What Are Your Rights as an Accident Victim?
Your life has been turned upside-down by someone else’s carelessness and you have rights as the victim! But you may not know what those rights are. We have put together a list of answers to questions that car accident victims frequently ask us, such as… .
- Should I Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
- I Can’t Work! Now What?
- What is the Difference Between Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages
- Do I Need an Attorney?
Visit our FAQ page to see the answers to these and many other questions.
It starts with a conversation
Call or text us at 303-388-5304 or click the button below for your free consultation. You pay nothing until we win for you.
What is a Contingency Fee?
If you are looking for an attorney to help you after an accident, you should know that there is a distinct difference between personal injury attorneys and other types of lawyers. Personal injury attorneys don’t charge you a dime for anything until after your case is settled. If you have met an attorney who charges you for a consultation or asks you to pay a “signing fee” to handle your case, run the other way!
Personal injury law is one legal specialty that works on a contingency fee, which is simply a fancy way of saying, “free until we win.” You should pay nothing to your personal injury attorney until he or she secures a settlement for you from your case. At that point, your attorney will recoup some costs and receive an agreed-upon percentage of your settlement.
And by the way, it’s free to call me up to discuss your case. I would enjoy the opportunity to hear what you’re facing and to offer my help.
Immediately After Your Accident: 5 Important Things to Know
I am very sorry that you have been in at a Denver car accident or truck accident. Very few things in life are as disruptive and confusing as vehicle accidents because there are so many things that you need to take care of immediately afterward… in addition to healing from your injuries. I have found that many people make decisions in the hours and days after their car or truck accident that cause irreparable harm to their long-term health or to their ability to secure the funds they need to cover their losses.
Therefore, I wrote an article to help accident victims navigate the confusing decisions they face. If you follow the advice below, you may save yourself thousands of dollars and hours of precious time. Further, you may be setting yourself up for improved long-term health.
1. Don’t Give the Hospital the Other Driver’s Auto Insurance
Hospitals can’t do anything with the other driver’s insurance information. Worse, when you give them the other driver’s insurance card, they immediately know that there’s going to be a legal case and they may put a lien on your case, meaning they want a cut from your settlement!
2. Don’t Use Social Media
Imagine this: You’re the victim of an awful car accident. The other driver is clearly at fault and, depending on your injuries and medical needs, you may be owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. But one day, you’re finally having a good day after the accident, and you take a picture of yourself hiking Long’s Peak and you post it on Facebook. You were in tremendous back pain the entire hike but felt so proud of yourself that you just had to share the image with your friends. But that single image could mean that you say “bye-bye” to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The other driver’s insurance company will use that post against you. Stay off social media after your accident.
3. Don’t Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
You need to think of the other driver’s insurance company as an adversary. They are looking to protect their interests and, therefore, they will be looking for ways to get out of their responsibility to cover your costs.
4. Do Make Sure to Get all the Medical Attention You Need
It can be very scary when you’ve been injured in a car or motorcycle accident. Every time a doctor checks your vitals or a nurse takes your pulse, you think the bills are piling up. Will you be able to pay them? But I urge you not to neglect the care you need in order to heal properly!
5. Do Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury attorneys do not charge by the hour. (Or, I should say, legitimate ones don’t.) That means, it is 100% free to get some advice from one after your accident. Also, they don’t get paid a dime unless you sign up with them and they secure a settlement or a jury decision for you. In essence, it costs you nothing to talk to a personal injury attorney right after your accident, whether or not you ask them to take your case.
The tips above are just a slice of the article I wrote; read the full article here.
Helping Colorado’s Car and Truck Accident Victims for Over 20 Years
When you hire The O’Sullivan Law Firm, we go above and beyond what many other car accident lawyers in Denver typically do, including:
- On-scene accident investigations
- Witness interviews
- Police interviews
- Collection of available video footage from nearby business surveillance cameras
- Calls and letters to reduce your medical bills
- Connecting you to other resources you may need including estate lawyers and disability lawyers
- Working with the District Attorney to advocate for your case, if there is a criminal case involved
- Working to get your car totaled or repaired
After Your Accident, Speak to an Attorney As Soon As Possible
After a car accident in Denver – especially if you’ve been injured – you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. I know this sounds self-serving, but the truth of the matter is that there will be a lot of people and institutions working against your best interests (even your own insurance company!), so you need someone whose entire focus is on securing your rights.
In my 20+ years of working as a Denver personal injury attorney, I have seen car and truck accident victims further victimized by insurance companies, hospitals, doctor’s offices and other attorneys. Here are a few ways that others may try to take advantage of you:
If you are taken to the hospital after an accident, give them your health insurance card. Hospital billing departments are now attempting to NOT bill accident victims until the victim gets a settlement from their case. Hospitals attempt to get paid from that settlement because they can charge a lot more than if they bill your health insurance company. This means, if you receive a settlement, the hospital will claim a significant part of it is theirs, taking money right out of your pocket. We work to make sure our clients don’t fall victim to this practice.
Your Insurance Company
Believe it or not, I am increasingly seeing victims’ own insurance companies hiding coverage from them. I have literally defended car accident victims whose own insurance companies owed them hundreds of thousands of dollars but were trying to hide that coverage, even refusing to share policy paperwork with them! In order to fully understand all of the “pots” from which you might be owed money, you probably need an attorney’s help. We know all the tricks and won’t let insurance companies take advantage of our clients.
The Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Obviously, the other driver’s insurance company would like to avoid paying you at all costs. Before you ever talk to the other driver’s insurance company (especially if you were injured), you should consult with a Denver personal injury attorney. As they say on TV, “Anything you say [to the other driver’s insurance company] can and will be used against you.”
I have heard from many (many!) people who hired an attorney to help with their accident case but, after getting the client’s signature on the dotted line, that attorney never again responded to calls or emails; the clients only heard from paralegals and clerks. Or the attorney chose to settle their case before getting everything possible for the client. (Click here to read an article I wrote about the difference between those big firms you see on television and firms like The O’Sullivan Law Firm.)
“I worked for in the insurance industry for seven years and then I switched sides and have been fighting for victims’ rights for over 20 years. I have a history of winning cases and I make it my personal mission to find every dollar that my clients are due. After what they’ve been through, they deserve the very best.”
— Scott O’Sullivan
Denver Accident Map
It feels like Denver’s streets are getting more dangerous by the day. But, aside from weekday morning traffic reports, it can be hard to determine how dangerous and where the car crash hot-spots are. We wanted a way to view car accidents in Denver by type and location so that we could make better, safer decisions about our travel routes. So, we created the Denver Accident Map, which allows you to drill down by month (within the last 12 months) and all the way down to the intersection closest to where you live. Use it to keep your family safe!
What to Do (And NOT Do) After a Car Accident
Car accidents are upsetting! In the hours and days following an accident, it can sometimes be hard to keep your wits about you and make good decisions. Should you call the other driver’s insurance company? Should you hire an attorney? Should you post that photo of your car’s damage on Facebook for all your friends to see? Should you give the hospital the other driver’s insurance or your health insurance? Unfortunately, some of these choices can affect you significantly down the road and you may not even know which ones are the most fraught with peril until it’s too late.
To read the full article, in which I share more detail, please click here.
DO Call the Police to the Scene of the Accident
DO Take Pictures and Video of the Scene, Your Car and the Other Driver’s Car
DO Ask Witnesses to Share Their Story with Police
DO Collect Contact Information from All Witnesses
DO Take a Picture of the Other Driver’s Insurance Card
DO Seek Medical Attention if You Are Hurt
DO Give Your Own Health Insurance to the Hospital
DON’T Post Anything at All on Social Media
DON’T Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Our Team of Lawyers Makes the Difference
Scott W. O’Sullivan is founder of The O’Sullivan Law Firm. He previously worked as an insurance company lawyer but left because he hated the way insurance companies treated accident victims. In 1996, Scott decided to represent only injury victims and he has never looked back.
While riding a motorcycle, Eli was injured due to another driver’s negligence. He hired an attorney who negotiated a good settlement of his claim and the process changed his life. Eli used his settlement to attend law school and has been fighting for accident victims ever since.
You pay absolutely nothing to discuss your case with an attorney at The O’Sullivan Law Firm. In fact, if you speak with a personal injury attorney who tries to charge you just to discuss your case, or who requires a retainer, run the other direction. That is not how personal injury attorneys are supposed to operate. I highly recommend that you interview several attorneys before signing with one; I think you’ll discover a big difference in how they treat you, the time they take with you and how well they listen.
Why Hire The O’Sullivan Law Firm?
Here are the ways that can we help you not only cope with the day-to-day decisions but to also protect your rights and make sure that you secure compensation for your loss, pain and suffering:
I will make and take all the calls:
Once you and I decide to work together, I can take all of the insurance company’s calls off your hands. In fact, once you sign with an attorney, the other driver’s insurance company is not allowed to call you.
I will make sure the insurance companies are cooperating properly:
Sadly, insurance companies do not always step up and do the right thing after an accident. In fact, not only will the other driver’s insurance company do everything in its power to avoid paying you, but your own insurance company might hide resources that they owe you! I kid you not when I say that insurance companies are knowingly hiding money from their own clients. You can read more about this disturbing trend in this article . I can make sure that you receive what you’re owed.
I will help to reduce your medical bills:
Most people don’t know that they can negotiate lower bills with hospitals. A very big part of what I do is get your medical bills reduced so that, once you receive a settlement from your case, more money goes into your pocket instead of to the doctors and hospitals. Additionally, Colorado has something called a “Make-Whole Law.” It is very powerful but you must access it in a very specific way or you could lose your right to thousands of dollars. Learn more about Colorado’s Make-Whole Law here.
I will help to be sure you receive proper medical care:
Unfortunately, in my line of work, I see many victims of car and motorcycle accidents. Even worse, I often discover that they aren’t receiving the proper medical attention for their injuries. Not only is this bad for their long-term health, but it can be bad for their case. If you don’t receive proper care after an accident, you may not fully understand the long-term issues you’ll face, which means you won’t understand the costs you’ll incur in the future just to stay healthy. If you want to secure enough money for your long-term care, you need to be proactive now. I can help you to find the care you need.
I will help keep the creditors at bay throughout the process:
Colorado is a tort-based system, which means the at-fault driver’s insurance won’t pay for anything until all expenses are settled, and that can take a long time. In the meantime, your bills are piling up, you’re receiving calls from collections agencies, and your credit score is dropping. But there is an option to deflect all of this pressure until after your case is settled. If it appears that the at-fault driver has adequate insurance coverage, I might recommend that you receive treatment through a medical lien company. This step may help to protect your credit as it also saves you the time and frustration of dealing with a hospital’s billing department.
I can do all of this and more for you and you won’t pay me a dime until your settlement comes in because I work on a contingency fee.
Contact me today to discuss your case for free.
Consideration, Dedication, Professionalism
“Scott and his entire firm showed the utmost care, consideration, dedication, professionalism and genuine regard for me and my situation. The entire team worked diligently to move my case along without delay. They kept me informed and prepared every step of the way as the case moved forward. In the end, Scott skillfully negotiated a very favorable settlement.”