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Can I Get Compensation if I Was Partly at Fault?


No auto accident is a black-and-white situation. There are grey areas, where the victim shared a percentage of fault with the other driver. In many cases, accident victims do not file a compensation claim because they believe that they have no legal standing. A personal injury attorney at Firouzbakht Law Firm can help you win the compensation benefits you deserve, even if you were partly at fault for the accident. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to analyze your case and start finding the evidence to prove that you are eligible to file a personal injury claim.

The Implications of the Comparative Negligence in Colorado

A black car with front end damage after an accident in Denver

According to Colorado Revised Statutes 13-21-111, "contributory negligence shall not bar recovery in any action by any person or his legal representative to recover damages for negligence resulting in death or injury to person or property if such negligence was not as great as the negligence of the person against whom recovery is sought". The law goes on to specify that the proportion of fault shall be calculated in percentages.

In simpler terms, if you were less than 50% at fault for your accident, you have a case. Thus, an experienced personal injury lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a fair settlement for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other non-economic damages.

Who Determines the Percentage of Blame in Vehicle Accidents?

In order to make comparative negligence laws applicable, percentage of fault must be assigned to one or several drivers with a degree of confidence. This is the role of law enforcement officers and the insurance adjuster. An accident lawyer can collect evidence and build your case, but this means that they can produce them. Examples of pieces of evidence that can determine the fault party are:

  • the police report prepared at the accident scene
  • photos and videos
  • testimony from accident witnesses
  • footage from traffic cameras
  • reports prepared by reenactment experts at accident sites.

The success of any automobile accident claim or personal injury lawsuit depends greatly on what you do immediately after the traffic accident. Your health must be your primary concern, so the first thing you must do is call 9-1-1 and ask for an ambulance and a law enforcement team to investigate the accident.

Document the Crash Scene

As you are waiting to receive medical attention, try to take as many photos and videos as possible of your injuries, the damage to your car and any skid marks on the road. At the same time, you should get the other driver's details:

  • license plate
  • name
  • contact details
  • insurance carrier.

Also, ask eyewitnesses to give you their contact details and be available for a discussion and giving a statement to your personal injury lawyer at a later date.

Do Not Accept a Quick Settlement

In most cases, an insurance adjuster will contact you to offer a settlement and a waiver for you to sign. Do not accept the settlement or sign any document. At the same time, do not let the insurance company representative persuade you that:

Two vehicles crash on a Denver road
  • the level of damages you sustained is not as big as you claim
  • your percentage of fault is higher
  • you have no legal options to seek financial compensation in court.

Experienced automobile accident attorneys can challenge all these points and demonstrate that the driver at fault committed breach of duty of care resulting in the traffic accident that caused your injuries and property damage.

Hire an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

A car accident leaves long-lasting effects on your health and wellbeing. It also leaves you with large medical bills for the weeks you spent in the hospital. Typical examples of injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident are:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • spinal cord injury
  • traumatic brain injury
  • catastrophic injury causing permanent physical impairment and disability.

It is impossible to evaluate all your damages when an insurance company representative contacts you to offer the quick settlement. An experienced personal injury lawyer can open negotiations and reach a reasonable claim settlement that will cover all your expenses, including  loss of wages, out of pocket expenses and non-economic damages.

How Personal Injury Attorneys Prove Your Case and Win Your Fair Compensation

First of all, the legal team will perform their own investigations to establish the fault percentages. Many significant elements of proof will be found in the accident report prepared by the police officers, such as:

  • the fault driver exceeded speed limits
  • drunk driving accidents
  • distracted driving (texting and driving).

If necessary, the lawyer will hire accident reconstruction experts, who will use information from witness statements, photos and videos to establish the conditions in which the car crash happened..

At the same time, the attorney will contact your doctor to find out the extent of your injuries and your recovery prognosis. Based on these data and prior experience in handling cases involving the same type of accidents, the lawyer will calculate the monetary compensation you are entitled to.

This compensation claim will include:

  • present and future medical expenses
  • lost wages and loss of income if you cannot go back to your job
  • non-economic damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish.

Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?

In most cases, insurance companies will settle an accident injury claim out of court.. In some cases, they may rely on the comparative negligence rule and their interpretation of how the accident happened to refuse negotiations.

In this case, your personal injury attorney will advise you to file a lawsuit against the fault driver. In this case, if the jury believes that the other party acted in gross negligence (which exceeds the concept of taking unnecessary risks), you may also be awarded punitive damages.

Trust the Experienced Car Accident Attorneys at Firouzbakht Law Firm!

Silver car rear-ends a black car at a Denver intersection

We are a team of aggressive personal injury lawyers who will fight to get the maximum compensation you deserve. We know how to counteract when insurance adjusters try to diminish the compensation amount or deny your claim. Our goal is to get justice served and ensure that you can recover from your injuries and go back to your life without getting in debt over medical bills.

We encourage you to schedule a free, no-risk consultation with us as soon as possible after you were involved in a car accident.. We are available 24/7, and we don't charge any fees until we win your case. Call us: 833-801-0171!

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