Determining fault after a Colorado car accident can be difficult. Oftentimes, the parties involved provide conflicting stories. In these situations, it is possible both parties share in liability. What does it mean when an accident may be the fault of more than one person?
What is Comparative Negligence in Colorado?
Comparative negligence is a rule of law applied in accident cases to determine responsibility and damages based on the negligence of the parties directly involved. While there are three types of comparative fault used in the United States, Colorado follows the Modified Comparative Fault model. This model is applicable in situations when a personal injury victim is at least partially responsible for his or her own injuries. When a personal injury victim contributed to the accident, the recovery will be reduced by the amount he or she was responsible for. By way of example, if an injured party is found to be 20% responsible for an accident, any ensuing settlement or verdict will be reduced by 20%. Importantly, if the evidence supports a finding the injured party is more than 50% liable, his or her recovery will be completely barred.
Are There Ways to Prove One Party Was Responsible for an Accident?
Experienced personal injury lawyers in Colorado can help establish the evidence necessary to refute a claim the victim was contributorily negligent. This may come in the form of witness testimony for example. However, it is important to identify the potential witnesses and obtain affidavits in the beginning stages because memories fade and, by the time the case gets to trial, the witness may not recall the details of the accident with specificity. Experienced personal injury lawyers can also retain an accident reconstructionist to recreate the accident in an effort to opine who was at fault. This could help prove to the jury the other party was the real cause of the accident. Finally, experienced personal injury lawyers can help collect data from the black box recorder in a vehicle. Similar to witnesses, such data purges over time so it is important to hire an attorney early in the case, especially when liability is disputed.
What Are Some Examples of Comparative Negligence in Colorado?
While there are countless examples that would qualify as comparative negligence, we wanted to
share some easy ones:
- A driver traveling 20 miles an hour over the posted speed limit crashes into another driver attempting to make an illegal turn.
- A driver with malfunctioning brakes crashes into another driver attempting to pass a slower vehicle in a no-pass zone.
- A drunk driver drifts into another lane and sideswipes a vehicle being driven by a distracted driver.
- A pedestrian who attempts to cross a busy road outside of a designated crosswalk is hit by a driver under the influence of marijuana.
Comparative negligence may involve the violation of a written law or it may be demonstrated by a person’s unreasonable, careless behavior.
Contact an Experienced Comparative Negligence Attorney
It is crucial to evaluate the conduct of all parties under the circumstances to determine which party or parties may have acted negligently. At Bowman Law, LLC, we have experience handling personal injury claims that involve comparative fault in Colorado. Our lawyers have helped thousands of people navigate the complexities of the legal system. If you or a loved one have been injured, please contact us today by calling 720-863-6904 or emailing us for a free consultation. Our lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including Motor Vehicle Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, and Dog Bites & Attacks. We service Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Commerce City, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and other parts of metropolitan Denver, Colorado.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.