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What Happens If I’m Accused of Being Partly to Blame for an Accident?

Partly to blame

If one person causes another individual’s injury due to his/her negligent actions, then the injured party may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit to hold the negligent party responsible and recover damages. However, it is not uncommon for the defendant in a personal injury case to claim that the victim also contributed to their own injury. 

For example, if the defendant was texting and driving when he/she collided with the victim’s vehicle, but the victim was speeding prior to the accident, then the victim is at least partially liable for the crash. In such cases, Colorado follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule. 

The modified comparative negligence law determines each party’s percentage of liability to determine in order to calculate the amount of damages the plaintiff may recover. In other words, the jury will adjust the plaintiff’s total compensation based on his/her degree of fault in causing their own injury. 

For instance, if the jury awards the plaintiff $100,000 in damages, but the jury also determines the plaintiff is 10 percent at fault for their injury, then the plaintiff can only recover $90,000 (or 90 percent of their award). However, if the plaintiff is at least 50 percent liable for the accident and their injury, then they cannot recover any damages. 

For a plaintiff to ensure the defendant is fully responsible for their negligent actions, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to help them properly prove the other party’s liability. An attorney can hire accident reconstruction experts to recreate the accident to show who is at fault, obtain witness testimony to offer supportive evidence, and determine fault through police reports. 

If you have been injured in an accident in Denver, CO, contact Orr Law Firm today at (303) 747-4247 and schedule a free consultation.