How Long Do Pedestrian Accident Claims Take to Settle?Request Free Consultation
You suffered serious injuries in a pedestrian accident in Colorado someone else caused, and you want to obtain compensation for your medical expenses and other related costs. Like most traffic-related injury cases, you will first file your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company—or better yet, have an attorney do it for you.
Whether you have already begun the claims process or are still considering it, you likely have questions about how long it will take for your claim to settle so you can get the money you need.
How long it takes to settle your claim will depend on the severity of your injuries, the amount of damages you seek, and how quickly the insurance company responds to your claim, among other factors. No lawyer can place a specific timeframe on when your claim will settle without considering all the facts. However, certain things can speed up or slow down the process, and you need a lawyer who understands how the insurance settlement process works and can tell you what to expect.
Consult an experienced Colorado pedestrian accident attorney for a comprehensive review of your case and advice on how long it may take to settle your claim with the insurance company. A lawyer can also explain your options for obtaining compensation if you can’t reach a settlement with the insurer.
The Pedestrian Accident Claims Settlement Process
The claims settlement process begins when your attorney submits your claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. If you think you can submit a claim on your own, you should understand the challenges involved with submitting a claim and the tactics insurance companies use to deny claims or reduce the amount they will pay. You should also understand Colorado’s personal injury laws, as well as civil courts and procedures in case you have to take your case to trial.
Having an attorney represent you throughout the process ensures you file everything correctly and on time, and that you don’t do or say anything that could jeopardize your chances for getting compensation.
You will need an attorney to gather and establish the at-fault party’s liability. This process can take time, depending on the complexity of your case, so you need to get started as soon as possible.
Your attorney will need to collect:
- Official police and accident reports
- Your medical bills
- A copy of your treatment plan and related costs
- Notes from your doctor on the extent of your injuries and how they could potentially impact your life going forward
- Eyewitness statements
- Evidence of your lost wages, such as pay stubs
- Any property damage estimates that may apply
- Photos or videos of the accident scene
- Traffic camera and store surveillance videos
- Photographs of your injuries
By using this evidence, your attorney can show how the driver caused the pedestrian accident and hold them liable for your injuries.
Along with gathering evidence to support your claim, your attorney will also have to investigate the at-fault driver’s insurance policy to determine their coverage level. Colorado requires all drivers to purchase at least $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage on their auto insurance. But if the driver did not have insurance, you may have to file a claim with your own insurance company and use your own uninsured driver coverage to pay your medical bills. Your lawyer can advise you of your best options after reviewing your claim and determining insurance coverage from all parties involved.
What Factors Slow Down the Settlement Process?
If your injuries were not that severe or the insurance company does not dispute liability, you may settle your claim quickly and get your money in a few weeks.
However, not all Colorado pedestrian accidents claims are simple, and certain factors can slow down the settlement process, such as:
- Liability dispute. If the insurer denies coverage or disputes its level of liability, the situation will most assuredly involve an extensive investigation into the accident to determine fault. Several parties investigate, including law enforcement, accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, and other professionals and witnesses, plus the insurance company’s lawyers and your attorney. Accident injury investigations can sometimes take a considerable time, so you must prepare for a delay if the insurer denies your claim or any part of it.
- Settlement amount disputes. As mentioned, the insurer may disagree with the settlement figure and how much money they should pay for your claim. They may refute certain medical expenses or treatments, along with non-economic damages like pain, suffering and emotional distress. Your attorney will negotiate back and forth, and if an insurer refuses to respond, they can file a lawsuit.
- The number of parties involved. Your pedestrian accident may have involved more than just you and the vehicle driver. If other parties bear some responsibility for the accident and your injuries, it can slow down the process if you must deal with several insurance companies at once.
Although various factors can affect the settlement timeline, your attorney should remain vigilant and responsive with the insurer and all other parties involved to expedite the process and get you the money you need as soon as possible.
Don’t Rush to Accept a Settlement
Although you want the money you need for your medical expenses sooner than later, you must also not rush to accept a settlement, particularly if it is a low offer. Once you accept a settlement, you cannot pursue additional compensation for your injuries, and you will have no legal recourse to get more money from the insurer if your injuries prove more serious than you thought.
Some injuries, such as brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, may not manifest symptoms initially, or the condition may worsen over time. In some cases, you may never fully recover to the point you were at before the accident, and you want to ensure you get compensation for any future medical treatment or accommodations you may need.
For many injury claims, the concept of maximum medical improvement (MMI) comes into play. Your doctor may determine you have recovered physically as much as your injuries allow, but this does not mean you fully recovered. MMI basically means that no further treatment will help you. However, if your injuries result in a permanent disability, you may obtain compensation for ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, mobility devices, and other accommodations. You may also be compensated for disability or disfigurement.
You do not want to settle until your doctor has determined your MMI because it could jeopardize your chances of getting any additional compensation you will need.
Why You Need a Colorado Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Insurance companies look out for their best interests, not yours. They are businesses, and paying on claims reduces their profits. Therefore, they typically deny claims or reduce the amount they have to pay. Also, the insurance company may contact you directly and ask you questions to make you accept responsibility for the accident, or they may twist your words and use anything you say against you to deny coverage.
Never offer more information about the accident than the basic information, and never provide them with a recorded statement. Let your attorney deal with the insurance company and refer any questions or communications from the insurance company directly to your lawyer.
As you recover from your injuries, the last thing you need to worry about is gathering the evidence you need and filing your claim under tight deadlines. An attorney can handle all of that for you, and they will understand the defense tactics insurance companies use to reduce or deny claims. Your attorney will have your best interests at heart and will fight hard to get the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Also, if settlement negotiations break down or the insurer flat-out denies your claim and refuses to negotiate, you may take them to court and sue them for the money you need. You may also take them to court if they act in bad faith regarding the settlement agreement.
You need an attorney if your claim goes to court since a lawyer will understand the law, civil courts, and legal procedures. They will know the process, and an attorney can fight for you at trial and present a compelling case for you.
Colorado only allows you three years from your injury to file a lawsuit in court, and only two years for wrongful death. As such, you have no time to waste in contacting a lawyer and filing an injury claim as soon as you can.
Contact an Experienced Colorado Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
The difficult and challenging injury claims process requires in-depth legal knowledge and an understanding of how insurance companies operate to successfully handle. You want to get everything you need to attain as full of a physical recovery as possible, and for that, you will need an attorney.
The pedestrian accident injury attorneys at Fuicelli & Lee have many years of experience helping clients throughout Colorado with their complex pedestrian accident injury claims. We will sit with you and review your case for free, and we work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay us anything upfront to represent you.
Contact us today at for your free consultation with one of our attorneys and let us get you the maximum financial recovery possible so you can focus on getting better.