Do You Have a Personal Injury Case in Colorado?

  • Personal Injury
May 31, 2022

Not many people get through life without experiencing some kind of personal injury. Sometimes those injuries are rather serious, and they’re someone else’s fault. What then? Colorado law says the party at fault should compensate you for your injuries, but how do you know if you have a personal injury case in Colorado?

Here we’ll go over some of the most fundamental issues to be considered when evaluating a personal injury case. Bear in mind, though, that the only real way to know if you have a case is to consult with a lawyer.

Negligence

Negligence is the basis for most personal injury cases. In its most basic sense, negligence occurs when someone may not have intended to harm you but still did so by failing to exercise an adequate level of care. To make a negligence case, a plaintiff must prove these four elements:

  1. Defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff – For example, while driving a car, people   have a duty of care to other motorists and pedestrians to avoid harming them.
  2. Defendant breached that duty of care – If a driver texted or ran a red light, this would likely be a breach of their duty to care.
  3. Causation – Did the defendant breach their duty to care to cause an injury to the plaintiff?
  4. Injury – Are the plaintiff’s injuries such that they can be compensated monetarily?

While this formula may seem simple, it is anything but in practice. Any one of these four elements can turn into an epic legal battleground.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the time limit for filing a legal claim against someone. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years, but it can vary based on the specific type of case. So even if you have an ironclad case against someone, the case will be dismissed if you wait two years and a day to file a complaint against them.

Comparative Fault

Defendants will often argue that the plaintiff was also negligent, contributing to their injuries. In some states, if a plaintiff’s negligence was even the slightest contributing factor to their injuries, they are not entitled to compensation. Luckily, Colorado is not one of those states. In a “modified comparative fault” state, a plaintiff’s overall compensation may be reduced if they are partly at fault for their injuries, but they can still collect damages as long as they are no more than 50% at fault.

For instance, if the defendant ran a red light and hit the plaintiff’s car but was also texting and driving, a jury might determine that the plaintiff was partly at fault for the car accident. If the overall amount of damages is $100,000, and the plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault, they will only be entitled to $80,000 in compensation. They will collect nothing if they are found to be 51% at fault.

Talk to a Personal Injury Specialist

Personal injury cases are complicated to evaluate, they have deadlines that are easy to miss, and people often underestimate how much compensation they are entitled to. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have expert help. Still not sure if you have a personal injury case? Schedule a consultation with one of our personal injury experts.

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