Personal Injury in Colorado: the Basics of Negligence Claims
Injuries are a common occurrence in life and can affect each and anyone regardless of your status in the society. At one point in their lives, 5 in 7 adults have sustained at least one injury. Most of the injuries are due to the negligence of one party or both. Personal injuries arise from auto accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, work-related accidents, dog bites among many other causes.
As a victim of personal injury, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who might be responsible for the harm you experienced. Injuries vary from mild bruises and scratches to severe and debilitating injuries like loss of limbs or internal damages.
Colorado, like many other states in the US, recognizes the system of “The Five Elements of Negligence.” While some personal injury lawsuits are simple and don’t take long, others are complicated and you need the services of an experienced Grand Junction personal injury lawyer to file a strong claim.
When you file for a personal injury claim, the core aim is to prove that the defendant is the main cause of the injuries you sustained. Note that proof of negligence is the central basis of any personal injury claim. In short, you can only succeed in being compensated when you comprehensively prove the negligence of the culpable party.
Basic Elements of Negligence
The 5 basic elements of negligence are:
- The existence of a duty of care – you must be able to prove the existence of a duty of care owed by one person to the other. In this case, the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care to protect them from harm.
- Breach of duty – After establishing the existence of a duty of care, it is crucial to clearly illustrate how one party failed to act in the expected reasonable manner in upholding the duty of care.
- Cause in Fact (Causation) – This requires showing if the breach of duty above is a cause of another person’s injuries. The big question is, were the injuries suffered by the victim caused by the alleged actions of the defendant?
- Proximate Cause – This element seeks to establish and determine the direct cause of injury in question. A plaintiff needs to adequately prove that the defendant’s actions are indeed the closest cause of his injuries.
- Monetary damages-This final element of negligence aims to show the actual damages suffered. This is evidenced by documents to show your injuries and related expenses incurred as a result or aftermath of the injury.
Comparative negligence rules
These differ from state to state. In the state of Colorado, rules of modified comparative negligence are practiced. In this type of negligence rule, the injured victim may fail to recover compensation if their fault exceeds a certain degree. In states like Colorado and Georgia, a victim must have a fault of less than that of the defendant to recover compensation.
After going through the basics of negligence claims, I believe it is now crystal clear why hiring an experienced attorney is necessary. It is also out in the open that for every claim you file, you have to be able to prove the negligence of the defendant so as to win it.