Your Guide to Understanding Personal Injury Law in Colorado
You have rights as the victim of an accident that wasn’t your fault, and the basis of your claim is Colorado personal injury law.
As with many legal matters, there are certain things you need to prove and factors that affect what you can recover as compensation. You should rely on a Colorado personal injury lawyer to explain the details, but an overview may be useful to give you an idea of how these cases work.
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Negligence Under Colorado Personal Injury Law
The basis for most personal injury cases is a legal concept known as “negligence.” This term is often used interchangeably with carelessness or recklessness, but it’s a very specific type of claim. You need to prove four essential elements to recover compensation:
- You must show that the responsible party had a duty to use reasonable caution in acting;
- You’ll have to present evidence that this person breached the legal duty of care;
- There must be a direct link between the breach of duty and the accident that caused your injuries; and,
- You must show that you suffered damages as a result of your injuries.
In addition, you need to file your personal injury lawsuit within the time allowed by state law. Colorado’s statute of limitations is three years in these cases.
Colorado Personal Injury Claims Process
In many personal injury accidents, the responsible party is covered by an insurance policy – such as auto insurance as required by Colorado law. Therefore, your first step in recovering compensation is to file a claim with the person’s insurance company.
You may face challenges in the claims process. Insurance companies are motivated to increase profits, so they don’t have your best interests in mind. Your claim is likely to be met by a much lower counteroffer, though it could be denied completely.
Compensation in Personal Injury Cases
As part of a Colorado personal injury law overview, it’s also important to understand how compensation works. The concept revolves around reimbursement for the losses you suffer, in an effort to put you in the same position as you’d be if the accident never happened. There are two forms of compensation available in most cases:
- Economic damages, which represent reasonably ascertainable losses. They include the costs to treat your injuries, such as surgery, medications, physical therapy, and other medical care. If you weren’t able to work, you can also recover lost wages;
- Non-economic damages are your subjective losses based upon how your injuries affect your life. Pain, suffering, emotional turmoil, and related damages fall in this category.
COLORADO PERSONAL INJURY LAW LIBRARY
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Talk to a Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer About Compensation in Your Case
Though this overview may be helpful, there’s a lot more to compensation in a personal injury case. Our attorneys at McCormick & Murphy, P.C. can explain in more detail, to please contact our firm to schedule an appointment at any of our Central Colorado offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo.