Whether a state employs a contributory negligence or a comparative negligence doctrine in determining liability for personal injury or property damage is of great importance. A contributory negligence doctrine bars a plaintiff from receiving any compensation if they are determined to be at fault in any percentage, while a comparative negligence doctrine allows a plaintiff to seek damages even if they are partially at fault. Colorado employs “modified comparative negligence” in determining liability. Read on to learn more about what that means, and call our office to speak to an experienced attorney about any questions you may have.
What Does “Modified Comparative Negligence” Mean in Colorado?
There are two types of comparative negligence that are used when assessing liability: pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence. Pure comparative negligence allows the plaintiff to receive damages even if their negligence is greater than the defendant’s negligence, but modified comparative negligence usually does not. In Colorado, modified comparative negligence allows a plaintiff to recover damages only if their negligence is determined to be less than the negligence of the defendant. If a plaintiff is determined to be 49% negligent, they may receive damages, though the amount will be reduced, for example. If a plaintiff is found to be 50% negligent or more, however, no damages will be awarded.
How Can I Be Found at Fault in My Own Personal Injury Case?
Even if you are the injured party, there are a few ways that you might be held accountable for part of the fault in your accident. The same rules for determining negligence apply to both parties in an accident, so if you were being careless, inattentive, or failed to properly assess risk, you may be held at least partially responsible for your injury or property damage. The defendant in the case may argue that you knew or should have known the risk involved in whatever activity you were participating in and therefore bear some of the responsibility. You could also be held partially at fault if you were breaking the law at the time of the accident. For example, if your car was hit by a reckless driver while it was illegally parked, you might bear some percentage of the liability for the accident. If you were engaging in prohibited behavior that you knew was risky, such as walking along a high ledge that was not meant to be walked on, you could be held partially liable if you fell. The good news is that as long as you are less than 50% responsible for your own accident, you can still recover some damages in a personal injury case.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me Determine Who is at Fault in My Accident?
Our personal injury attorneys have a lot of experience investigating accidents and determining who is at fault. We are here to help you in any way we can. Call our office today to speak to a skilled personal injury attorney and start working on getting the compensation you need and deserve.