What's the Process for Personal Injury Claims in Colorado?

  • Personal Injury
July 26, 2022

The days following a personal injury are overwhelming is a gross understatement. In addition to feeling bodily or financial discomfort, many victims experience fear, confusion, and helplessness because they don't know what to do.

While many victims know they are entitled to fair compensation, they're often afraid to hire a lawyer or enter a courtroom because they want to resume life as it was before the accident.

We understand and empathize. But filing a personal injury claim doesn't have to be scary or overwhelming. We want to quell some of those anxieties by guiding you through the process of filing a personal injury claim in Colorado.

Establish Duty is Owed and Breached

To start, you (the plaintiff) must demonstrate that the defendant owes you a duty of care, which sounds more complicated than it is.

A duty owed is simply an obligation. For example, a driver must obey traffic laws; a landlord must maintain the property and ensure the safety of residents; an employer must monitor equipment and ensure that it is well-maintained for employee safety; and so on.

The list of legal duties varies with the situation, of course, but as the plaintiff, you must first demonstrate that duty is owed. Second, you must show that the defendant breaches legal duty.

Demonstrate Injury was Caused by Breach of Duty

To prove the defendant breached the duty, you must demonstrate the defendant failed to act like a "reasonable person," thus injuring you. But what is a "reasonable person?"

Ultimately, "reasonable person" is a loose phrase used to describe someone who behaves with common sense and solid judgment. For example, a "reasonable person" obeys traffic laws. But, on the other hand, a drunk driver who slams into you while you're sitting at a red light is not a "reasonable person."

If the defendant was not behaving reasonably, law-abiding, and you incurred injuries, they have legally breached their duty.

Collect Damages

You can prove that the defendant owes you a duty of care, breached it, and injured you as a result. That's a good start. However, you must also prove that you suffered losses or incurred expenses due to the injury to collect damages.

In Colorado, there are three categories of loss: economic, noneconomic, and physical impairments.

If you had to take unpaid work leave due to an injury, you might have experienced economic loss. In addition, those who experienced inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and so on may have experienced noneconomic loss. Last and most obvious, if you experienced physical injury, you might have suffered physical impairments.

Phase 1: Investigation

During the first phase of the lawsuit, our legal team will gather information about the accident and the defendant's history and likely

  • Submit written questions to the defendant
  • Call upon the defendant to provide testimony in front of a court reporter
  • Request injury-related documents

Phase 2: Pre-trial Resolution or Settlement

Frequently, our legal team will secure a settlement without taking the case to trial. To achieve this, we meet with the defendant's legal team outside the courtroom and negotiate a payment for losses and injuries. The case will proceed to the courtroom if a reasonable agreement cannot be reached.

Questions About the Process for Personal Injury Claims in Colorado?

At Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C., we're proud to have assembled a group of dedicated and passionate Colorado lawyers. For over 30 years, we've delivered legal services of the highest caliber. Whether we're addressing a personal injury case, resolving a family law dispute, working on a construction defect claim, assisting with a real estate dispute, or creating a solid estate plan, we are strategic with our approach. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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