Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is damage done to the brain as a result of trauma. It is often called “the invisible injury.” Such an injury is frustrating and difficult to understand, both for the injured person, as well as for his or her loved ones. These injuries have an impact on emotions, memory, behavior, and cognitive functioning, affecting nearly every aspect of a person’s life.

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What are Spinal Injuries and Paralysis?

Spinal injuries involving paralysis have immediate life-changing consequences. Day-to-day skills need to be relearned or adapted to fit changed abilities. Motor vehicles, homes, and workplaces have to be significantly modified to adjust for the life change.

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What is a Trucking Accident?

Eighteen-wheeler trucks and other commercial trucks represent a substantial portion of the vehicles on the road. Trucks can also be dangerous – slow to stop, top-heavy, and not terribly maneuverable. Due to their size and weight, when they are involved in accidents with other vehicles, they can cause catastrophic injuries or death to the people in the other vehicle.

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What is a Medical Malpractice case?

When a doctor’s care falls below the accepted standard of care and that conduct is a cause of additional injury or disability, the injured party may bring a claim for medical malpractice.

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What financial compensation can I recover in a personal injury claim?

Accident victims are entitled to recover money damages for all losses and expenses they incur as a result of an accident. Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:

  • Medical and rehabilitation bills and expenses
  • Life Care Needs (wheelchairs, vans, prosthetic devices, etc.)
  • Lost wages, including overtime and benefits
  • Future lost wages and impairment of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent scars
  • Emotional trauma
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of quality and enjoyment of life
  • Loss of love, affection and sexual relations
  • Embarrassment
  • Mental disability
  • Property damage
  • All out-of-pocketed expenses (transportation charges, doctor/hospital bills, medical equipment, etc.)

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If I have an injury case, do I have to go to court?

Most cases in Colorado are settled out of court. If a case does not settle and goes to trial, you most likely will have to appear so your testimony can be heard.

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If a dog bites a person, is the keeper of the dog liable?

In general, the answer to this question is yes. An owner of a dog, or any animal for that matter, may be held liable for the injuries that the animal causes to others. However, the ease with which a plaintiff can win a "dog-bite" lawsuit differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction depending on the legal theory of recovery available in the plaintiff's location. Some jurisdictions require the plaintiff to show that the animal owner or keeper knew, or should have known, that the animal was inclined to attack or bite. In other jurisdictions, the plaintiff may only need to show negligence on the part of the owner in order to recover money for his injuries. If a wild animal, such as a lion, bear or monkey, injures the plaintiff, the person who harbored the animal may be held accountable under a theory of strict liability for plaintiff's injuries regardless of the plaintiff's conduct.

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Can a person recover damages for injuries sustained on someone else's property?

An owner of property has a duty to protect members of the public from injury that may occur upon the property. The injured person may be able to recover money for those injuries if he or she can prove that the property owner or person responsible for the condition of the property failed to meet that duty. The nature and extent of the property owner's duty will vary depending upon the facts of the situation and the jurisdiction in question.

The property owner's duty of care toward children is greater than the duty owed to adults. Even if the children are uninvited or engage in dangerous behavior, the property owner must still take precautions to prevent foreseeable harm to children. The classic example of a property owner's greater duty of care to children arises in the context of backyard swimming pools. Owners must fence, gate, and lock their pools in a manner that keeps children out and if they fail to do so, they will be found liable for injuries to children, even if the children were warned to stay off the property.

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Can anyone bring a wrongful death claim?

No. Generally, most states that recognize a wrongful death cause of action limit the pool of potential plaintiffs. Some states limit this group to the deceased's primary beneficiaries, defined as the surviving spouse and the deceased's children. Other states allow the parents of the deceased individual to bring a wrongful death claim. In addition to these individuals, some states recognize the rights of any dependent, whether closely related or not, to bring a wrongful death claim provided the person actually depended on the deceased for economic support.

If more than one plaintiff is entitled to recover, all plaintiffs will share in the award. The manner in which the award is divided can be confusing and will depend upon the laws in the particular jurisdiction where the matter is brought.

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When Will My Case Be Settled?

Generally, The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. will not begin to seriously negotiate until your medical treatment is complete. Your first concern is to follow your doctor's orders and get as well as you can. After your medical treatment, The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. will know how much permanent impairment you must live with and what the future is likely to hold. After becoming fully aware of all your damages, The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. can then begin to negotiate with the insurance company. Sometimes, those negotiations can take several months. We will try to keep you informed as we go and settle your case as quickly as possible.

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How Much Is My Case Worth?

There is no way to estimate the value of your case when your file is first opened. Until The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. gathers all the necessary materials concerning the liability issues and damage issues in your case, any estimate is meaningless. After the necessary work is done, The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. will provide a reliable estimate and will sit down with you to obtain your authority before beginning negotiations.

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What Do I Do When I Have A Question?

Call The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC.. CFN_1.gif

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Can I Handle My Own Claim For The Property Damage To My Car?

In most cases, you can settle your property damage claim on your own. You may decide to deal directly with the responsible person's insurance company or you may wish to settle under the collision portion of your own policy. If you settle with your company, your company should make a claim against the responsible person's insurance company and reimburse you for the deductible. This is part of the service you pay for you when you buy collision coverage. If your car was a total loss in the accident, there are several methods to help you figure out the fair market value of your car:

  1. Classified ads in the newspaper;
  2. NADA Book - call your bank or credit union;
  3. Auto Trader Magazine - can be purchased at many convenience stores;
  4. Car Dealers

CFN_1.gifOnce you've checked these sources, you should have a pretty good idea about the range of value for your car. When you settle your Property Damage Claim, be sure to call The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. before you sign any documents.

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What If The Other Driver Has No Insurance?

In this situation, the other driver is an "uninsured motorist". The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. will figure out the amount of uninsured motorist coverage available under all applicable automobile policies and then seek compensation from those insurance companies.

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What About The Other Costs Of Litigation That Come Up In My Case?

Besides legal fees, there are various charges which must be paid to prepare your case. Police departments typically charge for a copy of the accident report; physicians bill for preparation of their medical reports; other incidental costs of this kind accrue as well. Costs also may include bills received from other people about your case, such as court reporters, expert witnesses, and others.

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If I Know Of Someone Else With A Personal Injury, Should I Tell Him or Her About The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC.?

If someone you know is injured, The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. would be happy to speak with them about the injury and any potential claim. Please ask them to call and be sure to have them mention that they are referred by you. The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. will answer their questions and set up an appointment immediately where appropriate.

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Do the changes in Colorado ’s auto insurance laws affect how I recover damages?

Yes. The Colorado No-Fault Act sunsetted, effective July 1, 2003. All accidents occurring after that date are now governed by pure tort law principles.

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Even if I did not have insurance that would pay for medical care, is there a way for me to still get treatment from doctors for injuries I sustained?

Yes. With the change in laws, doctors are often willing to see patients on a lien basis. In those circumstances, a doctor will see you and treat your condition with an understanding that upon resolution of your claim with the insurance company, the doctor will get paid out of the proceeds recovered from the wrongdoer. It is important before you engage in any sort of lien agreement with any doctor’s office that you consult The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. who can properly advise you on your rights in this regard.

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If I am hit by a driver who does not have insurance, is there anything I can do?

Yes. Uninsured Motorist coverage protects you in the event you are injured by an uninsured motorist. Under Colorado law, uninsured motorist coverage is a required coverage for all drivers, UNLESS you signed paperwork with your insurance company stating that you did not want uninsured motorist coverage.

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If my health insurance is paying for my medical treatment, is it true that I have to pay them back from any recovery I get from the negligent driver?

In Colorado, you may have to reimburse your own insurance company. This is one of the reasons exactly why it is very important that you receive proper advice from The Law Firm of William Babich, LLC. before settling with a negligent driver.

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