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How does the court determine negligence?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2022 | Civil Litigation

In Colorado, motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries and medical malpractice often fall under the category of negligent tort law. According to Colorado law, negligence occurs when an individual or entity fails to act in a reasonably careful manner.

When you face damages due to negligence, it may seem evident that another party is at fault. However, you need to prove four components to the court to have a case. Keep reading to learn more about establishing a negligence civil suit.

1. Legal duty of care

First, the court must agree that the defendant owed a legal duty of care. In the case of an automobile accident, a motorist has the legal obligation to drive safely.

2. Neglection of duty

Next, the court decides if the defendant neglected their duty. For car crashes, Colorado uses a modified comparative negligence theory. If you can prove less than 50 percent guilt, you may seek damages reduced by the percentage of your responsibility.

3. Culpability for harm

The court may decide that the defendant displayed negligence; however, they must determine if their negligence caused you harm. Not only must the defendant be responsible for your injury, but they must have reasonably foreseen the potential for damage through their actions.

4. Compensation for damages

If you can prove the above components, you may receive compensation. Typically, if you accrued medical or property costs, the negligent party must pay for a certain amount.

Negligence is not always evident to the court. Your attorney needs to litigate your case in a manner that demonstrates the defendant’s actions caused you harm and acted unreasonably. Consult with an experienced litigator if you believe someone injured you or your property through negligence.

Phillip A. Geigle

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