Common Questions

Because every case is unique, Fuller Law offers FREE initial consultations — and we’re available 24/7 to discuss your legal options. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help. We offer this quick-hit guide to help you assess your situation and move quickly to secure the legal assistance you might you need.

General Questions

Do I have a case?

Quite simply, if you were injured by someone else’s negligence, and there is applicable insurance available to cover your losses, then you have a case. At Fuller Law, we specialize in analyzing personal injury cases from a business perspective, always weighing potential costs against projected recovery. This is why our firm can handle cases of all sizes from start to finish.

Do I need a personal injury attorney?

Personal injury attorneys are specially trained to handle accident cases. A good personal injury attorney will help you take account of the full picture of your unique circumstances and will help you navigate the many steps required to resolve your case successfully. The attorney can help you get the medical attention you need and can help you achieve maximum compensation for the harm you have experienced. In most instances, people who have hired a good personal injury attorney receive more in compensation than those who proceed without one.

When should I hire a personal injury attorney?

The ideal time to consider hiring a personal injury attorney is very soon after the injury has happened. Injured people have a lot of important decisions to make, and it is easy to overlook important details that could have lifelong ramifications. Fuller Law’s Personal Injury Legal Team knows how to set up claims properly from the very start. Failure to do so can greatly and negatively affect a case’s final outcome.

How much does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?

Each law firm is different. However, at Fuller Law, personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. This means client fees are calculated as a percentage of the gross amount recovered. The Fuller Law firm also will advance all expenses of the case, so there is no upfront cost for our client. This allows people injured through no fault of their own to have an experienced attorney on their side right from the start without having to pay a large retainer up front.

What kind of information should I gather about my injury so I can look out for my own interests well?

A good personal injury lawyer will help ensure you capture every pertinent detail — but here is a list of information it would be smart for you to collect:

  • Date of Accident

  • Total amount of property damage

  • Description of injuries

  • Total of medical bills

  • Total of lost wages

  • Future medical expenses anticipated

  • Other driver’s or property owner’s insurance limits

  • Your insurance type and limits

  • Any amounts paid by Medpay and/or health insurance

  • Any pre-existing conditions or previous accidents

An insurance company already offered me a settlement. What should I do?

For the most part, you never want to settle a personal injury case until all medical treatment is complete. Insurance companies know this and frequently try to fast-track a settlement before the full nature of a victim’s damages are known. Insurance companies also know that if you hire a personal injury attorney, the case will cost them more money than if you don’t. So, contact Fuller Law for a FREE initial consultation before accepting any settlement offer.

What do I need to know about damages?

Colorado is a “fault state.” This means the driver at fault of the accident is responsible for all the damages caused by his or her negligence. There are various types of damages falling into three main categories:

Property Damage – Property damage refers to the damage done to your vehicle. Typically, property damage will get resolved well before any claims for injury are settled.

Economic Damages – These are damages resulting from personal injuries. Economic damages include items that can be quantified in dollars. Examples include medical expenses, wage losses and anything else that can be easily reduced to a dollar figure.

Noneconomic Damages – These are damages also resulting from personal injuries. Noneconomic damages are the intangible losses often representing the greatest losses a client will suffer. This is the classic “pain and suffering” you typically hear about. Quantifying noneconomic damages is difficult, but important. At Fuller Law, we focus on learning about all the impacts suffered by our clients and translating those impacts into compensation.

Questions about vehicle accidents

Motor vehicle accidents come in many forms and commonly involve factors — such as commercial vehicle operation, governmental immunity, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, each having special legal significance. If you or a family member are victims of someone else’s negligence, it is very important that you understand how the process of establishing and pursuing a legal claim is supposed to work. We hope this cursory guide will help you get started in the right direction.

How do I prepare for an accident?

Start by being prepared for the possibility that you will be in an accident.

First, even if you own your car free and clear, know that carrying only liability insurance may be a mistake. One of the most important types of coverage is Medical Payments Coverage, or Medpay for short. In 2009, the State of Colorado made Medpay a mandatory coverage — but it also left open the possibility that a party could waive this coverage. DO NOT EVER WAIVE MEDPAY, which covers each person in your car regardless of who is at fault for an accident. Even if you have great health insurance coverage, Medpay insurance coverage can be used for co-pays and deductibles. And consider this: Even if you have that great coverage, one of your passengers may not. If your insurance agent recommends that you waive Medpay, get a new agent.

Second, please, please, please purchase coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers. This is the single most important factor that will help you address what could be outright tragedy if you are hit by a driver with little or no insurance. As many as one in three Colorado drivers is uninsured. Think about that. If you are stopped at a traffic light and know you have insurance, chances are that the drivers to your left and right do not. We at Fuller Law also frequently find that even drivers who present a valid insurance card at the scene of an accident actually do not have valid insurance policies. Please protect you and your family by purchasing enough insurance.

What do I need to know about damages?

Colorado is a “fault state.”  This means the driver at fault of the accident is responsible for all the damages caused by his or her negligence. There are various types of damages falling into three main categories:  

Property Damage -Property damage refers to the damage done to your vehicle.  Typically, property damage will get resolved well before any claims for injury are settled.

Economic Damages - These are damages resulting from personal injuries. Economic damages include items that can be quantified in dollars. Examples include medical expenses, wage losses and anything else that can be easily reduced to a dollar figure.  

Noneconomic Damages - These are damages also resulting from personal injuries. Noneconomic damages are the intangible losses often representing the greatest losses a client will suffer. This is the classic “pain and suffering” you typically hear about.  Quantifying noneconomic damages is difficult, but important.  At Fuller Law, we focus on learning about all the impacts suffered by our clients and translating those impacts into compensation.

I just had an accident. What do I do now?

We know it is easier said than done, but in the event of an accident, try to assess your situation calmly.  If injuries require emergency attention, those obviously need to be your priority. However, if you are able, there are some steps you could take to help you avoid problems that frequently come up later for people making legal claims. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a picture of the scene of the accident. Capture images of all vehicles involved and the other driver(s). After the vehicles are moved, the only source of information will be the police report. Our firm has seen many mistakes made by officers who tried to recreate an accident based on the statements of drivers and witnesses. Do not assume police officers will get all the facts or describe the accident accurately. Sometimes, even the identity of a driver becomes an issue later. With a photo from the scene of an accident, important questions are more likely to be answered, and discrepancies in accident reports more likely to be avoided.

  • If there are witnesses, take their phone number. Our clients often mention an accident witness who stopped to help. However, we also commonly find that even if that witness talked to a police officer, there is no record of the person’s identity.

  • Get medical attention. Victims of vehicle accidents frequently do not realize the full extent of their injuries for many hours, if not days. While there may be no reason for an accident victim to go to a hospital emergency room, most people would benefit from a checkup by their primary care physician or at an urgent-care facility.

What should I do about my damaged car?

If you still can drive your car, obtain an estimate of the damages from a repair facility of your choice. Many times, an insurance company will try to “recommend” a body shop. You have no obligation to use a shop suggested by the insurance company.

If your car cannot be driven, you need to act quickly. Contact the “at-fault driver’s” insurance company about how to move your vehicle as soon as possible. Know that companies make a lot of money by storing vehicles.

Do I have to give a recorded statement to another driver’s insurance company?

No.  You don’t ever have to consent to a recorded statement by the other insurance company.  In many cases, and particularly in cases of clear liability, there is no need to give a statement.  Insurance companies try to use recorded statements to trick people into accepting a small portion of liability for causing the accident and to minimize client damages.  If there is a legitimate dispute about liability, you should be extremely careful or consult with a qualified attorney before consenting to give such a statement.

What do I need to know about rental vehicles?

If your car cannot be driven or has to be in the repair shop for several days, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for your rental. You also may have purchased this coverage on your own insurance policy.  However, you first should use the at-fault driver’s insurance company to secure a rental. In some cases, you may have to initiate the car rental and transfer the payment obligation to the at-fault driver’s insurance company after they accept liability for the accident.  

My insurance company or theirs?

At the end of the day, the liable party’s insurance company will pay for your property damage.  However, that does not mean you must go through that company.  Drivers with full coverage are free to use their own insurance either to pay for repair or to replace a totaled vehicle. If you use your own insurance, you likely will be charged a deductible that is refunded by the other driver’s insurance company.  

Will my rates go up if I choose to use my insurance to repair my vehicle?

If you are not at fault for the accident, your insurance company has no basis to raise your rates.  If you use your insurance to pay for your property damage, your insurance company will be reimbursed by the other driver’s insurance company.

What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

It is an unfortunate reality is that there are many uninsured drivers on our roads.  You need to protect yourself by having uninsured and/or underinsured coverage, also known as UM/UIM.  This coverage kicks in to provide coverage for injuries caused by another driver’s negligence.  If the other driver is covered, but not by enough insurance, this coverage “stacks” on top of their coverage. UM coverage applies to injuries, medical expenses, wage losses and pain and suffering, but not to the damage to your vehicle.  Some insurance companies offer UM for property damage, but this should be considered only if you don’t already have comprehensive and collision coverage.

Will my rates go up if I use my UM/UIM coverage?

No.  The only time you are allowed to use your UM/UIM coverage is when the other driver is at fault.  Your insurance company cannot penalize you for using the coverage you bought.  

If the other driver is at fault, will his or her insurance pay for my medical care?

Typically, no — at least not up front. This is a common misperception important to clarify because we have seen our own clients turned over to collections agencies for nonpayment of their medical bills. The at-fault driver’s insurance company has only one duty, and that is to protect their insured client. That insurance company will not pay your bills as those bills are incurred. Even if you gave a hospital or doctor information about the other driver’s insurance, you eventually will get a bill because that insurance company did not pay. In Colorado, we commonly see clients who use their own medical payments coverage and their own health insurance to pay for accident-related care. At the end of their case, their carriers will sometimes be repaid. Clients who do not have health insurance either must self-pay for their medical care or sometimes may qualify to use medical-care-finance companies that will pay for treatment and wait until the end of the case to be repaid.