Can I Still Sue If I Was Partially At Fault For My Injuries In Colorado?
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Personal injury cases are common in American courts. These cases allow victims to recover damages for injuries sustained as a result of another person’s negligent or intentional conduct.
In some states, plaintiffs who were partially responsible for their injuries are unable to recover any compensation. Fortunately, Colorado operates under a comparative theory of negligence, which allows even partially responsible plaintiffs to recover some amount for their injuries.
If you or your loved one was injured in a Colorado accident and you or they were partially at fault for the accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury attorneys. You may still be able to get compensation for the injuries, even though someone else is not fully to blame.
COLORADO PERSONAL INJURY LAW
Personal injury law allows an injured person to file a civil lawsuit in court to seek legal damages for losses stemming from an accident or other incident. The purpose of the personal injury system is to allow an injured person to be compensated financially and made whole after he or she suffered harm due to someone else’s intentional or negligent conduct.
Each state has its own specific rules and procedures for filing a personal injury claim, but the concept of personal injury law is essentially the same throughout most of the country. In Colorado, accident victims can file many different types of cases. These include claims for the following:
- Car, truck, or motorcycle accidents
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist claims
- Insurance coverage disputes
- Slip and falls
- Industrial accidents
- Construction accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Animal bites
- Skiing or snowboarding accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Prescription drug errors
- Defective or dangerous products
- Wrongful death
Depending on the specifics of your claim, you may be eligible to file many different types of cases. As long as your injuries were caused by another person’s careless, reckless, or intentional conduct, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Determining what kind of claim to file may be difficult, especially for plaintiffs unfamiliar with the filing process. If you were injured in a Colorado accident, you should contact a Colorado injury attorney to help you assess your options and evaluate the legal standing of your claim.
colorado’s comparative fault rules
Comparative and contributory negligence are two different laws that apply to negligence claims. These laws are separate ways of apportioning liability when more than one party is responsible for an accident.
Comparative negligence is a principle of tort law that states that when an accident occurs, the fault and/or negligence of each party involved is based upon their respective contributions to the accident. Comparative negligence allows insurers and parties to assign blame and pay out claims accordingly. So, if you were just partially at fault for an accident in which you received injuries, you may still be able to sue for compensation from another party.
According to the 2016 Colorado Revised Statutes, Colorado operates under a modified comparative negligence system for personal injury cases. In the plain text of the statute, the Colorado legislature explictly states that contributory negligence does not bar recovery in any action by an injured party as long as their negligence was not as great as the negligence of the person against whom recovery is sought.
Colorado’s modified comparative negligence rule disallows plaintiffs from recovering monetary damages if they are assigned a fault beyond a certain percentage. Colorado’s 50% bar rule means that a plaintiff is not allowed to recover damages if their fault percentage for an accident is 50% or more. Many other states have passed similar laws to Colorado’s 50% bar rule and continue to operate under such negligence systems today.
Like many other states, Colorado plaintiffs can likely still recover compensation for their injuries if their percentage of fault is below the allotted 50%. Although Colorado’s 50% bar rule makes it harder for plaintiffs to recover, Colorado plaintiffs still have many options when seeking compensation.
Allocating liability in accordance with Colorado law can be difficult for individuals unfamiliar with Colorado case and common law. Due to Colorado’s stringent allocation laws, it is imperative that plaintiffs determine liability carefully to avoid bearing the costs of their injuries completely.
If you were injured in Colorado, you should contact an accident personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Specifically, a car accident attorney from Zinda Law Group has handled many cases similar to yours; they may be able to help you apply Colorado’s negligence laws to the facts of your unique case and calculate your damages accordingly.
Damages in colorado PERSONAL injury cases
At common law, damages are a remedy in the form of a monetary award to be paid to a claimant as compensation for a loss or injury. The amount of compensation that a person receives for a personal injury is based on the amount of damages that he or she claims and can prove with supporting evidence. Damages include all economic and non-economic losses suffered by the victim, with an emphasis on the following:
Economic damages are awarded to victims to recover the financial losses associated with their injuries. These damages are designed to relieve some of the plaintiff’s financial burden. Damages are typically calculated on the fair market price at the time the incident occurred. Economic damages may include:
- Loss of income
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Funeral costs
- Personal care costs
Non-economic damages cover those damages that do not have an inherent dollar amount attached to them. Naturally, non-economic damages are harder to calculate since there is no corresponding bill or record that puts a price on the injury. Non-economic damages may include:
- Mental distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of reputation
When calculating damages, it is important to include the age of the victim, their occupation, income, and the severity of the injury. These factors will affect the amount of compensation an injured party is awarded by the court.
Notably, Colorado is one of many states that imposes damage caps in injury cases, which can serve to limit the amount of compensation that an injured person can receive. By law, Colorado caps non-economic damages in injury cases at $250,000 or $500,000 if there is clear and convincing evidence that justifies an increase. Colorado passed this law in 1986 and allows adjustments for inflation.
With inflation factored into the equation, courts cannot usually award non-economic damages in excess of $1 million. Determining which damages to seek in court can be difficult for plaintiffs with extensive injuries. If you were injured in a Colorado accident, you should consult with an accident attorney prior to filing with the court. You would not want to pursue an insufficient amount that is not going to cover all of your expenses, which may accumulate in the years to come.
time limits for colorado personal injury claims
A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time that parties involved in a dispute have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense, whether civil or criminal. The length of time a statute allows for a victim to bring legal action against the suspected culprit can vary by jurisdiction. The length of time allowed under a statute of limitations may also vary depending on the severity and type of offense in question.
Under Colorado state law, you have two years to file a personal injury claim if you were injured in a local accident. In some cases, victims suffer from delayed symptoms and do not immediately recognize their injuries. In these situations, Colorado’s statute of limitations runs from the date you discovered your injuries, as opposed to the date of the accident itself.
Courts commonly require an adequate showing that your injuries were delayed, in an attempt to avoid allowing plaintiffs to take advantage of relaxed limitation laws. If you do not file your claim prior to the two-year deadline, you may forfeit your chance to bring your case to court.
Proponents of statutes of limitations believe they are necessary to the operation of an efficient justice system. Not only do statute of limitations encourage plaintiffs to bring their claims in a timely manner, but they also prevent important evidence from being lost to time. If you were involved in an accident, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with your jurisdiction’s laws and regulations. If contacted, a car accident attorney in Colorado may be able to help you conduct this research and apply your state’s laws to the facts of your case.
SPEAK WITH A COLORADO INJURY ATTORNEY AT ZINDA LAW GROUP today
Filing a personal injury claim can help you recover medical costs, property damages, lost wages, and more. These accidents usually involve high stakes and substantial dollar amounts. Without such compensation and recovery, you may be left to burden the entire weight of your injuries alone.
In Colorado, even plaintiffs who are partially responsible for an accident can likely still recover some amount for their injuries. If you were involved in an accident, you should contact a Colorado injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced accident injury lawyer in Colorado may be able to help you research local laws, assess your liability, and seek compensation accordingly.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group may be able to provide you with personalized and quality consultation about the specifics of your legal claim. Moreover, the sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If you or your loved one was involved in an accident where you were partially responsible, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers near you. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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