Law

Glenwood Springs car crash: Understanding comparative fault in Colorado

Some car accidents in Glenwood Springs result in devastating outcomes. If you ever end up in such an on-road mishap, you must take steps to protect your rights. Of course, the first step is to seek medical attention and inform the police. If you are okay after the crash, take pictures of the scene and your visible injuries. As the adrenaline rush subsides, consider talking to a Glenwood Springs auto accident lawyer to know your claim. What happens when you are also partly at fault for the crash? In this post, we are discussing Colorado’s comparative fault rule. 

The modified comparative negligence rule

If two parties share the blame for an auto accident, Colorado courts will follow the modified comparative negligence rule. You can only sue the other party at fault, as long as your fault share doesn’t exceed theirs. Your final settlement would be on the lower side as the compensation would be reduced by your fault percentage. 

How does that work?  

Let’s take an example. Let’s say that you were 20% at fault and successfully sued the at-fault party for $200,000. In this case, your final settlement would be $160,000. You lost a share of the compensation as per your fault share. If you are more at fault, you cannot sue the other party at all.

Things to note

Colorado’s statute of limitations sets a deadline of three years for car accident lawsuits. If you don’t initiate a civil lawsuit against the other party within three years from the accident date, the court will dismiss your case. Also, note that the time limit is only for civil lawsuits. If you wish to initiate a third-party insurance claim, you must inform the insurance company within a reasonable time or at the earliest. 

Do you need an attorney?

People often undermine the complications involved in an auto accident lawsuit. They assume that they can file a claim and hope to get a reasonable offer from the insurance adjuster. Unfortunately, things may not pan out like that. An attorney can help negotiate with the insurance company, and if needed, they can take your case to trial. While no attorney can ever promise an outcome for your auto accident case, they can certainly improve your chances. 

Also, all auto accident lawyers in the city work on a contingency fee, which means you don’t have to pay them until you win a settlement for the case. 

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