Colorado Springs Personal Injury Lawsuits
Top Rated Personal Injury Law Firm in Colorado Springs
Tens of thousands of people are gravely harmed each year due to the negligence of individuals and corporations. These injuries may have long-lasting and often devastating bodily consequences, as well as psychological and emotional anguish.
Following a personal injury accident, the days, weeks, and months that follow may be stressful and perplexing. Injured victims are often left with mounting medical expenses, lost earnings, and insurance firms uninterested in giving any assistance.
You do not, however, have to traverse these difficulties alone. Hiring an expert personal injury attorney helps you to concentrate on recuperating while your attorney handles insurance companies and financial complications.
Types of Personal Injury Accidents We Handle
What is the definition of personal injury law?
Personal injury law, in general terms, is concerned with legal issues that emerge when one person sustains harm as a result of another person’s carelessness or illegal action. Unlike criminal law, personal injury claims do not entail the prosecution of the perpetrator by the government. Rather than that, a private plaintiff seeks compensation from a defendant, the person or corporation accused of inflicting the harm.
Accidents, as well as deliberate actions, might result in personal injury claims. The following are common categories of personal injury claims:
- Automobile accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Premises liability (e.g., slip and fall accidents)
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
- Negligent security
- Child injury
- Child abuse
- Wrongful death
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer in Colorado Do?
In the widest definition, a personal injury attorney is a lawyer who offers legal services to those who claim to have been hurt as a consequence of another party’s carelessness or unlawful activity. However, a personal injury case entails a great deal more than you would imagine.
As soon as you retain an attorney, he or she will begin preserving and gathering evidence for your claim, as well as communicating with insurance on your behalf. When investigating your
In your case, your attorney will have one objective – to collect all of the evidence required to demonstrate how the accident occurred and who was responsible. They will collect photographic evidence, witness accounts, and official reports and may seek a temporary restraining order to protect any evidence in danger of being damaged, destroyed, or tampered with.
Following filing a personal injury claim, both your attorney and the defense counsel will conduct pretrial investigations. This is referred to as the discovery procedure. During discovery, lawyers begin collecting information and may issue written interrogatories to the opposition or seek sworn testimony under oath in the form of depositions.
Settlement discussions are anticipated to commence after the conclusion of pretrial investigations. At this time, your attorney will begin pursuing just compensation for your losses. Your attorney will contact you to get your permission if a settlement is reached.
If your attorney and the defense cannot agree on a fair settlement or the defense continues to contest culpability, your case will go to trial, with your attorney representing you in court.
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Which Colorado Laws Apply to Personal Injury Claims?
Personal injury cases in Colorado are handled under the Colorado Civil Practice and Remedies Code. This portion of the law contributes to the definition and determination of negligence, the duty of care, statutes of limitations, responsibility, damages, and recovery.
As is the case in every state, a large portion of Colorado’s personal injury statutes is predicated on the idea of negligence. According to the Legal Information Institute, negligence is a failure to act with the degree of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in identical circumstances.
Every member of society has a broad legal responsibility of care, which compels them to behave properly and prevent endangering others.
Therefore, if you were harmed in an accident and want to pursue financial compensation via a personal injury claim, you must demonstrate that a reasonably sensible person in the defendant’s situation would have behaved differently in light of the facts surrounding your accident or injury.
Stricter standards of care (e.g., particular tasks) are developed when a professional perform a service. For instance, in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the doctor or physician accused of misconduct would be held to the same standard of care as a reasonably prudent member of his or her profession.
Additionally, a company may bear stricter care duties to a customer or an employer to an employee. Colorado’s shared blame rule is likewise codified in the Colorado Civil Practices and Remedies Code.
What is Colorado’s Rule of Shared Fault?
Additionally, Colorado’s injury law is controlled by a modified comparative negligence standard (often referred to as the “shared blame rule” or “proportionate liability”).
According to Colorado’s shared fault law, if a person or corporation is partly responsible for your accident or injury, they may be held accountable for a proportional amount of damages based on their share of the blame.
Thus, in a case where numerous parties were responsible for your injuries, the court will assign each party a proportion of blame depending on their level of responsibility. When a party is awarded damages, each party is accountable for a share of the total amount according to their degree of guilt.
Additionally, Colorado’s shared fault law allows you to recover even if you are found to be somewhat at blame for your accident and injuries.
For instance, if you were texting on your phone when your vehicle was t-boned by a car that ran a stop sign, the court may find that you were 30% at blame for the accident and hence 30% at fault for your injuries. As a result, if you are awarded $10,000 in damages, you may collect just 70% of that amount, or $7,000.
It is critical to note, however, that Colorado adheres to the 51% bar rule. This implies that if you are found to be 51 percent or more at blame for your injuries, you cannot recover damages.
What is the Colorado Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims?
The statute of limitations for a personal injury suit in Colorado is case-specific. While the Colorado Civil Practices and Remedies Code establishes a general statute of limitations for various types of personal injury claims, the practical application of these statutes is much more complicated, and your Colorado personal injury attorney would need to examine the specific facts of your case for nuances and exceptions.
For instance, in certain circumstances, the statute of limitations is not based on the occurrence that resulted in your damage but rather on the moment you discovered or should have discovered the harm.
A statute may even stipulate that you have two years from the day you become aware of the harm to commence an action while simultaneously providing that you have no more than six years from the date of the alleged incident to file suit.
This is why it is critical to contact an attorney when determining if the statute of limitations has run out on your case.
Children’s Statute of Limitations
Colorado law permits the “tolling” of an existing statute of limitations in certain situations (or extended). For instance, in situations involving minors, personal injury claims are time-barred until the kid reaches the age of 18 or is otherwise legally declared an adult.
After being legally recognized as an adult, the youngster would have two years to settle or fight their injury claims.
However, it is critical to clarify that this extension applies only to claims that are lawfully the child. Claims against the child’s parents must be resolved within the standard limitations period.
For instance, claims for medical expenditures would not be tolled since the kid’s parents have a legal obligation to provide medical treatment for their child under Colorado law. This implies that any claims made in connection with such medical expenditures are also the responsibility of the parents.
Tollable damages include the following:
- Suffering and agony
- Physical disability
- Medical expenditures incurred as an adult
What Are the Typical Components of a Successful Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Establishing negligence is the most critical aspect of a personal injury claim. There is no personal injury lawsuit without proof of carelessness.
As previously stated, negligence is defined by the Legal Information Institute as a failure to act with the degree of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in identical circumstances. While the conduct in issue is often shown via acts, it may also take the form of omissions when there is a need to act.
A Colorado personal injury attorney will analyze the four components necessary to build a prima facie case when determining whether a person’s action or behavior lacked reasonable care (a legally required rebuttable presumption). The components are as follows:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal responsibility.
- The defendant’s failure to perform that responsibility
- Sufferance of harm by the plaintiff
- Establishment that the defendant’s violation directly resulted in the plaintiff’s harm
Establishing the Presence of Legal Obligation
The first stage in establishing a prima facie case of negligence demonstrates that the defendant owes the plaintiff a legal obligation. There are generally two types of obligation due in a Colorado personal injury case:
Responsibility of Care
A duty to behave in the way that a person of average wisdom would act in identical circumstances. (i.e., Would a reasonable person have behaved in the same manner as the defendant while driving a motor vehicle if the reasonable person was operating a motor vehicle under identical circumstances to the defendant?)
A legal obligation imposed by legislation or case law that may exist in addition to or instead of the ordinary duty of care. (i.e., legislation mandating producers of pharmaceuticals to mention potential adverse effects, contraindications, and warnings on product labels.)
To ascertain whether a general duty of care or a specific obligation was due, your attorney and the court will examine the plaintiff’s and defendant’s connection and establish whether a duty was owed based on that relationship.
Determining Duty Violations: The Hand Formula
Once it is shown that the defendant owes the plaintiff a duty, the next stage in showing negligence is demonstrating whether the defendant broke that obligation. Your Colorado attorney will very certainly use the Hand Formula to do this.
The Hand Formula, originally stated in the United States v. Carroll Towing, states that if the burden of taking precautions is less than the chance of damage multiplied by the gravity of any resultant injury, then the person bearing the responsibility of taking precautions bears some level of obligation.
The formula may be reduced to B PL, where B is the cost of precaution, P denotes the likelihood of personal loss, and L denotes the gravity of personal loss.
Determining Whether the Plaintiff Was Injured
While your attorney examines the Hand Formula, they will also be attempting to establish the occurrence of an injury. An injury must be one of two things in a case of negligence:
- Physical injury
- Negative impact on personal or real property
Examples of physical damage often alleged in Colorado personal injury claims include the following:
- Fractures and injury to soft tissue
- Concussion-related brain injuries
- Injury to the back and neck
- The onset of undesirable health issues (e.g., cancer, renal damage, or a heart attack).
- Delay in diagnosing or failure to diagnose a potentially fatal medical issue
- Unjustifiable death
While the pure economic loss is unlikely to satisfy the Colorado personal injury damage threshold, emotional distress and emotional suffering may satisfy the bodily harm criterion even in the absence of concomitant physical impairment (e.g., emotional abuse, mental anguish, loss of consortium).
Establishing that the Duty Violation Caused the Injury
The last step in establishing a prima facie case of negligence is demonstrating that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Two sorts of causation must be examined in situations of negligence:
Cause-in-Fact Causal Factor (Actual Causal Factor)
The cause-in-fact is quite self-explanatory. It merely indicates that the defendant’s activities are directly responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. This is often shown using the “but-for” test.
For instance, if a bus driver ran a red light and collided with a pickup, inflicting back injuries on the pickup driver, the “but-for” test would read, “But for the bus driver running the red light, the pickup driver would not have incurred his back injuries.”
Proximate Causal Factor (Legal Causal Factor)
Proximate cause is concerned with predictability: Are the plaintiff’s injuries a reasonably foreseeable effect of the defendant’s behavior? For instance, a drunk motorist striking and killing a pedestrian is a predictable outcome of the driver’s decision to get behind the wheel while impaired.
However, suppose a drunk driver collides with an 18-wheeler carrying volatile chemicals, causing a poorly maintained utility pole a half-mile away to collapse and injure a pedestrian on a late-night walk. I
n that case, the drunk driver is unlikely to be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries, as the collapse of the utility pole is a highly unforeseen consequence of the defendant’s drunk driving.
Another way of thinking about the proximate cause is that the plaintiff’s harm should be near (proximate) in time and the “chain of causation” connected to the defendant’s activities.
What Damages Are Available in Personal Injury Lawsuits in Colorado?
Personal injury damages in Colorado are typically classified into two categories:
- Economic losses (those that have intrinsic monetary value)
- Non-economic harm (those that do not have a clear monetary value)
However, if the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless or intentional, you may be entitled to a third sort of loss known as punitive damages. While economic and non-economic damages are awarded to “make the plaintiff whole,” punitive damages are granted only to punish a defendant and demonstrate to society that the defendant’s actions will not be condoned.
How are Economic Damages Calculated in a Personal Injury Case?
Medical bills and lost income are the two most often claimed economic damages in personal injury cases.
When pursuing payment for medical expenditures in a personal injury claim, you are entitled to reimbursement for the following treatments and services:
- Medical consultations
- Hospitalization in an emergency department
- Ambulance charges
- Nursing care
- Costs of medication
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), x-rays, and other scans
- Physical treatment and rehabilitation
To be compensated for medical expenditures, you must establish that they are connected to medical issues caused by the accident or injuries stated in your injury complaint. Additionally, you may be entitled to future medical expenditures if your injuries need continuous care.
The term “lost earnings” refers to the money you would have earned between the time of the accident and the settlement date. Additionally, you may recover lost earning capacity if you have incurred a long-term injury and will be unable to earn as much money as you did before the accident, as well as damages for missed chances such as an interview or promotion during your recovery.
Apart from basic salary calculations (the amount of direct pay lost), you may additionally claim the following:
- Compensation for a promotion or income rise if you were due for one while unemployed.
- Commissions on sales are forfeited.
- Bonuses that you were already compensated for and were scheduled to earn before your injury.
- Elimination of fringe benefits.
- Suffering a loss of pension benefits.
You may even be able to claim damages for time spent on a vacation or sick leave while healing from your injuries.
How Are Non-Economic Damages Determined in a Personal Injury Case?
Non-economic damages are those that lack a clear monetary worth. Because there is no “paper trail” to support the value, non-economic losses may be very difficult to assess and much more difficult to prove to a jury.
Non-economic damages are often granted in personal injury claims and include the following:
Pain and suffering
If your accident caused you pain or severe discomfort, you might be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. This might include pain experienced during an injury, pain experienced shortly after an injury’s infliction, and any persistent pain associated with the injury or accident.
These damages aim to measure dissatisfaction with daily activities such as hobbies, exercise, and other leisure activities.
Not every injury is physical. If your accident or injury had a psychological effect on you and resulted in symptoms such as anxiety, sadness, or insomnia, you may be entitled to emotional distress compensation.
Loss of consortium
Typically sought in wrongful death cases, loss of consortium damages may also be sought where a serious injury results in a loss of companionship or an incapacity to care for oneself.
Keep a sexual connection going with your spouse. Children may also claim for loss of consortium if the victim’s capacity to offer care, nurturing or comfort has been seriously harmed by the injuries.
How are Punitive Damages Determined in a Personal Injury Case in Colorado?
Punitive damages cannot be assessed unless there are genuine damages. Medical costs, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost pay are all examples of actual damages. Punitive damages are impossible to obtain in the absence of genuine harm.
Second, you must establish that the defendant behaved recklessly. This entails demonstrating:
- That a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have recognized that their action or conduct included a high degree of danger.
- That the defendant was aware of the danger yet behaved recklessly.
The most prevalent instance of gross carelessness in an automobile accident is when a driver is wounded or killed. When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, he or she has made a conscious decision to disregard the evident danger they represent to others.
What Can I Expect from My Colorado Personal Injury Settlement?
The amount of your Colorado personal injury compensation is dependent on the facts of your case. For instance, a person who has had serious, debilitating injuries would almost certainly obtain a bigger payout than someone who has sustained mild injuries since their losses are more costly and emotionally draining.
Another factor to consider when estimating the value of a personal injury settlement is the insurance limitations. Insurance policy limitations may keep settlement offers modest since an insurance company is reluctant to award an individual insured compensation that exceeds the policy maximum. Generally, businesses have more policy constraints than individuals.
Is My Injury Settlement in Colorado Taxable?
The taxability of your Colorado personal injury settlement is contingent upon the acts you made previous to the settlement.
According to the IRS, if you obtained a personal injury settlement for physical injuries or sickness and DID NOT itemize your medical expenditures connected to the accident or illness in the preceding year, the whole settlement amount is non-taxable. It does not need to be reported as income.
However, if you previously deducted medical expenditures, you must include the percentage of your settlement for medical expenses as income, which is taxable.
The IRS treats damages for emotional pain or mental agony in the same way that it does physical injuries and physical sickness, as long as they result from a physical injury or medical disease.
On the other hand, lost earnings are taxable and subject to the social security wage base and the applicable social security and Medicare tax rates in the year paid.
How to Prepare for a Consultation with a Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Case Review
When meeting with a Colorado personal injury attorney for a free case review, you may bring specific items that can assist the attorney in evaluating your claim.
The first thing you should do is gather evidence relating to the accident or event that resulted in your injury. This may involve the following:
- Photographs of the accident site, the damage to your vehicle and the other cars involved, your injuries, and anything else pertinent to the occurrence
- A copy of the police report or accident report
- A list of the names, phone numbers, or addresses of witnesses you talked with at the scene
Suppose you had medical care after your injury. In that case, you should bring papers or documentation detailing the procedures or treatments you received, as well as the names and contact information for the physicians or medical experts who examined you. Additionally, bring proof of any future therapy they prescribe, as well as the anticipated expenses of continuous care.
Additional papers that you should bring to your first consultation with a lawyer include the following:
- Letters or emails from your insurer or the insurer of the other motorist
- The name and phone number of the at-fault driver in the collision (together with their insurance company’s contact information)
- Receipts for everything you bought to cure an injury or repair damage caused by the accident
Additionally, you may choose to compile a list of questions for the attorney. Among the critical questions to ask your potential accident attorney are the following:
- Have you been practicing law in this practice area for a lengthy time?
- What is your track record in these types of cases?
- Have you ever been a witness in a courtroom?
- What will the cost of hiring you be?
Are You a Victim of an Accident?
At Warrior, we specialize exclusively in personal injury cases and maximizing your and your family’s rehabilitation. Our company has the resources necessary to protect you and your family throughout the legal process.
Our attorneys are committed to each client and their situation. Allow us to assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact our injury lawyers for a free legal consultation — accessible 24/7, evenings, and weekends.
FREE CASE REVIEW
We are standing by ready, willing, and able to help you. You can schedule a free consultation here on our website, or give us a call and talk to us. Whatever you prefer, we will accomodate you!