Mintz Law Firm
Aurora Car Accident Attorneys at Mintz Law Firm Fighting For Justice
It’s no secret that driving is dangerous. Still, no one leaves their home, workplace, or school thinking they will get in an accident. People get in their cars, expecting their journey to be safe. Unfortunately, a safe drive home or to a friend’s house cannot be guaranteed because we can only control our actions, not the actions of others. As drivers, we can do our best to be safe drivers and follow traffic laws and regulations, but it takes one driver failing to do their part to turn a good day into a difficult one.
Mintz Law Firm is a personal injury firm dedicated to holding reckless and careless drivers accountable. Our experienced Aurora, CO car accident lawyers know how physically, mentally, and financially damaging a car accident can be and are proud to provide our clients with the support they need. Contact Mintz Law Firm today to get started on recovering the compensation you deserve.
How to Prove Liability in a Car Accident in Aurora
Depending on the circumstances of your car accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Once the at-fault driver is found liable, they are financially responsible for the losses you’ve incurred. However, proving the at-fault driver liable, even if it may seem obvious, is not always a straightforward process as insurance companies do what they can to avoid paying compensation, regardless of their insurer's contribution to the accident. Proving liability in a personal injury claim is generally done by establishing negligence which consists of four elements:
Duty of Care
Duty of care is a legal term that encompasses the legal theory that if a party has the potential to cause harm to others, they must be held to a standard of care. This standard of care means that drivers must do what they reasonably can to avoid causing harm to others on the road. Establishing duty of care is vital to a personal injury claim because it proves a legal relationship between the claimant and the at-fault driver. It’s that legal relationship that gives grounds for the victim to file the claim and for the at-fault driver to be held responsible.
Breach of Duty
All drivers are held to a standard duty of reasonable care when they’re reckless or careless—those behaviors are considered a violation of their duty of care. These behaviors can also be called negligent behaviors. The act of violating their duty of care is committing negligence. When drivers are negligent and cause physical, mental, or financial harm to another, they have created legal grounds for the victims to file a claim against them.
Proving that the at-fault driver owed the claimant a duty of care establishes a legal relationship between them. However, that doesn’t automatically make the other driver liable. The negligent actions of the driver and the harm the claimant suffered must be legally linked. Once the negligent behavior of the other driver is proven, that negligence must then be established to be the direct or proximate cause of the harm caused to the claimant. Generally, this means that the harm suffered by the claimant would not have occurred if not for the at-fault driver’s actions.
In personal injury, the term ‘damages’ is often used in two ways. Damages can be used to refer to the harm the claimant suffered. However, most often, damages is used as the legal term used to discuss the monetary compensation that could be awarded to the claimant. The final step to building a strong personal injury claim is proving the existence of the claimant's losses (injuries, property loss, etc.) and their need to recover damages (monetary compensation).
Colorado Car Accident Laws That May Impact Your Claim
When filing a personal injury claim, it’s important to keep these two Colorado car accident laws in mind: the statute of limitations and comparative negligence.
Colorado’s Car Accident Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a state law that sets a time limit on when an injured accident victim can file a personal injury claim. In Colorado, whether car accident victims are filing a claim because of physical injuries they suffered or damage to their vehicle, they have three years from the date of the accident to file their claim.
While three years may seem like plenty of time, waiting too long not only puts your right to compensation at risk, but it could negatively affect your claim regardless. Many car accident claims rely on testimonies from a person's memory, whether it’s your memory, a witness, or the at-fault driver. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that clear memories will fade, making it hard to have reliable testimonies. Protect your right to compensation by filing your claim as soon as possible.
Comparative Negligence Rule
Each state has its own negligence rules they operate under. Colorado operates under the comparative negligence rule, which refers to the situation where more than one party is at least partially at fault for the accident. This rule operates under the notion that it’s possible that both drivers contributed to causing the accident, not just the one. However, this rule doesn’t mean that any partially responsible party can file a claim. Under Colorado’s modified comparative negligence, if the driver’s share fault meets or exceeds 50 percent, they cannot file a personal injury claim against another party.
It’s also important to note that if a driver is partially responsible for the accident and they file a claim, their compensation award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if a driver filing a claim is deemed to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, their damages will be reduced by 20 percent.
Contact a Skilled Aurora, CO Car Accident Attorney Today
Having to pursue an Aurora personal injury claim to recover compensation can be difficult, and insurance companies don’t make the process any easier. As a results-oriented law firm, Mintz Law Firm does everything possible to build a strong evidence base that will lead our clients to success. We know that insurance companies do what they can to poke holes in a victim's claim to avoid paying compensation and have years of experience building claims against their tactics.
At Mintz Law Firm, our dedicated team of Aurora car accident lawyers care deeply for our clients and treat them with the compassion and respect they deserve. When you work with Mintz Law Firm, you can be confident that our team of professionals will stand by your side and offer attentive support throughout the entire process. Arrange a free consultation with our firm today by calling (303) 462-2999 or filling out our contact form.