Can I File A Lawsuit If I Was Partly At Fault For The Accident?


If you are ever injured in a serious accident for which you are partially to blame, you may worry that you might not be able to file a lawsuit against the person primarily responsible for your injuries - meaning you may not be able to obtain the compensation you deserve. Fortunately, in Colorado, you need not worry about this thanks to the state's contributory negligence statute.

As long as your actions are not primarily to blame for the accident, you may still be entitled to damages under Colorado law - although the court may reduce the amount of compensation you receive based on your level of fault.

Contributory Negligence In Colorado: The Basics

Colorado's contributory negligence law essentially works like this: If there is evidence that your negligent actions are partially responsible for your accident, the judge, or the jurors in the case of a jury trial, will have to determine two things:

  • The level of negligence (listed as a percentage) of each party involved, including both you and the person you are suing
  • The amount of compensation you would be entitled to if there had been no negligence on your part

If your negligent actions are less than 50 percent to blame for the accident, the court will simply reduce your verdict in proportion to your level of negligence. For instance, if you suffer an injury in a motor vehicle accident for which you are 30 percent at fault - and the other driver is 70 percent at fault - the court will reduce your final recovery by 30 percent. Alternatively, if your level of negligence is 50 percent or more, you will not be able to recover anything.

However, it is important to remember that while Colorado's comparative negligence statute applies to most personal injury claims based on negligence, including most car accident claims, different rules and laws may come into play in other situations, such as those involving injuries caused by defective products. To learn what your rights may be given your particular circumstances, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Help Is Just A Phone Call Away

To schedule a FREE initial consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, contact FleschLaw today. You can reach our Denver or Englewood offices by calling 720-689-0322, or email us online. You have nothing to lose since we handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don't pay attorney fees unless we obtain you a recovery.

“ I was Injured and they paid ”

I was hurt when I was rear ended and I used up all my insurance money on treatment for my injuries. I went to Kevin to get fair compensation. His office was very helpful, explained the process and then they followed through like they promised. I got my medical expenses paid and money for future treatment plus I got money for pain and suffering. I was very surprised by the result. – Linda

“ Really Happy ”

I went to Fleschlaw after hearing an ad on the radio. I interviewed several attorneys and Kevin and his staff made me feel the most comfortable. They explained the process. The car accident really messed up my life. I needed help with my medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. We just got the case resolved. It was a long process but I am very happy with the results. I would refer anyone to Fleschlaw if they get in a car accident. – Sara

“ Fleschlaw took care of my case when other lawyers stopped helping ”

I was with another firm that dropped me after they didn't get a settlement right away. I am so glad they did. I found Fleschlaw and they quickly filed suit and fought for my rights. We were set for trial in April and we settled the case when the insurance company finally paid a fair amount for my long term problems. I would refer Kevin and his staff to all of my friends and family. – Dana

“ Very Happy ”

I retained Fleschlaw to handle my claims against someone who hit me last year. The insurance company was jerking me around and I was really mad at how awful I was being treated. Kevin met with me and he made me feel less anxious right away. The firm handled the claim professionally and their customer service was the best I have ever experienced with any lawfirm. The results have changed my life. – Mary

“ Fleschlaw knows car accidents ”

I was involved in a hit and run while driving for work. I was referred to Kevin from my worker's comp. lawyer. Kevin and his staff were great. The process was really confusing but he explained everything and did exactly what he said would happen. I got my money fast and I am back to work. - Valinda

“ Kevin did a great Job!! ”

I had a personal injury case and I started with another lawyer and that lawyer would never call me back or talk with me. I called Kevin to get a second opinion and he was so helpful I switched lawyers. I am so glad I did. He went to bat against the insurance company and finally got them to pay me more than I was expecting. - Mandy