What Happens If a Victim Shares Fault in a Car Accident in CO?


When it comes to car accidents, Colorado is a fault-based state. This means if a negligent driver causes a crash, then the victim can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver. 

But what happens if a victim shares some blame for causing a collision? For instance, if an at-fault party was texting while driving and you were driving 10 miles over the posted speed limit at the time of the accident, you may be held partially liable in court. 

When a car accident victim is at least partially responsible for the crash, the court – specifically a jury – must determine each parties’ degree of liability and the amount of damages the victim may recover. Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means the amount of total damages a victim can receive is based on his/her percentage of fault. 

For example, if a jury awards you with $100,000 in damages but also find you 25 percent liable for causing the collision and your own injuries, you can only recover 75 percent – or $75,000 – of the total award.  

If you are 49 percent or less at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, if you are 50 percent or more to blame, you are prohibited from recovering anything. 

It is not uncommon for an at-fault party or his/her insurer to partially or completely blame a victim for causing a crash, which is why victims must properly prove that the other party is responsible with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. At the Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C., I can thoroughly investigate the accident, collect supporting evidence from the scene (i.e. police report, witness testimony, and medical records), and even obtain help from an accident reconstruction expert to prove your case. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Denver, contact the Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C. for a free consultation today. Handling car accident cases in Denver, Adams, Jefferson, Douglas, and Arapahoe Counties.