Negligence is a legal term that is frequently used in personal injury cases. In order to recover compensation in a personal injury case, the victim must be able to prove that the defendant was negligent. But, what is negligence? The exact definition can vary from state-to-state. Here’s an introduction to negligence laws in Colorado:
The Basics of Negligence
There are three elements of negligence that must be proven in every personal injury case. The first is that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, meaning the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a reasonable and responsible manner. Second, the victim must show that the defendant breached his duty of care in some way. Finally, the victim has to show that he suffered injuries as a result of the defendant’s decision to breach his duty of care.
To get a better understanding of these legal terms, consider drivers on the road. Every driver owes a duty of care to other drivers so everyone drives responsibly and no one is injured. But, a driver who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is breaching his duty of care to act responsibly. Drivers who ignore the speed limit, text while driving, or run through red lights are also breaching their duty of care to other drivers. If a drunk or reckless driver causes an accident, he can be held liable for the other driver’s injuries since the crash was a direct result of his negligence.
Modified Comparative Negligence Law
Colorado also has a modified comparative negligence law that applies to personal injury cases. This law allows a victim to recover compensation even if she is partly to blame for her injuries, as long as she is not more than 50% for at fault.
Take another look at the reckless driving example mentioned above. If the victim was texting at the time of the crash, she could be held partly responsible since she should have been paying attention to the road. If the court assigns 20% of the fault to her, she can only recover 80% of the compensation that she is awarded. But, if she is assigned more than 50% of the fault, she can no longer recover any compensation from the defendant.
It’s important to understand how negligence and modified comparative negligence work in the state of Colorado so you can understand more about your personal injury case.
Learn how these legal concepts apply to your personal injury case by contacting Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will review the details of your case to determine if another person’s negligence caused your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.