What is “personal injury?”
In Colorado, personal injury is defined as any type of injury suffered because of some person’s or company’s carelessness, willfulness, or negligence. That can include anything from someone dying because of an accident caused by a drunk or distracted driver to a customer getting hurt because of a company’s questionable policies and procedures. Whether the cause of the injury was purposeful or not, you deserve to be fully compensated for your pain and for those things wrongly taken from you. For example, the loss of your ability to make a living, speak normally, walk, run, or simply to play ball with your family.
What kind of personal injury cases do you take?
We take only serious or catastrophic personal injury cases because of the possible lasting or life-long impacts – such as slow and painful recoveries, permanent injuries, losses, and impairments. These kinds of serious and catastrophic personal injury cases include:
- Birth injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Loss of hearing or sight
- Eye injury
- Facial injury
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injury, including concussions
- Neurological damage
- Crush injury
What are the possible causes of these serious or catastrophic types of personal injury?
Possible causes of serious or catastrophic personal injury include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Boat accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Slip and fall
When should I call a personal injury attorney?
As soon as possible. Matt’s even had people call him from the accident scene.
Why should I consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible?
During the first few days after the accident, the person responsible and any insurance companies involved will do everything they can to shift the blame of the accident to you and/or deny any responsibility to avoid paying a settlement. With an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you will be able to focus on your recovery while your lawyer advocates on your behalf with the insurance companies and handles all the necessary paperwork, correspondence, and negotiations.
Should I speak to anyone else after the accident?
Generally, no, except your attorney, their staff, your health care providers, and your insurance company (with limitations). Your openness and honesty with your attorney, their staff, and your health care providers is of utmost importance. With your health care providers, you should neither embellish nor diminish the extent of your injuries. Just tell the truth.
Do not speak to the other side’s insurance company without first consulting with a lawyer. The other side’s insurance company may try to obtain an oral, written, or recorded statement, from you, but Colorado law prohibits them from doing that within 15 days of any personal injury for which their insured might be responsible if you are under the care of a doctor, hospital, or healing professional of any sort for your injuries.
You may have to report your injury to your own insurance company and you may have a contractual obligation to cooperate with your insurance company if you expect them to pay for any of your medical bills; however, you can consult with an attorney first to answer any questions you might have about whether to cooperate with your insurance company.
What should I not say to others, including my own insurance company?
Do not apologize to your insurance company or the person or company who caused your personal injury.
What about law enforcement?
If your personal injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident or something else that would involve law enforcement, be sure to give them your identifying and insurance information. As with your insurance company or the other person who caused your injury, do not apologize to law enforcement. They are simply doing their job.
When reciting the facts of what happened, follow these simple rules:
- Stick to the facts. Do not make them up. Do not guess. Do not make “I think” or “in my opinion” statements.
- Do not offer up any facts that were not asked of you. For example, if you are not asked about how fast you were driving, do not volunteer it anyway.
- Do not make any statements about your health, such as “I’m fine,” until you are examined by a doctor. Some injuries, such as concussions, may not be immediately noticeable. Adrenaline can even prevent you from feeling some injuries, such as whiplash, at first.
- Do not say, “I accept” to any offer made by an insurance company to settle your claim. In Colorado, if you are under the care of a doctor, hospital, or healing professional of any sort for your injuries, an insurance company cannot attempt to settle your claim within thirty days of the act causing your injuries, and any settlement that violates that law is void. Talk to a lawyer first.
How will you build my case to maximize value and compensation for what the accident took from me?
You did not ask for this to happen to you. While every case is different, and we are not a cookie-cutter law firm, we will do the following:
We will listen to you. We will conduct an in-depth one on one meeting with you, establish a trusting relationship with you, and listen closely and carefully to understand your situation and to gauge the full impact of the injury on your life. We will discuss all applicable insurance coverage.
We will investigate thoroughly to determine who is responsible for causing your harms and losses.
We will investigate the how severe your injuries and losses are, what type of ongoing and future medical care is required to replace what was taken from you or to get you back to as close to normal for you as possible, how the event has affected your relationships with your loved ones, your ability to pursue career and personal goals, and anything else necessary for us to understand your story and to better help you.
We will obtain documentation to establish wage loss, both current and future.
We work with life care planners as needed to project future costs for medical care, medications, therapy, and adaptive living accommodations.
We will advise you so you can make intelligent and informed decisions as to the best course of action.
We will build a case to maximize compensation, drawing on our years of experience and familiarity with court customs in Colorado.
Do I have to go to court over a serious or catastrophic personal injury claim?
Not necessarily. Due to our years of experience, we know how to build a case to maximize value and compensation for your harms and losses and negotiate a pre-trial settlement for fair compensation for those harms and losses. Yet, we are trial lawyers and will go to court and fight the giant insurance companies and corporations if necessary to achieve maximal value and compensation for what’s been taken from you. If we do file a lawsuit, then you will go to court most likely only if the case progresses to a jury trial.
If we file a lawsuit, the other side’s attorney will take your deposition at some point in the process. A deposition is part of what the law calls “discovery,” which allows one side to learn more about the other side’s case. Although a deposition is not done in court, it’s almost like being in court but neither a judge nor a jury will be there. The person being deposed must answer allowable questions under oath. We will work with you so that when you are deposed, the experience will be an easy one for you. You will understand and know what is coming, and remain calm, cool, and collected.
Also, if we file a lawsuit, the other side will have the opportunity to have you examined by a doctor of their own choosing to give an opinion about your injuries and the impact of those injuries on your life. This is often called an “independent medical examination” but most times it is anything but independent since the doctor is not selected by an independent process but, rather, the other side’s insurance company.
I am not a gold-digger, but I’m afraid the other side will convince the jury that I am. How can you help me avoid this?
We will not get sucked into playing that game with the other side. We will remain focused on your claims. Juries are made up of people who are just like you and us, though they bring their own life experiences into the courtroom. We at Martin Conti Law believe strongly in the jury system and that juries simply want to do what is right, including compensating you for what was wrongly taken from you, regardless of the amount.
Is it okay if I post about my case on social media?
NO! It is very important that you understand that the defense lawyer and/or insurance companies will probably try to access your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts. The defense lawyers and insurance companies will Google your name and social networking sites may come up in their search. If you have a social networking account (e.g., a Facebook account), please note that EVERYTHING posted on your account is potentially discoverable to the other side.
Even if you set up your account for maximum privacy, do not think that this will prevent the defense lawyers and insurance companies from accessing your account. The defense lawyers may get a court order forcing you to disclose anything and everything to do with your physical, mental, and emotional condition, before and after your injuries; your photos before and after your injuries; and your comments about the incident, your care and treatment, your lawyer, the defense lawyer, the insurance company, the defendant, your witnesses and experts and the defense witnesses and experts. You may think this is unfair, but these days, if you post information on a site which allows access by the “public,” it is no longer “private” information, so it can be used against you in court.
It’s best to simply inactivate or delete your accounts until your case is over.
I am a victim of someone else’s carelessness. I feel like I will be victimized again if I go to court. Will that happen to me?
You did not ask for any of this to happen to you, so going through the claim and trial process may feel like more of the same. But with Martin Conti Law on your side, standing up against those who have wrongly taken something from you and caused you pain presents an opportunity for you to gain redemption and victory.
What gets considered in the settlement amount?
When deciding on a fair settlement amount, we consider:
- present and future lost income
- present and future medical expenses
- mileage to and from treatment centers
- whether or not you’ll be permanently disabled
- pain and suffering
When would I have to pay you?
We accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay a percentage of the settlement money, and only if we recover for you.
Why Choose Martin Conti Law?
In short, because Martin Conti Law is the complete opposite of other law firms. Where our competitors seem to only value their clients’ money, we pride ourselves on valuing our clients as individuals. In order to get an idea of what makes each client tick, we often meet clients in their own homes. Our concierge-level service makes navigating the legal system effortless and efficient, from our initial phone consultation to our Clio client portal.
Not to mention that between Matt’s empathetic and tenacious nature, even after all of the years he spent fighting to protect his client’s civil rights, and Shawn’s charismatic “closer” attitude—there’s nothing that the attorneys of Martin Conti Law can’t get done for you.
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