FAQs About Personal Injury Lawsuits in Colorado
Tenge Law Firm, LLC, offers up the answers to the questions we hear most often. If you would like more information, contact attorney J. Todd Tenge. He or a member of our legal team would be happy to sit down with you and explain anything else that you would like to know more about.
What should I do if I was involved in an accident in Colorado?
- Get emergency medical care.
- Notify the police.
- Obtain important information.
- Take photos.
- Get follow-up medical treatment.
- Contact your insurance company.
- CALL US.
The difficulty with trying to handle your own case is that you simply don’t know the law, the insurance industry, the medical and vocational issues, or even what to ask for—or, for that matter, how much. We wouldn’t expect you to know these things. This is where we come in. Our team is highly skilled and experienced in handling personal injury. It is ALL WE DO and we do it extremely well.
What can I expect in a free consultation?
During a FREE initial consultation, the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, can make sure you are headed in the right direction. We can advise you with respect to documenting the facts of the incident, getting appropriate medical care, determining how to get your car fixed (or if totaled, replaced), how to get wage loss supplementation if you are going to miss work, and more. Even if you don’t need or want to make a claim down the road, we are happy to provide this free consultation. Please, give us a call.
What type of cases do you handle?
We accept all personal injury claims as well as insurance disputes and bad faith insurance claims. We specialize in motor vehicle accidents, including car, truck, bicycle, pedestrian, and motorcycle claims. Additional practice areas include premises liability claims, product liability claims, and construction accident claims in the Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins area.
Through our expert representation, advanced technology, and personal attention to every case, large or small, we get justice for our clients.
Do I have a case?
You have a valid claim if you can satisfy four “elements” of personal injury law. These are:
- the other party was negligent
- you were injured
- the other party’s negligence caused your injuries
- because of those injuries, you have actual expenses and suffered quantifiable harm
While not technically an “element,” there is a fifth factor which is quite important in the real world: collectability. Does the at-fault party have insurance coverage or other assets from which to recover your monetary damages? If not, it may not be worth filing, unfortunately.
What is my case worth?
Any lawyer who 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 your medical records and bills, test results, accident 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 preexisting medical issues, prior or subsequent accidents, and many other facts.
Unless and until a qualified attorney has a deep understanding of all these things, it is frankly irresponsible to render an “off the cuff” opinion about the value of someone’s injury claim. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, 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.
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 costs 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.
How long will my case take?
We hear this question all the time. It depends on a number of things. Primarily, it depends on how long it takes you to reach what we call “maximum medical improvement” or MMI, or to get all the way better. We don’t want to settle a case too soon. We need to know the full extent of your injuries, damages, and losses when we settle, because once you settle, it is FINAL. So, we will make sure that all diagnosis has been done, that your economic picture is fully known, that we know what your life will look like well into the future in terms of wages, earnings, medical care, function, any permanent impairment or disfigurement, etc. Once we have a handle on ALL THE ABOVE, then we make the settlement.
Once you have reached MMI, it generally takes 1-2 months for our law firm settle your case, if we are able to settle with your agreement and consent. If not, 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, and J. Todd Tenge and his team will be counseling you every step of the way so you can make an informed decision. Having said that, we also understand folks have to live in the real world. If there is something unique to your life that makes it advantageous for you to get a settlement early, we will certainly do that for you. We handle every case individually. No two cases are the same, and no two cases have the same timeline.
Who pays my medical bills while the case is ongoing?
Medical bills are paid generally three ways: through health insurance; medical payments coverage on your auto insurance; and liens. Though all your medical care will be claimed as part of your damages against the at-fault party, medical providers like to be paid at or near the time of service, so we use these three sources to pay along the way. This ensures you get the proper medical care and diagnostic testing you need. 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.
What if you don’t have health insurance or medpay? We’ll still 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 to you and wait until the case is resolved to get paid. The Tenge Law Firm, LLC’s excellent reputation with the medical community makes this possible for our uninsured clients.
How do you make sure my future medical care is paid for when I settle?
At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we work with local medical providers who will prepare reports indicating the nature, type, frequency, and cost of all your future care. This would include surgical and post-operative rehabilitation expenses; time off work related to invasive care; and future medications, tests, or whatever may be necessary to care for your injuries going forward. We are very thorough and consider this a critical aspect of every claim. In catastrophic injury cases, we will use one of our reputable vocational and lifecare-plan experts and/or economists to prepare a report about the future care expenses.
What does it cost to hire you?
Absolutely nothing. We handle all our cases on a contingency fee basis. So, there is no fee for the initial consultation and you won’t be getting a monthly bill. In fact, you will never get a bill from us. It is really simple: we charge a percentage; usually one-third of the settlement or verdict. We do this because we understand that most people don’t have a litigation fund sitting around for when they get injured by someone else’s negligence. So we take that burden off of our clients and fund the entire case from start to finish. You will never see a monthly bill from us. It is all handled at the end when there are all kinds of money available.
If I don’t win my case, will I owe your law firm any fees?
Absolutely not. The Tenge Law Firm, LLC, works on a purely contingent-fee basis. 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 why we handle ALL cases diligently, aggressively, and thoroughly. Let’s face it – if we don’t do well, our firm will suffer as well.
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 up to the point of trial. The factors that tend to “drive” cases to the courtroom include:
- disputed liability;
- unclear causation;
- speculative or hard-to-prove damages – especially business or wage losses;
- preexisting medical conditions; and
- an unqualified lawyer without the preparation necessary to get the claim settled.
Our reputation as experienced trial attorneys allows us to successfully settle most of our cases. But proper preparation sends a message to the insurance company that they will have to treat you fairly, or we will go to court. While the odds of your case going to trial are slim, we go forward if it is in your best interests to do so. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we look forward to helping you get your life back.
How does the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, typically fare in trials and arbitrations?
The Tenge Law Firm, LLC has never lost a personal injury trial or arbitration. We are excellent trial lawyers and present our cases extremely well. We have a good presence before a judges and 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 juries are impressed with our sincerity. And finally, we make good, common-sense 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.
How does the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, help injury victims?
Until you’ve been in an accident, you have no idea the burden it can put on you and your family. The extra medical expenses, disruption with work, loss of use of your vehicle while it is being repaired—these all add pressure on your family. One of our responsibilities as your lawyers is to take that burden off you and to work with you to get through these difficulties. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we look forward to helping you get back to as normal a life as you can, in the shortest time possible.
- First, we bring the resources and skills to handle any type of case, whether complex or simple, whether involving serious injuries or death.
- Second, you will receive personal attention and Todd Tenge will handle your case. It won’t be delegated to a young attorney, which does happen at some of the large firms.
- Third, we don’t get paid for our efforts until you recover money for your injuries, and we advance all the costs necessary for a successful outcome.
- Fourth, our 30 years of success enable us to get excellent settlements for our clients without having to go to court.
Experience. Success. Compassion. You can count on it. So, if you or someone you know has suffered harm as a result of someone else’s negligence, please do give us a call. We get you best care—not to invent injury or build a case, but to make sure you are taken care of. J. Todd Tenge tells his clients: “You take care of your health, we’ll do the rest.” We take over that messy pile of papers. We handle those uncomfortable, rude insurance calls. We handle bills that often don’t get paid.
Your job is to get better, and we handle everything else.