Personal injury law in our state in complex and the rules can be hard to follow. Here are three key facts that will help in understanding the law.
- First, a person with an injury in Colorado has two years after the date of the injury to take the case to court. If the injured person tries to take it to court after that, the court will likely refuse to hear it.
- Second, if the injury is one in which it was not apparent immediately that injury had happened, the time to file a court case begins not at the date it was incurred, but at the date it was noticed, which is termed the “discovery date.” An injured person has 180 days, or roughly 6 months, to file a formal claim in cases like this, and the two-year limit applies to filing a suit in court.
- Third, in cases of injury, the state of Colorado uses what is termed “comparative fault” as a rule. Simply put, that means that an injured person receives the percentage of any damages the court decrees the other party was responsible for. Suppose, for example, that a jury determined that the injured person was 15% responsible for the accident and the defendant 85% responsible. If the award was $10,000, the injured person would receive 85% of $10,000, or $8,500. The award is reduced 15%, the amount the injured person has been judged responsible. The judicial system is mandated to apply the comparative fault rule in all cases.