If you suffered injuries or damages during a Colorado auto collision that was partially your fault, are you still entitled to recover damages?
While many car crashes are purely the result of one driver’s illegal, reckless, or negligent actions, others are caused by the negligence of both parties. For instance, if one driver illegally turned right on a red light and a driver who was driving through the intersection crashed into the first driver’s car, but was texting at the time of the crash and could have avoided the collision if he or she had been paying attention, both parties can reasonably be said to have contributed to the crash.
In some states this would mean that the injured parties would be unable to collect compensation for their injuries even if they were only slightly at fault.
Fortunately, Colorado follows the legal theory of modified comparative negligence, which means that as long as an injured party is less than 50 percent at fault, he or she will be able to collect compensation from the other party. Determining each party’s percentage of fault in causing a crash can be difficult, so if you were recently injured in a crash, it is critical to speak with an experienced car crash attorney who can evaluate your case.
Colorado allows victims to collect damages even when they contributed to a crash. However, the plaintiff’s percentage of fault will offset the defendant’s liability. This means that if an injured party was 20 percent at fault in causing a crash, he or she would be able to recover 80 percent of the damages incurred as a result of the crash.
The only exception to this rule is if a plaintiff’s level of responsibility exceeds 50 percent. In these cases, an injured party is barred from recovering damages.
If the parties cannot reach a settlement, a judge or a jury will be responsible for determining:
- The amount of damages that would have been recoverable if the plaintiff had not contributed to the crash; and
- Each party’s degree of negligence, expressed as a percentage.
Furthermore, the defendant will be responsible for proving, that the plaintiff contributed in some way to the crash. Once these issues have been resolved, the court reduces the amount of the verdict in proportion to the percentage of negligence that can be attributed to the plaintiff.
Contact an Experienced Car Crash Attorney Today
Although some car crashes are clearly the fault of one driver, many crashes involve the negligent actions of both parties, even if only to a small degree. This can make determining how much a defendant owes to an injured party difficult, so if you live in Colorado Springs, Denver, or Pueblo and were injured in a crash, please contact the legal team at McCormick & Murphy, P.C. by calling 888-668-1182 and we’ll help you schedule a free consultation with an experienced and compassionate car crash attorney.February 14, 2017 | A Guide to Maximizing Your Auto Settlement