In the vibrant landscape of Denver, where scooters navigate the bustling streets, understanding the intricacies of liability in the event of an accident becomes a crucial aspect of legal comprehension. Two important questions in every personal injury case is who is legally responsible for paying for your accident injuries and does that party have insurance or assets to pay on your claim. If you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence, that person may be responsible under Colorado tort law for paying some or all of the damages associated with your injuries. Legally, it is not enough for somebody to cause you harm to recover compensation from that person. There must be a legal cause of action that gives you the right to obtain compensation in a court of law.
If you sustained injuries in an accident in Colorado, contact Front Range Injury Attorneys today to schedule your free consultation. Our experienced legal team are knowledgeable and zealous advocates for our clients and their cases. We treat our clients as people, not case files. Learn more about how we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact our Denver law firm to learn more.
The Foundation: Colorado Tort Law and Scooter Accidents
Denver scooter accidents follow the same personal injury law as accidents involving other vehicles. Under Colorado tort law, a person or party is liable for your damages when their negligence or intentional acts cause your injuries or losses. Most personal injury cases involve negligence rather than intentional acts.
Negligence is a legal term with specific meaning. To be negligent a person must owe a duty of care to you and breach that duty. That breach must be the cause of your injuries. Your accident lawyer must prove not just that another person caused you injury, but that they breached a duty of care owed to you. The duties of care for drivers, scooter riders and pedestrians can come from traffic laws or judicial opinions. If you are involved in a scooter accident in Denver, you should talk to our electric scooter accident lawyers about your legal rights to recover.
Unpacking Duty of Care: A Multifaceted Perspective
Duty of care in the context of Denver scooter accidents emanates from various sources, creating a multifaceted web of legal obligations. Traffic laws, often the cornerstone of such duties, delineate the responsibilities of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. Judicial opinions further shape these obligations, creating a dynamic framework that aims to foster a secure and regulated environment on the streets of Denver.
For drivers, the duty of care involves adhering to traffic rules, maintaining a reasonable speed, and exercising caution to prevent collisions. Failure to uphold these responsibilities can lead to legal consequences in the event of a scooter accident.
Scooter operators are obligated to follow traffic regulations, yield to pedestrians, and exercise prudence to avoid accidents. Understanding and abiding by these duties is crucial to mitigating the risk of liability in case of a mishap.
Even pedestrians, seemingly the most vulnerable on the road, have a duty of care. Adhering to crosswalk signals, using designated paths, and avoiding reckless behavior contribute to creating a safer environment for all road users.
How the Duty of Care Creates Negligence Claims for Compensation
Once you determine a legal duty of care exists, you are on your way to proving a negligence claim under Colorado personal injury law. Legal negligence means a recognized duty of care exists and the party owing the duty breached that duty to you. A breach occurs when that party fails to act with the degree of caution or care required by the duty. For example, drivers have a duty to obey traffic signs. If a driver ignores a stop sign and crashes into your scooter, that driver breached the duty of care.
Two additional elements exist in a claim for negligence. The accident victim must also prove the breach caused harm to you. To pursue a claim for negligence, you must have suffered harm or damages recognized by law. Examples of damages for a personal injury claim are medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and mental anguish. You also must prove the breach caused those damages. Causation means the negligent act is the factual and proximate cause, or legal cause, of the alleged damages. For example, in an electric scooter accident, you must prove your medical bills were accrued treating an injury caused by the collision. If you are in an accident and claim medical bills for a spinal injury you experienced before the wreck, you would not be legally entitled to recover bills related to a preexisting injury. (Except to the extent the accident made the preexisting injury worse.)
If you do not prove all four elements, you cannot recover compensation for your damages.
Charting the Course: Who is responsible for my accident injuries and damages?
A negligence claim must be directed to one or more parties who engaged in the breach of duty of care. Remember, you must prove each defendant owed you a duty of care and that party’s action fell below the duty. In most e-scooter accidents, the negligent party will the be individual who collided with you. That may be a driver, cyclist, pedestrian, or even another scooter rider. Other parties may share liability for your injuries. These may include:
- A vehicle owner
- A property owner who caused injury by failing to maintain the property
- Government agencies responsible for maintaining public lands and roadways
- Businesses involved in the manufacture and sale of scooters
- Electric scooter rideshare companies
It is not always obvious whether multiple parties may be liable or who they are. That is why it is critical to investigate an accident and gather evidence early to give yourself the best opportunity to pursue full compensation for your damages. This is a good reason to hire an experienced Colorado scooter accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
Once you determine all of the involved liable parties, you must determine what opportunities may exist to obtain compensation from them. In Colorado, this often involves insurance companies. Many individuals do not have assets or money to pay you directly for your injuries. Instead, you may have to pursue insurance claims under car, home, or business insurance policies. Your own auto, home, or rental insurance may have additional coverage that applies. In the event you cannot reach a settlement with the insurance companies, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in Colorado courts to pursue a jury verdict. If there is no insurance available, your recourse may be to file a lawsuit against the involved parties and try to collect the judgment in the future.
In our experience pursuing e-scooter crash cases for clients, insurance companies often fight scooter crash claims aggressively. They often deny claims outright or offer lowball offers to get rid of your claim before you realize the full extent of your injuries.
Get help from our experienced colorado scooter accident lawyers
Denver’s dynamic streets, adorned with scooters and diverse commuters, demand a comprehensive understanding of personal injury law. Whether you find yourself on a scooter, bike, or on foot in the aftermath of an accident, unraveling the legal tapestry of liability is paramount. Engaging with legal experts equipped to navigate the complexities ensures a smoother path towards recovery and justice. The scooter accident lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys are experienced advocates for injured people and we will fight to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact our Denver law firm today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.