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After a car accident, it is only natural to wonder who is responsible for your injuries and for the damages. However, when you decide to take legal action – it becomes absolutely necessary to determine who the responsible parties are. When fault lies 100% with one party, then it is quite simple. That person will be liable for any and all damages suffered as a result of their negligent conduct. However, when it comes to “shared fault”, it gets a lot more complicated.
Colorado Fault Doctrines:
One doctrine addressing fault on the part of both parties in an accident is known as “contributory negligence”. Under this doctrine, if the individual seeking compensation for damages is determined to be partly at fault for the accident, they are not entitled to any monetary recovery. Although some states still follow this harsh rule, many states, including Colorado, have abandoned it all together.
Contributory negligence has been replaced in many states by the doctrine of comparative fault. Under this rule, if the person seeking damages was somewhat at fault, an assessment of the percentage of fault of each party will be made. Thus, if the plaintiff’s damages total $10,000 and she is determined to be 10% at fault for the accident, then she will be entitled to recover $9,000 in damages, after subtracting out her percentage of fault.
Colorado follows a modified version of the comparative fault doctrine. Specifically, Colorado uses the “proportional comparative fault at 50%” standard. This doctrine provides that if someone is injured in a car accident and is deemed to be less than 50% at fault, then he will be entitled to receive compensation for his injuries. However, if the injured party is apportioned fault at 50% or more, then he will not be entitled to recover monetary damages for his injuries.
Determining fault is the first step in assessing a claim for personal injuries following a car accident. An experienced Colorado personal injury attorney can analyze your case closely to determine who the responsible parties may be. In addition, your Colorado personal injury attorney will be an advocate for you in obtaining compensation for your property damage and injuries suffered.
Contact a Colorado Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Denver car accident lawyer John R. Fuller today. The Denver personal injury attorney you select often makes the difference between a settlement that favors the insurance company and a settlement or verdict that is fair and meets your needs.
Our Colorado personal injury law firm has the experience to know when our clients are being treated fairly and will respond accordingly. Contact John R. Fuller, P.C., for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
We’re available 24/7 by phone, fax and e-mail. We return after-hours calls promptly, and provide interpreters for our Spanish-speaking clients.