Personal injury is a blanket term that refers to an injury to the body, mind, or emotions. These injuries are known, legally, as torts. Under tort law, the injured person, known as the plaintiff, can sue the liable party for damages by filing a personal injury claim.
Some of the most common causes of nonfatal injuries include falls, motor vehicle collisions, and forceful impacts from getting struck by or against an object. With that in mind, personal injury claims often involve:
Other common causes of personal injury that warrant legal action include dog bites, medical malpractice, and defective products.
Naturally, different kinds of claims call for different legal strategies. For instance, an accident involving a commercial truck will call for a deep investigation into the driver’s employer, the condition of the vehicle, and whether any hours of service violations were committed. Taking on a negligent dog owner after getting bitten, on the other hand, demands an in-depth evaluation of the animal’s temperament, living conditions, and history of aggression.
Because personal injury law is such a vast practice area, you shouldn’t turn to just any lawyer in Colorado for help. If your life was derailed by a serious injury through no fault of your own, it’s important to find someone who has experience handling claims involving the same kind of scenario in which you were hurt. The right personal injury attorney in Longmont will consider the situation from all angles and then draw upon their experience to help you determine the best course of action.
The statute of limitations refers to the time restriction for filing a lawsuit. Different types of injury cases have different time limitations, so it is important to communicate with knowledgeable Longmont lawyers as soon as possible to ensure that you meet all applicable deadlines.
For example, motor vehicle accidents have a statute of limitations that expires three years from the date of the accident. However, most other claims, including those involving premise liability issues, have statutes of limitations that expire two years from the date of the accident. Failing to file within the required timeframe could significantly impact your ability to recover compensation for your losses.
If there’s a chance you played a role in the accident in which you were hurt, it could impact the outcome of your claim. Colorado has a modified comparative fault system, which means claimants may recover compensation to cover the damages caused by others but not those resulting from their own negligence.
For example, if you are found to be 25% responsible for your injuries, you can only seek 75% of the recoverable losses you suffer. Furthermore, if you’re deemed at least 50% at fault, you are barred from securing any compensation at all.
The purpose of compensation is to reimburse victims for damages incurred due to someone else’s negligence. Personal injury cases involve different types of compensatory damages, including economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to tangible losses that can be quantified, such as medical costs, rehabilitation, surgical operations, and property damage. Conversely, non-economic damages compensate for less quantifiable losses, such as pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, and lost quality of life. A knowledgeable Longmont attorney can help you understand which damages you may be entitled to seek.
The strongest evidence that will support your claim will depend on the circumstances in which you were hurt. If you were injured in a truck accident, for example, you may need the driver’s logs, black box data, dash camera footage, the police report, and eyewitness testimony. Regardless of the specifics of your case, you can trust that a resourceful Longmont attorney will gather everything you need to build a compelling claim.
Demonstrating economic damages is fairly straightforward since the losses are tangible and therefore accompanied by documentation like bills and receipts. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are much harder to prove. Widely accepted evidence typically includes personal journal entries, statements from loved ones, and psychological evaluations.
Colorado is a tort liability state, which means injured parties must prove fault before insurance companies will pay claims. The individual who is responsible for the accident in which you were hurt will ultimately be responsible for the damages you incur as a result, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
You can support your legal team’s efforts by referring all correspondence from the insurance adjuster to them, refusing to say anything on record, and staying off social media until your claim is resolved. You should also keep a daily journal in which you write about your non-economic damages, and you should prioritize your recovery above all else.
Personal injury claimants are expected to take reasonable measures to mitigate damages. This means they must limit the extent of the harm they suffer. For example, they should seek prompt medical care, follow all medical advice, and only hire help for tasks they cannot actually complete themselves over the course of their recovery.