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A party is liable when they are held legally responsible for something. In a scooter accident, legal liability means the party legally and factually responsible for causing the accident. Typically a scooter accident in Denver will be the result of negligence. When a driver or other person is liable for a scooter accident, that person is responsible for compensating people injured by the accident for their damages. If you suffered injuries in a scooter crash, contact our scooter accident lawyer in Denver, Colorado for a free case review.
What are legal liabilities under Colorado law?
When someone is held legally accountable for something, they are said to be liable. In civil lawsuits, a defendant simply faces liability, as opposed to criminal prosecutions where a person may be found guilty.
A party may be liable for the acts of others for whom they are legally responsible, for their own actions or inactions, or for the conduct of others. The specific actions that must be taken in order to hold a party responsible depend on Colorado law.
Although it is rare, a party who is at fault may also be ordered to do specified performance, they will most usually be required to pay monetary damages.
Whether a state adheres to joint and several liability or several liability in the case that many parties are individually legally liable for the same thing determines the extent of each party’s individual obligation.
Is negligence a type of legal liability?
A direct causal link between the violation of duty and the harm that resulted is necessary for negligence to exist. Legal responsibility will exist if the duty violation contributed to the accident. However, there cannot be any legal responsibility if another factor led to the accident or harm.
According to the theory of negligence, the claimant must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty, that duty was breached, a harm was caused as a result of the defendant’s breach, and that the injury was compensable.
What are other types of legal liability?
There are numerous theories of liability that claimants can use to demonstrate liability. The type of law at issue will determine which theories of liability are applicable in a particular situation. For instance, breach of contract is a viable theory of liability in cases involving contractual disputes. In tort cases, other viable theories of liability include carelessness, negligence per se, respondeat superior, vicarious culpability, strict liability, or deliberate conduct.
Before liability can be proved, each theory of liability has specific requirements, or elements, that the claimant must demonstrate.
Comparative Negligence in Colorado
Colorado follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which impacts how fault and compensation are determined in personal injury cases. We’ll look at its implications for scooter accidents.
Comparative negligence is a legal principle that comes into play when assessing fault in personal injury cases. It applies when more than one party is responsible for the accident, and each party’s degree of fault is evaluated to determine the extent of damages they are liable for. Colorado follows a “modified comparative negligence” approach, allowing an injured party to seek compensation even if they are partially at fault, as long as their degree of fault is not greater than that of the other party/parties involved.
Understanding Pure Comparative Negligence vs. Modified Comparative Negligence
In Colorado, two main variations of comparative negligence are used – pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence. Let’s explore the key differences between the two:
Pure Comparative Negligence
In states that adhere to pure comparative negligence, an injured party can recover damages even if they are predominantly at fault. The amount of compensation they receive is directly reduced based on their percentage of fault. For example, if they are 60% at fault, they can still claim 40% of the total damages.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Colorado follows the modified comparative negligence rule. Under this system, an injured party can seek compensation as long as their degree of fault is equal to or less than that of the other party involved. However, if the injured party’s fault exceeds the defendant’s fault, they are barred from recovering any damages.
What happens if I am legally liable for a scooter accident in Denver, Colorado?
If you are legally liable for a scooter accident, you may face an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to recover damages by the people you injured. An insurance claim for damages is often the first path for an injured claimant. The injured person, or their scooter accident lawyer, will pursue payment from an insurance policy. If you personally own an e-scooter, you must carry liability insurance to register it for use on public roadways. Your insurance policy will pay for your negligent act. If you were riding a shared e-scooter owned by Bird or Lime, the company carries insurance to pay on the claim.
If there is not enough insurance to satisfy your liability, the victim’s lawyer may file a lawsuit against you. The insurance company will defend you in a lawsuit. If the Denver jury awards a verdict against you, your insurance policy will pay the lesser of the verdict amount or the policy limits you purchased. If the verdict exceeds your policy limits, the victim may pursue you personally for the excess judgment.
Legal Consequences of Being Liable
If you are found legally liable for a scooter accident in Denver, Colorado, there are several potential consequences you may face.
Civil Liability and Compensation
Being held civilly liable may result in the responsibility to compensate the injured parties for their medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Criminal Charges for Negligence
In extreme cases of recklessness or negligence, you may face criminal charges, which can lead to fines, probation, or even imprisonment.
Impact on Insurance Coverage
Your insurance coverage and rates could be affected if you are found at fault for a scooter accident. We’ll explore the implications on your policy.
Navigating the Legal Process
Legal proceedings can be overwhelming, but knowing what to expect and how to respond can alleviate stress and improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
Responding to Lawsuits
If you’re served with a lawsuit, taking prompt and appropriate action is crucial. We’ll outline the steps to respond effectively.
Mediation and Settlements
Mediation can be an option to reach a settlement without going to trial. We’ll discuss the benefits of mediation and how it works.
Court Proceedings and Trials
In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, understanding the trial process is essential. We’ll explain what to expect during a scooter accident trial.
The Importance of Expert Testimonies
Expert witnesses, such as medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists, can provide vital insights during a trial.
Appeals and Reconsideration
If the verdict is unfavorable, exploring the possibility of an appeal or reconsideration may be necessary. We’ll discuss the grounds and procedures for this step.
Being legally liable for a scooter accident in Denver, Colorado, can have significant consequences. Understanding the legal processes and seeking appropriate guidance are crucial steps to protect your rights and interests. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, remember to gather evidence, consult an attorney, and act diligently throughout the legal proceedings.