123 North College Avenue, Suite 160, Fort Collins, CO 80524
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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

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Car Accident FAQS

Colorado Lawyers Provide Helpful Answers to Frequently Asked Car Crash Questions

Should I provide a recorded statement?

As a general rule of thumb, it is not a good idea to provide a recorded statement to an insurance company representative. You are not obligated to provide a recorded statement. If you are on medication, or if you are not feeling sharp mentally, you definitely want to avoid recorded statements. Remember that anytime you speak with an insurance company representative over the phone, your conversations are likely being recorded. Anything you say in a recorded statement can be used against you in the future. If you do participate in a recorded statement, make sure you provide completely accurate information. Do not ramble. Do not guess or speculate when answering questions. If you do not know the answer to a question, simply state “I do not know the answer,” “I do not recall,” or that “I will have to get back with you” after you have investigated.

How do I properly document a motor vehicle accident?

It is important to call law enforcement from the scene of an accident to create an accident report. Try to obtain the names and phone numbers of any witnesses, and get written statements before they leave the scene. Take photos of the accident scene with a camera, including pictures of damage done to vehicles involved, road conditions, injuries, etc. If you do not take photos of the vehicle damage at the scene, be sure to do it before the vehicles are repaired. Request photographs from the city immediately if intersection cameras may have captured the accident, as these pictures or videos are only saved for a short time after the accident. If someone called 911 to report the accident, request a copy of the recording immediately, as these recordings are only saved for so a short time after the accident. Obtain three estimates for repairs to your vehicle before having the repairs done. Sometimes, repair shops will take photographs of the vehicles, so get copies of these as well.

How do I obtain medical treatment if I’m injured?

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident (MVA), you should first report to an emergency room or your family doctor immediately (or within 24 hours of your accident). Keep in mind that the liability carrier insuring the person who caused your MVA does not have to pay your medical bills as they are incurred. Rather, the liability carrier will pay your medical bills in a settlement at the end of your case (and before the applicable statute of limitations). So, you will need a way to pay your medical bills as they are incurred and before you settle your claim. If you have health insurance, you should simply provide your health insurance information to any doctor or medical facility you treat with for your MVA related injuries. If you have med-pay coverage through your automobile insurance, you should have your med-pay carrier reimburse you directly for any medical bills you have paid yourself, or for any co-pays or deductibles you incur on your health insurance. We discourage you from telling your medical providers that you have med-pay insurance. We also discourage you from having the med-pay carrier pay your medical providers directly.

  1. Pay your medical bills and seek reimbursement in your settlement;
  2. Find a medical provider that will treat on a lien; or
  3. Apply for public assistance medical treatment through an organization like the Colorado Indigent Care Program (contact your local hospital for information on CICP).

If you do have your health insurance, med-pay, CICP, Medicare, Medicaid, or some other source pay your accident-related medical bills, you may have to reimburse these entities out of your settlement. This reimbursement is called subrogation and will definitely require the assistance of Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. to avoid further legal problems.

What are Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage?

Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is intended to provide compensation to individuals who are injured in a motor vehicle accident by another person who did not purchase liability coverage. For example, if John Doe runs a red light and collides with your vehicle, and you suffer injuries, you can sue John Doe. But if John Doe does not have liability insurance to recover against, then you can seek insurance benefits through your own UM coverage.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage is intended to protect you against drivers who have liability insurance coverage in an amount less than your damages and less than your UIM coverage. For example, if John Doe had only $25,000 in liability coverage, and you have damages of $75,000 and UIM coverage of $50,000, then you could recover $25,000 from John Doe’s liability insurance and $50,000 from your UIM coverage on policies issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2008 (for policies issued or renewed before January 1, 2008, you would only receive $25,000 from your UIM coverage).

Do I have the option of choosing my own doctor in an auto accident?

Yes, you can always choose your own doctor in an auto accident personal injury claim. However, if you are in a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), then you may have to treat “in-network” (chose from a list of doctors provided by your insurance company) so that insurance covers your medical bills.

Are there limits on the amount of damages I can receive in an auto accident?

The answer to this question depends on the type of claim you file and the type of damages you seek to recover. In Colorado, there has been tort reform legislation in areas including but not limited to, medical malpractice, punitive or exemplary damages, and other non-economic damages. For answers on your specific case, please contact Hoggatt Law Office, P.C..

How do I pay an attorney for an auto accident lawsuit?

Generally, auto accident lawyers in Fort Collins, like Hoggatt Law Office, P.C., will collect a contingency fee which is a percentage of the amount of damages we collect on your behalf. This contingency fee is typically one-third and will be spelled out specifically in a written contingency fee agreement. You will only pay the contingency fee if damages are collected. Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. may front any expenses incurred in pursuing your lawsuit. Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. may seek reimbursement for those costs from you regardless of the outcome of your case. In certain cases, Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. may be able to recover your attorney’s fees from the person you sue or their insurance company.

If a loved one dies due to another person’s fault and leaves a family behind, can the surviving dependents recover damages for the loss of earnings?

In many cases, the surviving family members of a deceased person can recover compensation for the loss of earnings. Determining if an individual(s) is actually a dependent of the deceased person may be an issue that requires legal advice.

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

3835 W. 10th Street, Unit 100
Greeley, Colorado 80634 |
353 Main Street, Suite A
Longmont, Colorado 80501 |
4450 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 100
Boulder, Colorado 80303 |
201 E. 4th Street, Unit 132
Loveland, Colorado 80537 |
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