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General Negligence

If you have been injured due to the fault of another person or because they acted carelessly or recklessly, you may be able to pursue a cause of action against them for negligence. There are a variety of ways an individual can be injured as a result of another person’s negligence. For example, if you slipped on a spill in a grocery store, were injured while a guest at another person’s house, or were injured in a car accident due to the fault of the other driver, you may be able to file a claim for negligence.

Negligence is most simply defined as departing from the conduct that is expected of a reasonably prudent person in the same or similar situation. If you have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence, it is very important to contact a personal injury attorney in Denver immediately.

According to section 13-80-102 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, you may only have two years to file a claim for your injuries that were caused by another person’s negligence. This period, also known as a statute of limitations or SOL, bars an injured party from filing a claim for their injuries against a negligent party after a specified time period has passed.

In most general negligence cases in Colorado, this period is two years. However, if the negligent party was driving a motor vehicle at the time of the incident, the statute of limitations may be as long as three years. It is, therefore, very important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another person.

Negligence Attorney in Denver, Colorado

If you sustained injuries or your loved one died because of another party's negligence, you should immediately seek legal counsel. Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson helps clients all over the greater Denver area, including Lakewood, Aurora, Westminster, Arvada, Longmont, Centennial, Thornton, Littleton, and Boulder.

Colorado personal injury lawyer Jennifer Donaldson has over a quarter-century of legal experience, and she will work one-on-one with you to help you get full and fair compensation. Call (303)-458-5000 right now to schedule a free consultation that will allow her to review your case.


Colorado General Negligence Information Center


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Denver Negligence Claims

A negligence claim in the state of Colorado has four elements:

  • a duty owed by the defendant to the plaintiff;
  • a breach of that duty;
  • injury to the plaintiff; and
  • a proximate cause relationship between the breach and the injury.

Therefore, the cause of action in a personal injury case arises out of a violation of a legal duty imposed upon an actor to avoid causing harm to others. A legal duty is defined in terms of a standard of care. The source of the duty and the corresponding standard essential to the proper discharge of the duty may originate from a judicial decision or a legislative enactment.

The law in Colorado uses the general principle that a legal duty to use reasonable care arises in response to a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm to others. In Colorado personal injury cases, negligence is defined as a failure to do an act which a reasonably careful person would do, or the doing of an act which a reasonably careful person would not do, under the same or similar circumstances to protect oneself or others from bodily injury. CJI–Civ. 4th 9:6 (2015).

In most ordinary negligence cases, an actor is required to conform his or her conduct to a standard of objective behavior measured by what a reasonable person of ordinary prudence would or would not do under the same or similar circumstances. Under the “reasonable person standard” in Colorado, the greater the risk, the greater the amount of care required to avoid injury to others.

What constitutes reasonable care varies according to the degree of risk associated with the activity in question. An increased risk is therefore necessarily a prerequisite to imposing a higher degree of care on the defendant.


Common Types of Negligence Claims in Colorado

Almost every form of personal injury is caused by the negligence of another person. Some of the most common negligence claims in Colorado can arise from:

  • Animal Attacks;
  • Dangerous Drugs;
  • Defective Products;
  • Dog Bites;
  • Faulty Medical Products;
  • Medical Malpractice;
  • Negligent Security;
  • Premises Liability;
  • Product Liability;
  • Recreational Accidents;
  • Slip and Fall;
  • Ski Accidents;
  • Unsafe Toys;
  • Wrongful Death; and
  • Vacation Accidents.

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Comparative Negligence in Denver

In most lawsuits for general negligence claims in Colorado, if the injured party is 50% responsible for the injuries they sustained as a result of the incident, their claim is barred under the theory of comparative negligence, according to section 13-21-111 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. However, the injured party is able to recover for their injuries if they are 49% or less at fault for their injuries.

If it is determined that the injured party was partially responsible for their injuries, the amount of their damages award will be reduced by the percentage of their responsibility in the accident.

However, the injured party is able to recover for their injuries if they are 49% or less at fault for their injuries. If it is determined that the injured party was partially responsible for their injuries, the amount of their damages award will be reduced by the percentage of their responsibility in the accident.


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Duty and Breach in Negligence Claims in Denver, Colorado

In lawsuits for negligence, the injured party must prove the defendant had some duty of care that was owed to the injured party and that this duty was breached. For most cases, the negligent party had a duty to act with reasonable care as measured by an ordinary person standard and not to impose any foreseeable risk of harm on any other person.

In addition to duty and breach, the injured party must also prove their injuries were actually caused by the negligent party’s breach of duty.


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Negligence Damages in Denver

Victims who suffer catastrophic injuries or have loved ones killed because of another party's negligence may be entitled to several different kinds of compensation. Depending on the specific aspects of the case, these may include:

  • Economic damages are intended to compensate the injured party for all financial losses they have incurred or will incur in the future as a result of a car crash, which may include, medical and rehabilitation expenses, loss of income, diminished earning capacity or other out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Noneconomic damages are intended to compensate the injured party for damages and losses they have suffered as a result of the accident, including physical pain and suffering; mental anguish and emotional stress; loss of enjoyment of life; impairment of normal lifestyle; and/or inconvenience. The amount of noneconomic damages allowed in Colorado is currently limited to a maximum of $500,000.
  • Physical impairment and disfigurement is intended to compensate individuals for permanent physical injuries, scars or disfigurement they may have sustained as a result of the car crash. This element of damages is not limited by the caps on noneconomic damages outlined above.
  • Exemplary damages may be awarded in some cases if the jury finds that a victim's injuries were caused by a negligent party's actions involving circumstances of fraud, malice, or willful and wanton conduct. These damages are intended to punish the negligent party for actions which go well beyond negligent conduct and are only available in limited situations.

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Colorado General Negligence Resources

Chapter 5 | Torts | Denver Bar Association — One of the main features of tort law is that it is supposed to compensate injured victims for the harm caused by negligent parties. This article from the Denver Bar Association discusses negligence as well as intentional torts, automobile liability, premises liability, and professional liability. You can also learn more about the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA).

1900 Grant Street
Suite 900
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 860-1115

Economic Analysis of Alternative Standards of Liability in Accident Law — This article discusses negligence, strict liability, and the effects of the difference in tort liability rules.


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Negligence Lawyer in Denver at Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson

Were you seriously injured or was your loved one killed because of the negligence of another party? The Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson serves communities in Denver County, Arapahoe County, Adams County, Jefferson County, and Boulder County.

You can have our Colorado personal injury attorney Jennifer Donaldson review your case by calling (303)-458-5000 or submitting an online form right now to take advantage of a free consultation.

Call (303)-458-5000 today.

 


This article was last updated on Friday, January 13, 2017. 

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