Comparative Negligence and Accident Claims in Colorado
It is crucial to understand the law when filing an accident claim in Colorado following a motor vehicle collision. In particular, individuals should understand that Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This rule is used to determine how much an injured party can collect for their injuries, property damage, etc. Depending on the facts of your case, it can have a significant influence on your award.
Comparative Negligence in Colorado
Colorado statutes specify that individuals can recover damages in an accident claim proportional to the degree of negligence of both parties in a motor vehicle accident. In an accident case, the judge or jury will first determine the total amount of damages that would be awarded if the injured party bore no fault for the accident.
Once this sum is determined, the judge or jury will then calculate the amount of fault the injured driver has in causing the accident. For example, if the court decides that an injured party's damages amount to $1 million, but they are responsible for 30% of the accident, the $1 million award will be reduced by 30% to $700,000.
If it is determined that the injured party is 51% or more at fault, they will not be able to recover compensation for their claim. In these circumstances, the court essentially rules that the individual is responsible for causing their own injuries.
Establishing Fault for an Accident
Evidence collection is crucial in determining fault for an accident claim. This can include video evidence, photographs, witness statements, and police accident reports. This evidence should be gathered as soon as possible following a motor vehicle accident and should be safely secured throughout the case.
Moreover, because Colorado adheres to the standard of modified comparative negligence, individuals should watch their words closely. It is never advisable to admit actions that may have contributed to an accident. Doing so can be considered an admission of fault and used against you in the pursuit of your accident claim.
Equally as important is how the evidence is presented to the court. The evidence should be presented in such a manner that it shows a clear timeline of the defendant's actions that led up to the accident.
Contact Sloat & Nicholson, P.C. with your questions regarding comparative negligence in Colorado. It is our pleasure to offer you a free consultation and explain how comparative fault applies to your accident claim.