Every state handles personal injury claims under its own state laws and statutes. In Colorado, filing a claim requires you have the assistance of a personal injury attorney familiar with operating under the local laws. An attorney accustomed to working in the local jurisdiction will be best suited to advise you on the damages to seek in your claim and to establish liability and negligence for the injuries you suffered.
Colorado is a “Comparative-Fault” State
Just as every state sets its own statutes and laws regarding personal injury claims, every state also determines how fault or liability for personal injuries is determined. In some states, if you played even a tiny part in the circumstances that resulted in your injuries, you cannot seek damages. In Colorado however, you can share responsibility for the injuries you suffered and still hold another party or parties responsible for the part they played in your injuries as well. This concept is known as comparable-fault or contributory negligence.
In order to establish comparable-fault in Colorado, you must demonstrate that while you may have contributed to the circumstances that resulted in your injuries, another party or parties also hold responsibility. You must establish that you are less than 50 percent responsible for your injuries, and therefore, that the majority of fault rests with a third party.
The damages you may receive are reduced according to your percentage of fault for your own injuries. In other words, if you are 40 percent responsible, you can only receive 60 percent of the damages that might be available in your case. A personal injury attorney can help you establish comparable-fault or contributory negligence in your claim and will work to get you the highest and fairest settlement or award of damages possible.
Potential Damages for Personal Injury in Colorado
Damages which can be sought in a personal injury claim in Colorado include compensation for economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, cost of household help or skilled home care, and loss of future earnings ability. You may also seek compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement and can include non-economic losses like pain and suffering in the damages you seek in your claim as well. A personal injury attorney familiar with Colorado claims will be able to advise you on the damages you should include in your claim for compensation.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Colorado
Just as every state sets other limits on personal injury claims, each also sets the timeframe during which a personal injury claim may be filed. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing a claim is two years.
Under certain circumstances, that timeframe may be altered, though there must be extenuating reasons for the adjustment. You basically have two years from the date you realize you’ve suffered harm to file a personal injury claim. If for some reason you were not immediately aware of your injuries and the statute of limitations expires, you may still be able to have your case heard despite the delay in filing. Proving your injuries only became apparent after the statute of limitations has passed can be quite difficult and will require the assistance of a personal injury attorney though.