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

Balance Fault

You've been in a car accident in Colorado, and the insurance adjusters say it was partially your fault. Does that mean you don't have a claim to cover your injuries and property damage?

Fortunately, no. Colorado law has a contributory negligence framework for these situations. What does this mean? Put simply, as long as your actions are not primarily to blame for the accident, you may still be entitled to damages under Colorado law. The court may reduce the amount of compensation you receive based on your level of fault, but at least you won't be out of luck.

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 depending on your situation. For example, if a defective auto part contributed to the accident, a different statute may apply. Our lawyers can advise you on the law as it applies to your unique situation.

Were You A Passenger Injured In A Car Accident Caused By Your Driver?
It is important to remember that passengers injured in car accidents are nearly always eligible to seek compensation from the negligent driver. Even if your own driver is 100 percent at fault for the accident, you can file a claim for financial damages.

Navigating The Insurance Issues

While filing a claim against an insurance company should be easy, it often isn't. Even when filing against your own policy, you are likely to run into roadblocks and delays. Insurance companies don't stay in business by paying fair settlements. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is your best option to get the aggressive representation you need.

Our attorneys have represented thousands of clients in motor vehicle accident injury and wrongful death claims. We know what strategies insurers will use when reducing or denying a settlement, and we know the laws to help our clients get the full and fair compensation they need and deserve.

Help Is Just A Phone Call Away

To schedule a FREE initial consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, contact Flesch & Beck Law 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.