Colorado Springs CO Auto Accident Lawyers Answer Negligence Claim FAQs
A car accident is one of the most stressful events you’ll likely ever deal with. And if you’ve sustained injuries severe enough to require hospital treatment, you probably have a lot of questions. At Brylak Law, we can help you with your negligence claim in Colorado Springs CO and increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries.
What Is Negligence?
Roughly translated, negligence equates to something like carelessness or recklessness. In legal terms, negligence assumes that one person owed a duty of care to another and, by violating that duty of care, caused them injuries. As a plaintiff in a personal injury case, you are alleging that the defendant’s carelessness caused your injuries. To prove negligence, you must show that all of the following are true. The at-fault party:
- Owed you a duty of care;
- Violated this duty of care; and
- Caused your injuries as a result.
In car accidents, the law assumes that any party who breaks some rule of the road violated their duty of care to ensure the safety of other drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians. Almost every auto accident case comes down to establishing what traffic law the defendant violated. This may include actions like speeding, failure to yield the right of way, driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, texting while driving, distracted driving, running a red light, and changing lanes without first checking blind spots.
Do I Have a Negligence Claim?
After a car accident in Colorado, you will file a claim against the other driver’s auto insurance policy. In the event that they are driving without insurance or fled the scene of an accident and cannot be found, you would file a negligence claim against your own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.
In a negligence claim, injuries can be to your body, your property, or even to your reputation. However, in car accident claims, injuries are generally to either body or property. Damages, however, are not limited to medical bills and car repairs. You are also entitled to be compensated for your pain and suffering, inability to enjoy activities you once enjoyed, and lost wages.
How Do I Prove That the Other Driver Had a Duty of Reasonable Care?
A key element to your negligence claim in Colorado Springs CO is being able to show that the defendant violated their duty of reasonable care to you. You must also be able to establish what damages resulted from that violation. In most car accident cases, it’s quite easy to establish the first element of negligence. It is assumed that a driver on the road owes all other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists a duty to drive carefully and abide by the rules of traffic.
You can establish a violation of the duty of reasonable care by showing that the defendant’s driving was reckless, distracted, or aggressive. Each of these implies that the driver failed in their duty of reasonable care.
What If I Am Partly at Fault for an Accident?
There are some cases in which both parties may have violated some traffic law. For instance, let’s say one driver attempts to change lanes without checking their blind spot. Another driver is speeding ahead in the next lane over. In this case, the one driver shares some of the blame for not checking their blind spot before attempting a lane change while the other driver is at fault for speeding.
A determination will need to be made as to how much blame each driver should be allotted. In Colorado, so long as your share of the blame does not exceed 50%, you can still recover damages for your injuries. However, your damages are reduced by the amount of blame you’ve been assigned. For instance, if you are awarded $10,000 and assigned 25% of the blame, you can only recover $7,500.
What Damages Can I Collect in a Typical Colorado Springs CO Negligence Claim?
Injured parties are entitled to recover damages related to their economic losses. These inlcude medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. They are also able to collect damages on noneconomic injuries such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment. Your auto accident attorney can give you a ballpark estimate of the value of your negligence claim.
What Is the Statute of Limitations, and How Long Will Settlement Take?
In Colorado, you have three years to file a car accident claim from the date of the incident. For other types of negligence claims, the statute of limitations varies.
The time it takes to a settle a car accident negligence case will depend on several factors. While most claims settle before reaching the trial phase, it’s best to speak to a personal injury lawyer about your particular situation.
We Can Help With You With Your Negligence Claim in Colorado Springs CO
Brylak Law can help you navigate a negligence claim in Colorado Springs CO and make sure that you protect your rights to compensation. Contact us today to learn more.