Read the information below to learn what you need to know about car accident lawsuits, and how we, at Maceau Law, can provide you the best possible legal representation for a car accident lawsuit in Colorado Springs:
A car accident lawsuit is the legal action taken after a car wreck in which the victim of the accident could not come to a financial agreement with the other driver’s insurance company regarding the accident consequences. When injuries are sustained during a car accident, victims will often have numerous expenses from the replacement of their vehicles to medical bills.
In the video below, Colorado Springs attorney, Mark Anthony Barrionuevo, Esq., explains more about filing a car accident lawsuit in Colorado:
Other reasons to file a car accident lawsuit?
Insurance companies will rarely provide car accident victims with compensation for emotional stress or loss of companionship due to a car accident. For that reason, victims that suffer emotionally and physically will often have to file a lawsuit in order to gain anything monetarily for their emotional suffering.
The following are the court options for accident victims who have not been adequately compensated after a car accident:
- Small claims court:
Most small claims court cases are decided by a judge instead of a jury. Usually victims who decide to file in small claims court get a trial quickly due to small claims court’s expedited pre-trail procedures. In some cases, accident victims represent themselves in small claims court. However, this type of claim is not for everyone or applicable in every situation. There is a fairly low limit as far as the amount of money that can be claimed in small claims court. For example, in Rhode Island and Kentucky, accident victims can only claim up to $1,500. However, in Tennessee, they can claim up to $25,000. The highest end of the spectrum being $25,000 still does not adequately cover every consequence of a car accident in every case.
- Regular civil court:
When an accident victim desires more money than small claims court will allow, they have to file in regular civil court in the state in which the car accident occurred. Regular civil court is slower, more expensive and has more rules and regulations than small claims court. Regular civil court cases begin with a pre-trial phase typically called the discovery phase. The discovery phase involves the exchanging of information pertaining to the case between the two parties involved in the case. When filing in regular civil court, hiring a lawyer is wise due to its more extensive rules and regulations.
Why hire an attorney for car accident lawsuits?
It is always possible for an accident victim to represent themselves in court. However, it is not always advisable. When a case includes procedural and evidentiary rules, it is usually difficult for the average person to put together a viable case. The insurance company of the person being sued will have an attorney working for them. Therefore, in order to be successful in court, victims will often times require the expertise of an attorney. However, there are some situations in which attorneys are not necessary and they are as follows:
- The insurance company representing the driver responsible for the accident admits responsibility:
When this situation occurs, there is less effort required for a victim to win their case. However, when the insurance company representing the responsible driver denies liability, a good attorney is necessary for a successful outcome.
- Remaining in small claims court:
If a victim is planning on filing in small claims court, they can usually handle representing themselves. However, it is important to note that the other side will almost assuredly have an attorney, so it is necessary for victims who represent themselves to be prepared to go against a professional.
- Injuries are not permanent or overly severe:
When injuries sustained in an accident are relatively small, filing in small claims court without an attorney is sometimes applicable. This is because the stakes are much lower. For example, a victim that is only looking to receive $10,000 at the most might not mind taking the risk of appearing on their own behalf. However, a victim attempting to win a million dollars will usually not want to the take the risk of representing themselves.
What to look for in a car accident attorney:
Although there are some situations in which victims can represent themselves, the vast majority of car accident victims will find hiring a car accident attorney necessary. When hiring said attorney, the most important aspect to look for is their experience with car accident lawsuits in the past.
How much does it cost to file a car accident lawsuit?
In most accident cases, attorneys work on a contingent fee basis, meaning they only receive payment if the case is a success. After a court case is won, the attorney will receive a predetermined amount of the recovered amount. However, there are also court fees to consider. Small claims court fees average from $50 to $220 or more. The average cost of filing in a regular civil court averages from $215.00 to $450.00.
Get the best possible legal representation now
Call 719-633-2222 to schedule a consultation with one of our Colorado Springs personal injury lawyers at Maceau Law.