Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
If you get injured because of someone else’s poor choices, they may owe you compensation. This compensation is for pain, suffering, and financial losses. Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes pull every trick in the book to convince injured people they don’t have a case. So how do you know if the circumstances in your case lend themselves to a personal injury claim? This post explains the basic elements of a “successful” personal injury case.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases result from someone injuring another through negligence or intentional actions. Intentional torts occur when someone deliberately hurts another person. Examples include assault, battery, slander, libel, and false imprisonment.
Negligence is the root of most personal injury claims. Common examples of negligence cases are medical malpractice, car accidents, premises liability, product liability, and animal attacks. Every type of personal injury case has specific laws and possible defenses. A skilled personal injury attorney will be able to distinguish a good personal injury case from one that does not meet the legal standard.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
A good personal injury case will include proof that the defendant acted negligently and caused injuries. You can prove negligence in a personal injury claim through for basic elements.
- The defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff. Duty of care is the legal responsibility to avoid bringing harm to other people. In most cases, the average adult will have some duty of care to anyone they could harm by their actions. However, developmentally disabled adults do not have the same duty of care as most people.
- Defendant breached the duty owed to the plaintiff. Breach of duty of care means the defendant failed to act in a reasonably responsible way.
- The breach led to harm. Proving negligence requires more than showing the defendant acted irresponsibly or recklessly. The defendant’s bad behavior must have led to the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The plaintiff suffered measurable damages. The plaintiff must be able to demonstrate the nature and extent of her injuries. This includes the financial costs incurred due to the injury.
This is the legal basis for a negligence tort claim. However, different injuries have different laws that can affect the case. How do you know if your situation passes these legal tests? A skilled personal injury attorney can tell you if your injury meets the legal standard for compensation under Colorado law.
Common Personal Injury Claims in Colorado
We can also look at the kinds of injuries that lead to personal injury awards and settlements. Some of the more common personal injury cases involve:
- Car accident injuries: If you sustained long-lasting or permanent injuries from a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver, you may have a personal injury claim. Broken bones and injuries to the head, neck, back, and spine are frequently suffered in serious car accidents.
- Wrongful death: An unexpected death in the family is incredibly difficult. It’s normal to wonder about seeking compensation for those responsible for the death. Wrongful death cases might arise from car accidents, truck accidents, or medical negligence.
- Premises liability: The most common type of premises liability lawsuit is the “slip and fall.” However, Colorado requires property owners to keep things safe. This is especially true for invited guests. If the owner failed to maintain a safe environment, you may have a personal injury claim.
- Dog Bites: Dogs are usually fantastic companions, but not always. When you suffer a dog bite, the injuries can be extremely serious. But navigating the liability laws surrounding dog bite cases in Colorado can be difficult.
If you have suffered any of these injuries, it is important to reach out to a personal injury lawyer right away. There is no cost to have your case reviewed by a knowledgeable attorney.
Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case
In personal injury cases, the burden of proof is lower than in criminal cases. You will not need to prove the defendant’s negligence “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Instead, the standard of proof for a personal injury case is a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means you showed that the defendant’s negligence was more likely true than untrue.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Colorado
All tort claims (personal injury cases) in Colorado have a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to bring legal action for a particular claim. Once the statute of limitations has passed, you will be completely barred from seeking recovery for your injuries.
Many personal injury claims carry a statute of limitations of two years. A notable exception is made for injuries resulting from the use of a motor vehicle. These injuries have a statute of limitations of three years, and include car crashes, 18-wheeler collisions, motorcycle accidents, and hit and run cases.
The statute of limitations is one of the biggest reasons why it is so important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Insurance companies may try to delay and extend negotiations past the statute of limitations to preclude you from seeking recovery through the courts.
Injured? Call a Denver CO Personal Injury Lawyer.
You will never know for sure if you have a good case until you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Denver attorney Steve Roberts focuses solely on what he knows best- personal injury law. Contact the Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC now. We offer no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Call 720-515-7058 today.