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1.  Do not move your vehicle (unless it presents a danger to other traffic).

2.  Be certain the other party does not move their vehicle.

3.  Always notify the police.  If for some reason they will not come out (i.e. private property, weather conditions, etc.) be sure to file a report in person or online within 24 hours.

4.  Collect the following information:

-name, address, and telephone number of the other driver

-name and policy number of the other driver’s insurance company

-make, model, and license plate number of the other driver

-names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses

5.  Notify your insurance company immediately, even if you’re not injured or at fault.

6.  Take photos of your car’s damage and observable personal injuries.

7.  If you have questions about your accident or what to do if you’ve been injured, call Kidneigh & Kaufman at (303) 393-3666 for a FREE consultation.  We handle accident cases on a contingent fee basis.

MVA

Jury Duty

While very few people actually want to get picked for jury duty, it’s truly an experience that those who do get chosen come to appreciate.  Because nearly every person who had served on a jury will tell you how beneficial the experience was, it’s too bad that the majority of people will do just about any thing to get out of jury duty.  So next time, you get a summons in the mail to appear for jury duty, try to view the situation differently that you normally would and think about how if you are chosen to be on the jury, you have the ability to truly make a difference in other people’s lives.

Jury participation is critical for our legal system and ensures a fair verdict.  Jurors, not judges and lawyers, are the ones who actually decide guilt and damages.  Thus, being a present and thoughtful juror matters as well.  The parties involved in the trial are real people whose lives will be affected greatly by the outcome of the trial and they are relying on you to pay attention to the arguments and follow the law.  Too often, jurors use this opportunity to advance their own agendas and beliefs.  While it’s difficult to separate your personal opinion, it’s imperative that as a juror you remain impartial and follow the law.  To do otherwise, directly causes injustice to the case parties.

 

Just like voting and paying taxes are an obligation of U.S. citizenship, so is jury duty.  However, rather than viewing it as an obligation and something to be dreaded, get excited that you have the opportunity to participate firsthand.

Settling a Minor’s Case

At Kidneigh & Kaufman we have been very successful in handling personal injury matters for minor children who have been injured. Most commonly when a minor gets injured in an accident, it is his or her parent who initiates the filing of a claim and who gives authority to the attorney throughout the settlement process.  While a minor’s parent has the authority to settle the minor’s claim, approval is often sought by a probate court as well. 

 

Probate court approval is generally sought at the insistence of the tortfeasor’s insurance company or if the net settlement is $10,000 or more.  If this is the situation, the Petitioner’s attorney should file a Petition to Settle Personal Injury Claim and possibly a Petition for Appointment of Conservator as well- although a conservator is not mandatory.  It’s important that the Petitioner’s attorney file the documents seeking approval as it would be a conflict of interest for the tortfeasor’s attorney to do so.

 

The rationale behind seeking probate court approval is to ensure the minor’s settlement funds will be preserved for the minor when he or she reaches the age of 18 or 21 (the age of access varies among probate courts) and is able to access the money.  This protects against any misuse of the settlement funds by someone other than the minor.  If the probate court approves the settlement then the funds will be placed in a restricted account, often through the court itself.  However, in certain situations, the Petitioners may request a certain sum of money be received initially and not placed in the restricted account for payment of past due medical bills, future medical treatment of the minor, or other care that is necessary prior to the age of access.  If appropriate, the court may allow this.

 

For more information regarding seeking court approval for a minor’s settlement, see Colorado Probate Procedure Rule 16.

Probate

Identity Theft

The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.  This occurs when someone uses your personal information to commit fraud or other crimes.  This personal information identifies you, such as your social security number, date of birth, legal name, or credit card number.  Because this information can be used to commit various crimes in your name, it’s important that you take precautions to safeguard this information.  This often comes up after you’ve been involved in an accident and the insurance company calls you seeking information regarding the accident, as well as personal identity information so they can investigate your claims history.

 

Most often, an insurance company will ask that you provide them with both your social security number and date of birth.  Other than for Medicare reporting purposes, an insurance company has no legitimate reason for needing this information.  However, if you are not a Medicare beneficiary, there is no need for you to provide this information and you can simply verify your non-beneficiary status on a Medicare form through the insurance company.  While the insurance company or its representatives are not likely to be using  your identity information for illegal purposes, once you provide the information it can go through a variety of channels and may end up in the hands of someone who will use it for an improper purpose.

Because the consequences of identity theft are great, always make sure that you know who you are giving your private information to and exactly for what purpose.  If it’s not absolutely necessary to do so then err on the side of caution and keep it confidential.  For more information regarding identity theft and how to protect yourself, visit www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft.

People often ask, what does a personal injury law firm do?

Personal injury law firms assist people who have suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence.  Lots of law firms say they handle personal injury cases, but only a few can say that their practice is devoted to helping personal injury victims.  True personal injury law firms, like Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C., can handle a wide variety of personal injury cases, know the ins and outs of personal injury law, and have a reputation for getting results for their personal injury clients.  Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. is one of the few personal injury law firms in Denver that fits all of the criteria and would like to help you with your personal injury case.

Steve Kaufman and his then-partner Jon Kidneigh started Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. over 25 years ago with the goal of helping personal injury victims. 

Almost three decades later, Steve Kaufman is still devoted to helping personal injury victims.  Over the years, the attorneys of Kidneigh & Kaufman P.C. have had the opportunity and privilege to represent personal injury clients on a wide variety of different cases, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, product liability, medical malpractice, bad faith, uninsured/underinsured claims, and legal malpractice.  This length and breadth of experience in personal injury law means our clients receive representation from attorneys who know personal injury law and how to present a personal injury case in the most favorable light.

As a personal injury law firm that has been around for over 25 years, Kidneigh & Kaufman has been able to regularly obtain favorable settlements for its clients. 

The numbers speak for themselves – over $65 million in settlements for its clients including several million dollar plus settlements.   While other personal injury law firms have never set foot in a courtroom, Kidneigh & Kaufman has gone to trial and won, forcing insurance companies to pay 6 to 10 times their policy limits when they initially denied claims.

A personal injury law firm is best defined by the success it achieves for its clients.  As an example, Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. had the privilege of representing a woman in a medical malpractice case in Pueblo.  A sponger had been left inside the client following a cesarean section delivery, which required a surgery to remove.  A personal injury settlement was easily obtained with the hospital because the nurses did not properly count the sponges that were removed after the surgery.  However, the doctor refused to settle and instead, tried to blame the whole fiasco on the nurses.

Although our client had only a little more than $3,000 in bills that she had to pay out-of-pocket, she suffered greatly from an emotional standpoint. 

The jury’s verdict was for $1,000,000 plus her out-of-pocket bills, which the judge then reduced according to the caps that the legislature has unfairly placed on medical malpractice cases.  The doctor appealed the jury’s decision, Kidneigh & Kaufman won the appeal, and the insurance company for the doctor eventually paid in excess of $500,000 for the doctor’s negligence.  This is a great example of how a personal injury law firm can help a client in need.

Call the personal injury law firm of Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. today to set up a free consultation regarding your personal injury case.

In these technological times, it’s not surprising that when a person gets into an accident they want to put the details on Facebook, Twitter, blogspot or some other social media site.  However, it’s important to know that these postings can often be used against you by the insurance company and their attorneys if you later decide to make a personal injury claim and may possibly even be admissible in court.  While posting accident pictures and discussing the accident with your friends and family online may seem innocent, it’s always best to keep these communications private and not post anything about your accident or injuries, or the impact the accident has had on you or others.  However, if you have already posted something regarding your accident on a social media site, do not delete it since that might be considered spoilation of evidence.

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