A: A lawyer provides peace of mind, not to mention expertise and access to information and legal tools you may not have. Your lawyer’s first priority is to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Secondly, we can help you make the most of your case’s outcome.
A: As soon as possible following an accident, we suggest that you take the steps below to help establish, document and strengthen your case and the claim process. Except for filing a formal claim against a government entity, generally there are not specific actions that you MUST take. However, the more of the following steps you take, the stronger your case may be.
• Write down everything you can about the accident, your injuries and any losses (like wages).
• Keep notes of all conversations with people involved in the accident or the injury claim.
• Preserve evidence by collecting physical evidence and taking photographs.
• Locate and contact people who witnessed the accident who might offer proof.
A: Generally, unless you are filing a claim against a government agency or employee, there is generally not a set time period for notification. However, there may be notification requirements required by your own motor vehicle insurance company. Also, acting right away can increase your chances of receiving a timely and fair resolution to your claim. We suggest contacting an attorney as soon as possible following an accident to discuss your rights and options.
A: In short: Yes. It is important to have an advocate swiftly protect and preserve evidence, identify and contact witnesses, obtain documents and evidence following an accident.
A: If your accident might have been even partially caused by a government entity or employee—the city, county, state or federal government, or any public agency or division (a city bus or a school district, for example)—you must file a formal notice of claim within a specific time period. If you fail to file a claim within the time limit, or fail to include required information in your claim, you may lose your right to pursue your claim against the government entity or employee. Call us if you would like more information about Colorado’s claims regulations as it relates to your case.
A: Our initial consultation is free and you will meet with an experienced attorney during your visit. We will briefly review any information that you bring and give you plenty of time to explain your accident, who you believe is responsible, and why. We will give your our initial recommendations on the strength of your case and the best way to proceed.
A: Remember, you are talking to an attorney because you need to protect your rights. You can take a few important steps on your own before you speak to us.
• Do not give recorded statements or talk to the other side before talking to an attorney.
• Clear your schedule for the first meeting with us.
• Write down as much as you can about the incident, your injuries and any other losses (such as wages).
• Bring with you a copy of the accident report, insurance claim numbers and copies of your own insurance policies (if you have this information).
• Make notes of conversations that you have with people involved in the incident or the injury claim.
• Collect physical evidence and take photographs when possible to preserve evidence of who caused the incident and what damage was done.
• Locate people who witnessed the accident and who might be able to help you prove your case.
A: We handle most personal injury cases on a contingent (percentage) basis, which means that you do not have to pay us a legal fee unless you make a recovery. In other cases, we charge an hourly fee for our legal services. We will thoroughly explain our fees and cost agreements before we begin representing you.
A: Barfield Law is aggressive in resolving your case and will do so as soon as possible. The time it takes to resolve a case varies depending upon different facts and the damages involved. In most injury cases, we do not advise settlement until you have reached maximum medical improvement. In other words, this is when you have received almost all medical treatment necessary for your injuries. Settlement can take time because it is necessary to negotiate with the insurance company or at-fault party. We will always work with you to set a timeline and expectations for resolution.
A: Your lawyer should be the primary person working on your behalf with the insurance company. You have hired a professional to oversee your rights and responsibilities, just as the insurance company has hired professionals to oversee their rights and responsibilities. We are here to help you navigate through the process and handle communication with the insurance company.
A: All drivers are required to carry auto insurance to cover liability in the event of an accident. An uninsured driver who is responsible for causing an accident can still be held liable for any damages that result, but actually recovering those damages may be difficult, such as in cases where an at fault party has no ability to pay. In such cases, it may be possible for the injured driver to receive compensation from their own insurance company in the form of Uninsured Motorist benefits. If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist or been the victim of a hit and run, you should inform your insurance company, get copies of any police reports, and contact an attorney right away. We can explain your rights and help you determine what your options are.
A: We are able to resolve many cases before ever going to trial. In these cases, our clients accept a settlement. While the ultimate decision to settle or go to trial is yours, we provide a thorough explanation of the pros and cons of both options. We help you evaluate the fairness of settlement offers and provide recommendations regarding trial if the parties in the case cannot agree on a settlement. There is no right or wrong answer, but you can trust that we will give you as much information as you need to make an informed decision.