Personal Injury Lawsuits Boulder, Fort Collins
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some commonly asked questions that the Tenge Law Firm fields related to personal injury lawsuits. If you would like more information, contact Boulder and Fort Collins attorney J. Todd Tenge. He or a member of our legal team would be happy to sit down with you personally and explain the components of a lawsuit, the types of cases we handle, the concepts of negligence or liability, and anything else that you would like to know more about.
Video: Hiring the Tenge Law Firm
Why do I need a lawyer?
Most professionals in the legal field will advise personal injury victims not to represent themselves in a court of law. There are many reasons for this, the most pressing being that there are so many facets of filing a personal injury claim that require the expertise of an attorney. Also, a personal injury attorney is thoroughly versed in the elements of a claim and how to establish liability and prove negligence. It can be difficult for a layperson to understand the intricacies of the law, so we encourage injured victims to seek counsel from an experienced attorney such as J. Todd Tenge.
Which types of claims do you handle?
The Tenge Law Firm accepts all types of personal injury and accident claims, as well as insurance disputes and bad faith insurance claims. We specialize in motor vehicle accidents, including car, truck, bicycle, pedestrian and motorcycle accident claims. These accidents, which often cause catastrophic physical injuries such as neck and back, brain, or spinal cord injuries, generally require a substantial amount of compensation for the injured to be able to pay medical bills and other expenses that arise from an injury.
Additional practice areas include:
- Premises liability claims
- Product liability claims
- Construction accident claims
- Nursing home abuse claims
- Insurance disputes (including ERISA claims)
What is negligence?
Personal injury lawsuits are often based on negligence, which means that the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. A person has behaved negligently if he or she deviated from the conduct expected from a reasonably prudent person. For example, when a driver runs a red light, he or she is acting negligently, because a reasonable person would stop at a red light. When someone's negligence causes injury to another person, the negligent party can be held liable for the resulting harm. So if the person who ran the red light hit another car and injured the driver, he or she would be held legally responsible for the victim's injuries.
For more information about demonstrating negligence in personal injury lawsuits and pursuing your rights to financial compensation, contact the Tenge Law Firm in Boulder and Fort Collins.
What kind of compensation am I eligible for?
Victims of personal injury are typically eligible for several kinds of reimbursement, in the form of compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages cover economic and non-economic damages such as medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are awarded in cases to punish the defendant for egregiously wrongful behavior, or purposeful behavior that a reasonable person would deem dangerous or reckless.
Do I have a case?
You will have a case if you can satisfy the elements of an injury claim. These are: (1) negligence or other basis for establishing liability against the other party; (2) injury; (3) causation of the injury to the accident; and (4) damages. While not technically an "element of an injury claim", there is a fifth element which is quite important in the real world. Element no. 5 is collectability. Does the at fault party have insurance coverage or other assets from which to recover your monetary damages.
What is my case worth?
First of all, any attorney who meets with you or conducts a quick phone conference (or e-mail exchange) and immediately claims to know exactly what your case is worth, is either naïve, not very smart, or lying to you. No qualified injury attorney can answer that question without a thorough understanding of all aspects of your claim, including without limitation, medical records and bills, medical reports and test results, accident report and investigation, impact of the accident on all aspects of your life (physical, emotional, spiritual, relationships, work, hobbies, recreation, etc.), wage losses (past and future), any pre existing medical issues, prior or subsequent accidents, and many others. Unless and until a qualified attorney has a deep understanding of all these things, it is frankly a bit irresponsible to render an "off the cuff" opinion about the value of someone's injury claim. At the Tenge Law Firm, we may be able to provide a general estimate, but will not advise you about a specific value until it is appropriate to do so.
How do you make sure my future medical care is paid for when I settle?
At the Tenge Law Firm we work with excellent medical providers who will prepare reports indicating the nature, type, frequency, and perhaps most important, cost of all your future care. This would include surgical and post operative rehabilitation expenses, time off work related to invasive care/surgery, cost of future medications, tests or whatever may be necessary to care for you and your injuries going forward after the case is settled. We are very thorough and consider this a critical aspect of every injury claim where the injured victim will need future medical care. Thus, we make sure we put together the medical evidence and professional opinions necessary to obtain compensation for you. In catastrophic injury cases, we will use one or our highly qualified and reputable vocational and life care plan experts and/or economists, to prepare an opinion report about the future care expenses.
What does it cost to hire you?
Nothing. We will consult with you and provide you with our professional opinion about your case for free. Many of our initial consultations are over an hour.
How long will my case take?
We hear this question all the time. The timeline of any case depends largely upon the medical recovery of the client. We recommend folks wait to try to settle their case until they are either (a) all the way better; or (b) have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This way, we know the full extent of your injuries, losses and damages, and can be sure we are recovering full compensation for you. You never want to settle your claim too early because you may miss something and not be fully compensated. Once you have reached MMI, it generally takes 1-2 months to settle your case, if it is settled. If we are able to settle the case for you (with your agreement and consent) then great. If not, and with your consent, we will file a lawsuit to seek the full measure of compensation for you. Generally speaking, if we file a lawsuit, it will take about a year for it to get to trial or arbitration. However, your claim may settle at any point along the way. Of course, J. Todd Tenge and his team at the Tenge Law Firm will be counseling you every step of the way to make sure you are informed and we make the best decisions about your case. There are certain exceptions and situations where a claim can be settled quite quickly. So, each client's case is taken on its own and individually. There is no set form or timeframe. We handle each person's claim in the most efficient and timely manner to maximize the recovery for our clients.
What if I don't win my case, will I owe your law firm any attorney fees?
Absolutely not. You will never receive a bill or any kind of statement for our hourly time or services. The Tenge Law Firm's fee is purely contingent on our excellent team recovering money for you. If you don't recover money, we don't get paid. Period. This is why we are selective in the cases and clients we take and handle ALL our cases diligently, aggressively and thoroughly. Let's face it, if we don't do well, our clients and our firm will indeed suffer.
Will I have to go to trial?
Probably not. Statistically speaking, only about 3% of injury cases actually go to a trial. The other 97% are settled at some point up to the point of trial. The factors that tend to "drive" cases to a trial more than other cases include: (1) disputed liability; (2) unclear causation; (3) speculative or hard to prove damages - especially business or wage losses; (4) pre existing medical conditions; and (5) an unqualified injury attorney without the reputation or preparation necessary to get the claim settled.
Who pays my medical bills while the case is ongoing?
Medical bills are paid generally three (3) ways: (1) health insurance; (2) medical payments coverage on your auto insurance; and (3) liens. However, all your medical care will be claimed as part of your damages against the at fault party. However, medical providers like to be paid at or near the time of service, so we uses the above 3 ways to pay your medical providers along the way to be sure you get the proper medical care and diagnostic testing you need, not only to get better, but to be sure each and every injury you sustained is known and can be demonstrated and proven. Remember - if you have medical payments coverage on your auto insurance policy, this coverage is PRIMARY over your health insurance. So, you use your medical payments coverage (medpay) to pay your bills until it is exhausted. Then, your health insurance becomes primary and you bill it. In the event we represent an individual without either health insurance or medpay (or other financial means to afford medical care), we will be able to get you the best care possible. We have a network or extremely caring and skilled medical providers (in a variety of specialties) who will provide medical care on a "lien" basis. What this means is that they will provide treatment and care to you and wait until the case is resolved to get paid. The Tenge Law Firm's excellent and honest reputation with the medical community makes this possible for our uninsured clients.
How does the Tenge Law Firm typically fare in trials and arbitrations?
The Tenge Law Firm has never lost a personal injury trial or arbitration. We are excellent trial lawyers and prepare and present our cases extremely well. We believe we have a good presence before a judge, jury or arbitrators, which helps us persuade the fact finders to award our clients fair, just and reasonable compensation. Perhaps most importantly, we believe in our clients and their stories, and the jury is impressed with our sincerity. And finally, we make good, common sense driven recommendations to our clients as to whether or not they ought to push their case to a trial or arbitration. We do our utmost to make sure the client is fully educated about the costs and benefits, pros and cons, and the "risk-reward" of going to trial or arbitration. And as such, our clients make well-informed, pragmatic decisions about settlement versus trial.
Where can I get more information about personal injury lawsuits?
If you have questions about personal injury lawsuits that are still unanswered, contact Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins attorney J. Todd Tenge. Mr. Tenge and his legal team would be pleased to meet with you during a free, confidential consultation to discuss your questions and evaluate your potential claim.