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When accident victims are also (partially) to blame

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2023 | Injuries |

If you have recently been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may not know for sure exactly what caused your crash. That’s understandable, as it’s rare that every contributing factor that plays a role in a motor vehicle wreck is immediately identifiable. 

However, you may be concerned that your legal options are going to be limited because you either know or strongly suspect that you were partially to blame for what happened. It’s important to understand that, in Colorado, you may still be entitled to compensation

The modified comparative negligence approach

There are three main ways that states in the U.S. deal with the issue of “partial liability” when a victim has been harmed by someone else’s actions but was also partially to blame for their own injuries. In contributory negligence states, victims can’t hold others legally or financially accountable if they are even 1% to blame for their own harm. In pure comparative negligence states, victims can hold other responsible parties accountable even if those victims are 99% to blame for their own injurious circumstances.

Colorado takes the “middle road.” In Colorado, an injury victim can pursue compensation from other parties whose negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct directly led to the victim’s harm only if the victim is assigned less than 50% of the blame for their injuries. 

Empowered and informed decision-making

Carefully considering the strengths and weaknesses of your case will help you to make empowered and informed decisions about taking legal action. If you were primarily to blame for what happened to you, you probably won’t be able to file a lawsuit successfully in civil court. But if you were less than 50% to blame, you may be owed considerable restitution. 

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