Getting into a car accident can be a traumatic experience. However, getting into an accident and being injured due to the negligence of another driver makes the situation even more complicated. If such an accident occurs in Colorado and you are injured, it’s crucial that you know your legal rights and how comparative negligence laws apply in the state.
Comparative negligence laws are important in determining the degree of fault and the amount of compensation that can be awarded to an injured party. We’ll explore Colorado’s comparative negligence laws and what they mean for people who are injured in a car accident.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is the legal concept that recognizes that both parties in a personal injury lawsuit may be partially responsible for causing the accident.
Before the introduction of comparative negligence laws in Colorado, a plaintiff who was partly responsible for an accident could not receive any compensation. However, Colorado now follows modified comparative fault laws. This essentially means that an injured party can recover damages even if they were partly responsible for the accident. The injured party's compensation will be reduced by the percentage of the fault attributed to them.
For example, if you are involved in a car accident in Colorado, and the jury finds that you were 20% at fault, and the other driver was 80% at fault, you may still recover 80% of your damages. However, if the jury finds that you were 51% or more at fault, you will not be entitled to damages.
The Burden of Proof Falls on the Plaintiff
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to comparative negligence laws in Colorado is that the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff. The plaintiff must prove that the other driver was more at fault than they were. This is why it’s important to have a good personal injury lawyer representing you. A good lawyer can help gather evidence and build a strong case for you.
Another important aspect to note is that Colorado is a “fault” state when it comes to car insurance. This means that the driver who caused the accident, or their insurance company, is responsible for paying the damages to the injured parties. The at-fault driver's insurance company is also responsible for providing a defense for the driver.
If you are involved in a car accident in Colorado, it is important to get the necessary information from the other driver, including their insurance information, so that you can file a claim to cover your damages and injuries.
Do You Need Legal Assistance?
Now that you know the basics of comparative negligence laws in Colorado, you should take action and protect your rights. If you were injured in a car accident, consult with a personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system and fight for the compensation you deserve.
The Orr Law Firm can help. Contact us today to request a free consultation.