Insurance companies are required by Colorado law to fairly investigate and adjust accident and injury claims. Too often, however, they act unlawfully in order to increase profits. For example, we exposed State Farm for using undue means during auto-claim arbitrations to gain advantage against its own customers.
Click on our Published Case for details. If you were badly injured in a car accident, the defendant’s insurance company should protect its insured from an “excess judgment” (a jury award greater than the insurance policy limits) by making a reasonable settlement offer to compensate you for your accident-related injuries and damages.
Under Colorado law, that can include economic losses (medical expense, loss of income because you cannot work, etc.) and non-economic losses (pain and suffering, etc.), physical disability, and disfigurement. The “value” of your accident or personal injury claim is determined by what a jury is likely to award if you went to trial.
In order to win, we must prove all three “elements” of the claim. For auto accidents, the elements we must prove are:
- The defendant was negligent. “Negligent” basically means careless.
- You sustained injury or damage.
- The defendants’ negligence was a cause of your injuries and damages.
Different types of claims, however, have different elements. Premises liability claims are controlled by a statue, and your rights depend on why you were on the property. Since each type of case (indeed every case) is unique, each case must be evaluated and prepared independently. Often we are able to settle accident claims fairly, before a lawsuit is filed. Most of the injury cases we take into litigation are either settled by the parties directly or at a court-ordered settlement conference, which usually happens after initial discovery and depositions.
Sometimes, however, the insurance company tries to “wear you down” by delay and hardball tactics, although the insurance adjusters know perfectly well your claim is honest and legitimate. Then it is necessary to let a jury determine the personal injury case. Insurance companies consider many factors when deciding if to settle, and for how much. One of the factors insurance companies consider in evaluating personal injury accident claims is the quality of the claimant’s lawyer. If the insurance companies know the victim’s lawyer is willing and ready to go to trial, and the lawyer has won some tough or complicated cases in the past, it will often offer more than if the Claimant’s law firm is just a “mill” that settles a volume of accident cases “cheap”.
At Silvern & Buger, we are proud of our record of keeping insurance companies and their lawyers honest. We have a track record of taking personal injury accident cases to trial when necessary, and have won some difficult car and motorcycle accident cases that have been written up in the Colorado Jury Verdict Reporter, newspapers and professional magazines. Insurance companies respect the fact that we will fight for our accident victim clients and are effective at persuading jurors and judges that our personal injury clients truly suffered because of someone else’s negligence.
We also have the experience to help you maintain your lifestyle as you recover. We will help you analyze what benefits you may have available including long term disability, short term disability, worker’s compensations, social security disability or other disability insurance benefits.
Click on our Published Cases for details regarding some of our cases that have been written up. Of course, many of our cases settle quickly and privately. They settle better, though, because of our successes in Court. Often, our clients have other claims (or need help with other claims), including obtaining much needed medical and disability benefits.