A Denver Auto Insurance Lawyer Helps You Get a Fair Recovery from Insurance Companies
No matter who is at fault for causing a car accident, chances are you will end up dealing with an insurance company to cover the losses that result. Auto insurance companies are big businesses that try to manage claims in a way that keeps their costs low by paying out as little as possible. Therefore, facing an insurance company unprepared puts you at a distinct disadvantage.
When you work with an experienced Denver auto insurance lawyer after an accident, your legal representative can handle insurance matters directly, saving you time and worry. Allowing your attorney to handle communications with insurers can prevent you from saying something that could be taken out of context and used against you later to deny your claim. At Levine Law, our extensive experience with working with insurance companies enables us to anticipate their tactics and obtain fair recoveries for our clients.
Understanding Who Should Be Involved in an Accident Claim
When we think about the person responsible for causing an accident, we tend to think only of the drivers directly involved in the collision. But many times, there are other parties with a share of responsibility as well. These parties—and their insurance companies—may provide a source of compensation for injuries and property damage suffered in a motor vehicle accident.
A skilled Denver auto insurance lawyer understands the numerous factors that can contribute to an accident and can investigate to determine which parties may be held liable. Often the parties involved include more than you might imagine.
Look Not Just at the Driver But Also the Owner of the Vehicle
The most obvious party to consider when reviewing the potential causes of an accident is the other driver, and of course, you will want to collect insurance information for that driver. However, in many cases, someone else may own the vehicle, and that person or company (and their insurer) might also be held liable for harm resulting from the accident. This can include rental car companies in some situations, particularly if the company failed to maintain the vehicle properly.
Was the Other Driver Working at the Time of the Accident? (Including Volunteer Work)
If one or more other drivers involved in a collision were working at the time, their employer might also be held responsible under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Essentially, this classic legal doctrine holds employers (in a superior position of authority) liable for the actions of their employees when those employees are operating in the course and scope of their job duties.
In most cases, it does not matter whether the employee was driving their own vehicle or a company car. However, a Denver auto insurance lawyer may spend considerable time collecting evidence to show that a driver’s performance should be treated as being in the course and scope of employment.
Suppose the other driver was working for a volunteer organization or on the way to a volunteer event. In that case, the organization’s insurance company may cover the losses associated with the accident. Therefore, the organization should definitely be added to the claim.
Were You Working at the Time of the Crash?
If your accident occurred while you were working, then your injuries and lost wages could be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. It is important to handle the case correctly to receive benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance provider without incurring additional costs on your own. Anyone injured during the course of their job—even while riding in their own vehicle—should consult a workers’ compensation attorney for guidance as soon as possible.
Was a Rideshare Arrangement Involved in the Accident?
Ridesharing or ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber can sometimes be included as a party in an accident claim. These companies not only require their drivers to carry insurance with substantial limits, but they also provide an additional source of insurance.
Was the Accident Caused by a Defect or Poor Repair Work?
A knowledgeable Denver auto insurance lawyer also knows that it is important to determine whether equipment failure played a role in the accident and find the problem’s source. For example, a vehicle or part manufacturer could be liable for defects in creation or assembly. Or a company responsible for maintenance and repair of the vehicle could be liable for failing to diagnose a problem or performing unsatisfactory repairs.
Did a Dangerous Condition on the Road Lead to the Accident?
It can be challenging to hold the government responsible for a poorly designed road. Still, if an accident occurred on private property, such as in a parking lot that was not thoughtfully designed, the owner or designer might be held liable. Likewise, if someone leaves debris on the road or a property owner does something to obstruct visibility, their actions can make them accountable for any accidents that occur.
What to Expect from the Insurance Claims Process After a Car Accident
When you are trying to recover from an auto accident’s physical and emotional trauma, deal with repairs and/or replacing a vehicle, and coordinate transportation needs, the last thing you want to deal with is a stressful and complicated insurance claims process. But, unfortunately, that’s often just what comes with the situation.
A dedicated auto insurance lawyer in Denver can assist with the process, help you understand options, and manage paperwork and communications with insurers so you can focus on putting your life back together and moving forward.
Providing Notice to Your Insurer
Even if you are not at fault for a car accident, it is essential to notify your auto insurance company about the collision, and you need to do so within the timeframe required under your policy. When you work with a Denver auto insurance lawyer, he or she can notify your insurer and other insurance companies involved and handle communications and questions from the insurance companies.
Requests for Documentation
Once the claims process begins, all insurers involved will be looking for information. They will typically start by requesting documentation about damages. While it is important to provide the necessary information, you do not want to give an insurance company information they can use against you. For that reason, it is not a good idea to sign a general waiver giving an insurer access to your entire medical file.
While an insurance company is investigating a claim, they are likely to ask you for a statement explaining your involvement in the accident. It is unwise to make a written or verbal statement about the accident unless your Denver auto insurance lawyer specifically advised you to do so. Remember that insurers are looking for an excuse they can use to deny or reduce the payment of a claim. Read all paperwork carefully before signing and have it reviewed by your legal counsel if possible. If an insurance company presents you with a document, it has undoubtedly been designed to be legally binding, whether you intend it to be or not.
Offer of Payment
After a thorough investigation, an insurance company should understand the factors that affect your case and know the amount that provides fair value for your claim. They will not offer you that amount. They will offer much less.
When you know the fair value of your claim, you are in a position to negotiate a fair settlement because you know that if a Denver auto insurance lawyer has to take your claim to trial, you would be looking to receive that amount.
The Role of an Insurance Attorney After an Auto Accident
Many people think car accident lawyers only help with lawsuits after an accident. However, so many aspects of our society are permeated by layers of insurance that, as a practical matter, even the best personal injury lawyers need to be thoroughly familiar with insurance company processes and understand how to get the most from a claim.
A Denver auto insurance lawyer can assist accident victims right from the start, from answering your questions and filing claims with insurers to handling investigations and negotiating for the best possible settlement. The investigation into the causes of the accident and the parties who could be liable can be a challenging process, but it is one well understood by an experienced auto insurance attorney.
If necessary, evidence prepared to make a strong insurance claim could be used in court. However, once an insurer realizes that you have strong evidence and sound legal arguments to justify your requested compensation, they will generally agree to settle a claim rather than undergo the added expense of litigation.
Get the Help You Deserve From a Denver Auto Insurance Lawyer
We all know that everyone is in business to make money. Insurance companies make money by paying as little as possible for insurance claims. They are not your friends, no matter how friendly they may seem.
A dedicated Denver auto insurance lawyer wants to make money too, of course, but they only succeed if they can demonstrate to insurance companies why they need to pay fair value for the car accident claim. That said, it only makes sense to align yourself with a legal advocate who shares your interests.
At Levine Law, we have decades of experience challenging insurance companies, and we know how to win. To find out more about how we could help in your case, call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online now for a free consultation and case evaluation.