Involvement in an automobile accident could leave someone disabled, in pain or unable to work and provide for themselves and their families. Those who find themselves in such circumstances might seek compensation for their injuries. However, before said parties can receive compensation, an adjudicating body must first determine who was responsible for causing the mishap.
The Law Office of Chadwick McGrady, personal injury attorneys serving the residents of Colorado’s Grand Junction region, invites prospective clients and concerned parties to read the following blog discussing how fault is determined in the wake of a car accident.
Modified Comparative Negligence
In the State of Colorado, merely sustaining injuries in an accident or believing another motorist caused the accident in question is not enough to win a personal injury case. The state adheres to a legal principle known as the modified comparative negligence principle.
Modified comparative negligence allows the court to have the authority to assign blame on each accident participant. In accordance with this principle, a claimant will be able to recoup damages provided said individual is ruled to either 50 percent or less at fault for causing the offending incident. However, if the plaintiff is found to be 51 percent or more to blame, said person receives no compensation at all.
For example, if the claimant sued for $200,000 and was found 25 percent at fault, said individual’s reward would be reduced by one-quarter or $50,000, thus leaving the claimant with $150,000. Demonstrating the other side of the principle, should the plaintiff be found 51 percent or more at fault, said individual’s compensation is $0.
Initiating A Civil Claim
Colorado automobile accident claims can be filed in three ways:
Against A Defendant’s Insurance Company: If the motorist in question is found to bear more than 50 percent of the blame, the claimant can recover damages from the defendant’s automobile insurance provider.
Against The Defendant: Sometimes, the claimant can file an individualized suit against the guilty individual(s) in question.
Through Their Own Auto Insurance Provider: Should the at-fault party (parties) lack automobile insurance, the claimant might seek to recover funds through their insurance provider under the uninsured driver provision.
Proving Fault From A Legal Sense
In certain instances, the facts surrounding a car accident case are clear, and discerning who the responsible party (parties) are does not present a significant challenge. For example, in events where the claimant’s vehicle was struck while parked in a lot or while stopped at a red light or stop sign indicates who is at fault. Cases such as these are easier to prove.
However, in numerous instances, the events surrounding automobile mishaps are not as clear cut, and determining responsibility requires the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney.
Getting to the bottom of some accidents might require a personal injury lawyer to perform actions that may include:
The collection and uncovering of evidence
Gathering the testimony of eyewitnesses and experts including but not limited to law enforcement officials, traffic engineers, accident recreation professionals, and doctors
The search for other
Identifying other potential accident causes increasing the defendant(s) responsibility
Cross-examining the defendants to find inaccuracies or misrepresentations of their accounts of events
Contact The Law Office of Chadwick McGrady
At the Law Office of Chadwick McGrady, we help car accident victims recover the damages they seek. We take an effective, aggressive approach to personal injury cases, and will work diligently to ensure you recover the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.