Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 19, 2020

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Let’s face it; when you’re in a car accident, chances are that an insurance company will be involved at some point in the process. It’s just a fact of life. However, car accidents and insurance company practices are often at odds – and Colorado is no exception.

What Colorado residents should know

If you’re a Colorado resident, what should you know about insurance company practices in your state? To answer that question, we asked Jim Chalat, a Colorado attorney with over 30 years of experience whose firm focuses its practice in personal injury law. First and foremost, Chalat says that insurance companies do not have the best interests of the consumer in mind. He explained:

The auto insurance industry, particularly since September of 2008 with the degradation of the financial integrity of the insurance industry, is in the business of selling coverage and denying liability. That’s their economic mission. You can take all that ‘Good Hands’ hooey and put it aside. Their interests are in settling your case for as little as they can and spending as little as they can. If they can get you to shut-up about it, they will. They’ll want you to sign a confidentiality agreement as well.

Insurance industry reacting to recession

Like many other industries, the insurance industry is also reacting to the recession – but not in your favor. Insurance agents and adjusters are generally on the front lines and are often the ones who must relay the news that your claim has been denied or that the company will only pay a fraction of the amount for which you’re entitled. Chalat told us:

I know that insurance agents and adjusters are human beings. They go home to their families. I understand that. However, the economic impetus, or impulse, right now is just so strong by insurance companies to offer peanuts on cases that, unless you threaten the insurance company with a verdict, have a competent, experienced lawyer who knows his or her way around a court-room and present a believable threat to the insurance companies, you’re probably not going to get fair compensation.

Chalat says that’s just the realistic nature of the industry at present. He told us that there was a time when his advice would be softened a little bit on that, but under the current economic circumstances, he says it’s very, very competitive.

If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.