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Who is responsible for the costs associated with car accident damages depends on a number of various criteria. For instance, if a driver is critically hurt after another driver swerves in front of them, the other driver will likely be held accountable. However, if the other driver was speeding or made an illegal lane change before the crash, they might be held accountable. Motor vehicle statutes play a major role in determining who is responsible for paying for injuries or damages in auto accidents. If you have questions about legal liability in your Denver, Colorado auto accident, contact our Denver car accident lawyers for a free case review.
Liability for auto accidents under common law
In its most basic sense, “fault” for causing an accident is either set forth by statute or defined by common law. Common law acknowledges four fundamental degrees of legal fault:
- recklessness or immoral behavior
- intentional wrongdoing
- absolute liability (regardless of fault)
In general, the term “negligence” refers to thoughtless or unintentional behavior that causes harm or damage, which occurs frequently in car accidents. In addition to actively taking action, such as ceding the right-of-way to prevent an accident, one might also be negligent by not taking action (such as running a red light).
Car accident perpetrators are considered to have committed a “tort,” or a private wrong against another, according to common law (but not rising to the level of an intentional tort or crime). According to Colorado personal injury law, those who have committed torts are referred to as “tortfeasors.” The term “tortfeasor” is frequently used in auto insurance plans to describe those who are at least partially to blame for an accident.
Car accident liability statutes in Colorado
The auto insurance industry persuaded state legislatures to place more emphasis on motor vehicle statutes than common law conceptions of blame when determining who is legally responsible for accidents. Since liability insurance is required in Colorado this has made it simpler for insurers to contest fault and liability when the at-fault party broke a traffic rule.
The crucial thing to keep in mind is that if any of these regulations are broken, there is usually a legal presumption of carelessness. For instance, the majority of states mandate helmet use for motorcycle riders. Negligence is an action that may affect responsibility in an accident if it is not taken.
Thus, a statute that has been broken can be used to establish liability in an accident. The onus is on the driver who is considered to be at fault for an accident due to a statutory breach to demonstrate that their negligence was not a direct cause of the injuries.
Asking if it would be true that the violation would have prevented the accident from happening “but for” the violation is the simplest method to apply the idea of proximate causation to a car accident. For instance, a motorcycle helmet very certainly would have averted or restricted the motorcyclist’s injuries even though it would not have prevented the collision. Consequently, a motorist might not be held accountable for the entire amount of the motorcycle rider’s brain damage.
How does my lawyer prove liability in my car accident case?
In your car accident case your lawyer will take several steps to prove liability. Your lawyer will begin working on your case by investigating the collision to determine the facts. If liability is in dispute with the insurance company, your attorney will advocate your position to try to change the insurance adjuster’s opinion. If successful, then a settlement may be likely after you complete treatment for your injuries.
If unsuccessful, your case will probably require litigation and the trial lawyers at the law firm. The trial attorneys will need to present experts to explain to the jury what happened in your traffic collision.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident caused by negligence, you should hire a personal injury lawyer near you today. At Front Range Injury Attorneys, we offer free consultations for car accidents and other personal injury cases. You can speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers today about your case.