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

Balance Fault

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.