Personal Injury Lawyer in Denver Outlining the Path Forward
Every day, you go about your normal daily lives and duties, but you never know when something might happen that could change how you live forever. Accidents are a part of life, from stubbing your toe on the couch corner to cutting your hand while cooking, and you can never eliminate the potential for injury 100 percent. But you do have the right to expect other people to act in a manner that upholds their duty of care when interacting with you and the rest of the public. When someone acts negligently, whether it’s distracted driving that causes them to run a red light or not keeping their dog on a leash and causing a dog bite, you can hold them accountable through the Denver County civil court system.
Denver personal injury lawyers can provide counsel on whether you have a valid case and what your next steps should be. If you want to talk to a personal injury attorney about your case, call the law firm of Flanagan Law.
What Does Personal Injury Mean Under the Law?
Personal injury is a category of civil law. Instead of proving that the person broke the law, which is the case for prosecutors in criminal cases, a personal injury claim is when one person brings a lawsuit against another person for acting negligently in some way. Another difference between these cases and criminal cases is the burden of proof. You’ve probably heard “beyond a reasonable doubt” when it comes to criminal cases, but for civil cases like personal injury claims, the burden of proof is “by the preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the plaintiff must simply prove that their claim is more likely to have happened than not happened, which is a much lower burden of proof than criminal cases.
A personal injury attorney is the type of lawyer who helps clients with these cases. A personal injury attorney works on all aspects of your case, from deciding which type of claim to bring forward and for how much, finding and presenting evidence, and communicating with the other party’s representation to attempt a settlement.
What Kinds of Cases Fall Under Personal Injury Law?
Almost any situation where someone is injured by the negligence of another party can fall under personal injury law, and Denver personal injury lawyers handle a variety of personal injury cases. Some of the most common ones are listed below:
- Bike accident
- Bus accident
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Wrongful death
It’s common for personal injury lawyers to have different practice areas or cases they work on, such as traumatic brain injury cases or medical malpractice suits. If you’re not sure if you have a case or want to discuss your options, Flanagan Law can help.
How Do You Prove a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury claims usually come down to proving the event occurred, that the other party had some duty of care, and that they acted in a way that breached that duty. Damages must also be present. This means that if you slip and fall in a grocery store but you don’t sustain any injuries, there is no case because you didn’t incur any damages.
Denver personal injury lawyers are adept at looking at the facts of a case and letting you know if you have enough evidence to pursue a legal claim. Types of evidence that can come into play include witness statements, surveillance videos, and medical documentation.
What Are the First Steps After You’ve Suffered an Injury?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, the first step is to seek legal counsel. Always make sure that your immediate medical needs have been taken care of, but in general, the sooner you can discuss your situation with a law firm, the better. Denver personal injury lawyers will let you know what to do in the following weeks, such as keeping documentation of all of your medical bills and accident-related expenses.
It’s also important to talk to an attorney before you speak to the other party or any of their representatives. The insurance company may try to get you to admit fault or accept a lower settlement offer. Only communicating through your attorney ensures that you’re doing everything you can to protect your legal interests.
How Much Money Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help You Get?
Denver personal injury lawyers often work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win. They take a percentage of the award as their payment, and that means that they have every incentive to get you as much money as possible. However, because of court drama shows and other media influences, there are often misconceptions about how much you can get in personal injury cases.
In general, you can expect to be reimbursed for your medical bills related to medical treatment of your injuries and any lost wages from having to take unpaid leave from work. However, in some cases, you may be able to ask for more. If your injuries are severe, you could make the argument that they have affected your quality of life or your future earning potential. This can lead to a much larger settlement. It’s also sometimes possible to be awarded more money to compensate for your pain and suffering, but this isn’t a guarantee.
What’s the Average Timeline of a Personal Injury Case?
In the state of Colorado, you have 2 years to file a personal injury lawsuit in the civil courts for most case types. The one exception to this is motor vehicle accidents, which have a statute of limitations of 3 years. The clock starts ticking on the day of the accident.
This may seem like a long time, but this ensures the victim has enough time to accurately assess their injuries and the impact on their life. If you had to immediately file after the accident, you may not yet know that you have a complicated broken hand that’s going to require multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy. It’s also common for brain injuries to take some time to reveal their full extent and repercussions.
Once the case has been filed, it can take several months to even get an initial court date. There are often attempts at mediation or settlement, and if the case goes to trial, there has to be plenty of time built in so that the attorneys can get through the evidence and depositions to prepare their cases. From the time of the accident to a legal resolution, it can take several months to even years to wrap up the case.
However, there are some things you can do to help move the case along. The first is to work with your attorney. They may need statements, medical documents, and other evidence from you, and the faster you comply with their requests, the faster they can move things along. The second thing is to do everything you can to be prepared for mediation or any court dates. Having to ask for a continuance or delay the proceedings because you aren’t able to be present in court can add months to the overall timeline.
How Do You Find Denver Personal Injury Lawyers?
Working with the right Denver personal injury lawyers can make a big difference in your case. You need an attorney who has experience dealing with all types of personal injury cases — both settling through mediation and taking the case to trial. But it’s also important to work with an attorney who has successfully litigated cases similar to your own. If you were injured in a car accident, for example, you probably don’t want to work with an attorney who only handles medical malpractice cases.
While it’s certainly a good idea to get recommendations on attorneys from friends and family, you still need to ask questions at your first meeting to ensure it’s a good fit. Ask about the attorney’s experience, what their success rate is, and how they structure their fees. Also pay attention to how you feel when meeting with the attorney. Legal cases are stressful so you want to hire someone who you feel like you can work well with, who listens to you, and who is able to explain what’s happening in a way you can understand.
If you have questions about your case, call Flanagan Law at 720-707-0870 to speak with a personal injury attorney. One of the team members at our law firm will schedule your appointment where you can discuss your case and legal options in depth and find a path forward.