FAQ – LEGAL HELP IN COLORADO
Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions and you don’t know where to turn? Let us provide you with answers to the most common legal questions.
Need more information? Call our team of experienced lawyers at Legal Help In Colorado today!
Hiring A Lawyer
Do I Even Need a Lawyer? Why?
Most times you should think about hiring an attorney for accidents, especially if you have injuries. For example, an insurance company can give you a low offer. The odds of an insurance company giving you a low offer are greater as an individual. Once you get an attorney involved that knows the ins and outs of insurance and the legal world they can get you a better settlement.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
This varies. There are some attorneys on TV who say, “I can tell you what your case is worth!” Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. You have to know the limit of the other insurance carrier who hit you before we can see how much your case could potentially be worth. Settlements also depend on your need for medical treatment if injuries are involved.
What’s the process of hiring a lawyer like?
Just give us a call. We do a thorough intake where an intake specialist interviews you to get a better idea of the case at hand. They then relay all of this information to an attorney. The attorney can then accept your case and recommend a lean company to help with medical care. If the case doesn’t fit our exact expertise, we are more than happy to direct you to another resource that can help.
Injured on The Job? Lets talk Worker’s Comp
Should I Go To My Normal Doctor?
If you are injured on the job you shouldn’t go to your normal doctor. The reason for this is, most worker’s comp insurance only covers certain providers and there is a chance your normal doctor is not considered ‘in-network’. Immediately after reporting the injury to the correct department, you should request any documentation that outlines what medical facilities/hospitals/clinics are covered under their insurance. If you do choose to go to your own provider, you may be denied reimbursement, similar to with personal healthcare plans.
What If I Don't Have Health Insurance?
If you are injured on the job and don’t have personal health insurance, do not worry. Colorado law requires that all employers have worker’s compensation insurance for their employees (non-contractor positions), commonly referred to as worker’s comp. If your company does not have this specific insurance they can be fined up to 500 dollars for every day they remain uninsured and potentially result in the business being shut down.
If you are injured on the job and your company does not have worker’s comp insurance, the company has to pay for the entire claim and an additional 25% penalty. Colorado law also requires all medical injuries to be paid by your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance if you are injured on the job.
What If I Can't Afford Medical Treatment?
If you are injured on the job your company has to pay for all medical costs related to the work injury. You do not have to worry about not being able to afford the cost of medical treatment as it should be billed to your employer’s insurance. Be sure to keep track of any bills sent to you so that you can make sure they are paid, rather than left due in your name.
What If My Injuries Impact Me For the Rest of My Life?
If you are disabled, your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance may pay out disability benefits. You can qualify for temporary disability in the state of Colorado if you miss more than 3 days of work from an injury sustained on the job. These temporary benefits stop when you are healed, can return to work, or are allowed to return to a modified job based on your injuries. However, you may wish to file a lawsuit against your employer if you are injured for the rest of your life. Life-long injuries should not reasonably happen on a job site that is following proper safety standards. If your employer is at fault you may be entitled to additional compensation.
Fire Damage Insurance Claims
Won't the Insurance Adjuster Just Pay the Claim?
Colorado law requires your insurance adjuster to pay a complete claim within 60 days of approval, however, there is no specific timeline as to when it will be approved. It may be several months before your claim is processed and you have the payment. This timeline is extended in times of disaster, such as the Marshall Fire, as there are many claims all being processed.
In some cases, the claim may be denied for a lack of completeness, dishonest actions on the part of the insurance, or countless other reasons. This can make living after a fire more difficult with an increased number of out-of-pocket costs. Having an attorney who understands the nuances of insurance companies can help to get your claim paid faster, and ensure you don’t get saddled with bills that your coverage should pay for.
How Much Do I Have Pay Out of Pocket?
Whenever you have a claim with your insurance company there is a certain amount of money you must pay out of pocket. Your claim likely covers your home, belongings, and detached structures on your property. However, in the event, you need to file a claim for damages to your home, belongings, or detached structures, you will have to pay the agreed upon deductible amount set by your insurance company.
You would pay the deductible out of pocket and your home owner’s insurance will help to cover the rest of the damages. If you have a fixed deductible you would pay that specific dollar amount which can vary based on your policy. If you have a percentage-based deductible you pay the agreed-upon percentage of the damages. For example, if your home and belongings are worth 100,000 and everything is destroyed and you have a 1% deductible you would pay 1,000 dollars. If your home and belongings are worth 500,000 dollars and all are destroyed but you have a dollar amount deductible of 1,500 dollars you would pay 1,500 dollars out of pocket regardless.
The best way to know what you will have to pay is to request a full copy of your policy and coverage. This will allow you to be well informed about what you are entitled to as well as help you identify any unsavory behavior on the part of the insurance company.
What If I Don't Have Receipts for Things?
Having to rebuild after having your home or business destroyed or damaged by a fire can be difficult to deal with. Once you file an insurance claim your insurance company will likely request receipts or proof of purchase for damaged belongings. Unfortunately, people often throw away receipts for technology, appliances, furniture, or other belongings.
If you do not have the receipts for your insurance company, there are other ways you can prove that you owned the belongings needing to be replaced. Look through your email to try to find any proof of purchase, look for pictures of belongings, videos that may show belongings in the background, owner’s manuals or product warranties, credit card statements, bank statements, or anything else that proves you owned the belonging. If none of these options work for you, your claim may be delayed or perhaps denied, which is why it is vital to try and collect as much evidence as possible.
Where Will I Stay While My House is Being Rebuilt?
After severe damage happens to your home and you can’t stay in your home, the first thing to consider is where to seek alternative shelter. There are a variety of options you can choose from such as: with family or friends, in hotels and extended stay locales, or Airbnb’s and short-term lease housing. It is likely your home owner’s insurance policy covers temporary housing that is comparable to how you were living before the damage. Make sure to keep track of how much your temporary housing costs with receipts so you can be reimbursed by your insurance company.
Bad Faith Insurance Claims
What is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
A bad faith insurance claim is one of your options to get the compensation you deserve when your insurance company does not process, investigate, or pay your insurance claim fairly. Since insurance companies are often large, powerful, and have a better understanding of their contracts, they sometimes can take advantage of their customers. Or in times of disaster, to avoid large amounts of payouts all at once, some companies use bad faith tactics to reduce your settlement. In this case, you can file a lawsuit against your insurance company for the proper amount. Our experienced insurance attorneys can help you figure out if your insurance company is acting in bad faith and represent you in filing a lawsuit if necessary.
How Do I Know if My Insurance Acted in Bad Faith?
Your insurance company acts in bad faith when they deny or lower a settlement with a reasonable justification. This can be done in a variety of ways that may seem like standard practices to people not involved in the world of insurance.
Examples of bad faith tactics may include: paying less than your claim is worth, denying your claim without reason, failing to properly investigate your claim, extending waiting periods without cause, failing to provide information about your claim in a reasonable time frame, providing false reasoning for the denial of a claim, changing deductibles and waiting periods without notice, increasing premiums without notice, terminating your coverage as a result of your claim, as well as misrepresenting the wording of your policy. If any of these practices sound familiar, contact our attorneys at Help In Colorado at (303) 351-2567 to help you with your case and prevent further financial problems.
What Can I Do If I Suspect My Insurance Acted in Bad Faith
If you suspect that your insurer acted in bad faith towards you following a claim, you have a variety of options to resolve the matter.
-You can file a complaint with the Colorado insurance board
-You can submit a complaint directly to your insurance company
-You can file a bad faith lawsuit against your insurer to collect fair payment
To see if filing a lawsuit is the best way for you to protect your rights as a home or business owner, contact our talented attorneys so we can fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Bad Faith Claim?
You do not need a lawyer to file a bad faith claim against your insurer, however, the process can be confusing to those unfamiliar with it. The insurance policies themselves can add more confusion because of the fine print technical terms. There are several steps you must take to file a bad faith claim such as sending a demand letter and deciding what court in which to file. Insurance companies, on the other hand, have teams of lawyers to fight on their behalf which further amplifies the issue.
Our attorneys are well versed in the Colorado legal system and have years of experience winning claims against insurance companies for our clients. You want someone on your side that can help you navigate through the frustration to get your compensation.