The concept of negligence is essentially what drives the process of a personal injury claim; it provides the means of assigning fault and collecting compensation.
However, negligence is anything but cut and dry, as we explain in our article “Negligence and Colorado State Laws.” While we won’t go into all of the ins and outs of Colorado’s negligence policies here (you can see our article for that), we will be looking at modified comparative negligence and how it can affect your Colorado personal injury case.
What is modified comparative negligence?
Let’s say you are in an accident and suffer injuries. It’s determined that both you and the other driver were committing some sort of negligent act at the time the accident occurred. Comparative negligence is then put into effect.
Comparative negligence adjusts your due amount of compensation based on how responsible you were for the accident in the first place. If you are determined to have been 30 percent responsible for the accident and suffered $100,000 worth of damages, under comparative negligence, you will only receive $70,000 to account for your negligence.
States that adhere to comparative negligence are considered either “pure” or “modified” comparative negligence states. Pure comparative negligence means that even if someone is 99 percent at fault in an accident, he or she can still receive 1 percent compensation for any damages he or she suffered.
Colorado, on the other hand, follows modified comparative negligence. Under this law, if any party involved in an accident is determined to have been 50 percent responsible or above, that party forfeits any right to receive compensation for their injuries.
How will this affect my case?
Under modified comparative negligence, you are never guaranteed to receive your full amount of due compensation. Even if you were simply driving distracted at the time, your compensation could be limited under modified comparative negligence, and the other party will certainly be ready to point the finger.
Speaking to an attorney can help you further understand modified comparative negligence and how it could affect your personal injury case.