-fault driver has no liability policy, then you still have the $200,000 from your UM/UIM policy available to compensate you for your damages.
This provides a brief summary of some of the important automobile coverages you should carefully discuss with your insurance representative, and the summary is only meant to make your aware of some, but not all, of the coverages that may be available to you. Carefully read and review your policy coverage with your insurance representative, and make certain to address the details of the coverage included in this summary.
1. Move your vehicle to the side of the road, if necessary, to protect your
safety and the safety of others.
2. Call 911 if there are emergency circumstances.
3. Take pictures if you have a camera or camera phone.
4. Exchange insurance information with the other driver.
5. Obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses.
6. If you or others on the scene determine that you need immediate medical attention, proceed immediately to a hospital emergency facility.
7. Report the accident to your insurance company.
8. See your doctor for diagnosis and treatment if you were not treated in an emergency room, and/or for all follow-up visits as directed upon release from emergency facility.
9. Make sure you detail all your major and minor injuries at the emergency facility, with your doctor, and with your insurance representative. What you may perceive as a minor, nagging injury can often become a serious medical problem.
10. Call a Burg Simpson attorney for advice. The initial consultation is free
If you’re contacted by an insurance company, call us immediately to discuss your options to ensure that your rights are protected.
Be aware, that often times, the insurance company will ask you for information that you are not obligated to provide.
Depending upon your relationship with the insurance company, your obligations may vary.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW - AND WHAT YOU SHOULD DO FIRST:
- Call a lawyer before returning phone calls to an insurance company.
- If the insurance company has sent you documents to sign, do not sign them without calling an attorney first to review them.
- Insurance companies may ask you to sign a medical release with the promise of paying your medical costs. Don't be tricked into signing the medical release. Often times, the insurance company's medical release grants the insurance company the ability to publish your medical information or sell this private information to third parties. Signing this release may waive your privacy rights, normally protected by HIPAA. If you have already signed a medical release, you must call an attorney immediately to attempt to revoke it. Time is of the essence.