Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Colorado

September 29, 2021 | Personal Injury

Most people don’t like the idea of taking legal action against someone else. But if you or a family member was hurt in an accident caused by another’s negligence, filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit may be necessary to manage the enormous expenses that often accompany a serious injury.

A successful claim could keep you from spiraling into debt. So how do you start? By learning more about the personal injury claim process. Here’s how it works:

colorado personal injury lawyer

  1. Contact a personal injury lawyer.

    Personal injury cases require thorough investigation. To receive compensation from an insurance company, you must be able to prove that someone else’s recklessness caused your accident and injuries. You’ll need persuasive evidence to convince them to pay.

    Trying to identify who should be held liable, collect evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company is not something you should do alone. An experienced personal injury attorney will have the knowledge and resources to help you pursue full and fair compensation.

    At Earl & Earl, PLLC, we can explain the personal injury claim process and how it applies in your case during a free consultation. Call or contact us today.

  2. Investigate the case.

    During the investigation, your attorney will move swiftly to gather and preserve vital evidence to help support your case. Medical records, photographs, witness statements, and the police accident report can all help your lawyer pin down who should be liable. Sometimes, more than one party is to blame.

  3. Prove negligence.

    Your attorney will work to demonstrate how the negligence of the at-fault party(s) led to your injuries. Proving negligence typically involves establishing these four elements:

    • Duty: You will need to show that the at-fault party owed you a “duty of care” to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety. For example, every motorist has a duty to drive safely to avoid harming others.
    • Breach: Next, you’ll need to show how the at-fault party breached their duty of care through negligence. Perhaps the motorist beside you was texting and sideswiped you. That would be a breach of duty.
    • Causation: You must demonstrate that the at-fault party’s negligence directly led to the accident and your injuries. For example, the texting driver may try to argue that it wasn’t their wrongful action that harmed you, but the fact that you were weaving in and out of your lane before the crash.
    • Damages: Finally, you’ll need to be able to show the extent of your financial and personal losses.
  4. Enter settlement negotiations.

    Once your claim is prepared, your personal injury attorney will enter into settlement negotiations with the responsible party’s insurance company. This is the stage where you’ll finally start making decisions about how much money you’re willing to accept. The insurance company’s first offer will likely be far below what your case is worth. Your lawyer will know what’s fair and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

  5. File a personal injury lawsuit.

    If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, you have a decision to make ― accept the final offer or take the case to trial. Your attorney will discuss the pros and cons of filing a personal injury lawsuit with you.

    • Go through mediation and more negotiations.

    If you choose to file suit, your attorney and the defendant’s lawyer will usually begin settlement discussions to resolve the case without the need for trial. Trials can be lengthy and expensive, so settling is often to everyone’s advantage.

    Sometimes, settlements also involve a mediator. This is often a retired judge who will assist the two sides in reaching a fair settlement agreement.

  6. Go to trial.

    Most personal injury cases settle out of court. But if your lawyer believes the best option towards a fair resolution will come from a trial, that could be your next step.

    The court proceedings could be as short as a day or potentially take years, depending upon the circumstances and complexities of your case. A judge will preside over the trial, and a jury will return a verdict after deliberations. If you disagree with the decision, you could file an appeal.

Contact Earl & Earl, PLLC Today

If you have been involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, reach out to the dedicated Colorado personal injury attorneys at Earl & Earl, PLLC today. We will review your case, discuss your legal options, and help you craft a smart legal strategy for pursuing the full compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.