Visitor Question

Hit by a drunk driver in Colorado…

Submitted By: A (Colorado)

I was involved in a hit and run with a drunk driver. The driver drove away but was later apprehended and charged. My car was totaled. I sustained severe pain in my cervical spine, and medical bills were close to $7K.

I have not been able to shake this accident. I’ve been unable to complete my undergraduate degree, have depression, and I’m taking meds for that and anxiety. I don’t enjoy skiing or mountain biking anymore, and have withdrawn since the accident. I have unpaid tuition for classes I have not completed over $5K.

I know my claim’s statute of limitations is getting close (accident happened Feb. 18th, 2012) and no medical bills have been paid yet. The insurance company said they need the total numbers before they settle.

What should I ask for in terms of settlement? Can I delay the settlement until I’ve completed treatment and have a total amount for my bills? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear A,

A sprain to the cervical spine can be quite painful. Fortunately your injuries weren’t more serious.

You state that as a result of the crash you were “unable to complete my undergraduate degree, have depression, and I’m taking meds for that and anxiety. I don’t enjoy skiing or mountain biking anymore, and have withdrawn since the accident. I have unpaid tuition for classes I have not completed over $5K.”

While those issues are real to you, you can be sure the insurance company will hardly consider them when calculating a settlement offer. To strengthen your claim for these damages, you can obtain a written narrative from a licensed mental health professional attesting to these emotional damages.

Your settlement will be based primarily in your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for such things as medications, costs of travel to and from treatment, bandages, etc.), lost wages (if any), and your pain and suffering.

The statute of limitations in the State of Colorado for either settling your claim or filing a lawsuit is two (2) years.

If that date is approaching and you don’t feel you can settle the case timely, then you must retain an attorney or file a lawsuit yourself. Once a lawsuit is filed, the statute of limitations becomes irrelevant.

While many factors are involved in settling a similar injury claim, you can be confident asking for an amount in the neighborhood of $21,000 to start negotiations.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 15, 2017

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