Recently, I decided to hire The Visual Edge Signs and Design, INC to install a brand-new sign for my law office. The company did a fabulous job! The new sign really brought new attention to my law firm as it could be easily identified from the road. My business calls have increased since its installation. Despite my wonderful experience with this company, unfortunately, when one of the employees was installing the sign he slipped and injured himself, breaking a bone. Since, the accident occurred on my property it raised some very important questions considering liability. Each state has slightly differing laws regarding liability; thus, it is important to understand your rights in the event you become injured, as well as your rights if someone else is injured on your property!
Colorado like many other states has a statute of limitations regarding the time period for filing an injury-related court case. In the case of a personal injury, all lawsuits must be filed within a period of two years. Beyond this time frame, you may no longer have the right to file an injury lawsuit. Typically, the two-year time frame begins at the time or date of the accident at which the injury occurred. An exception to this rule is when a person does not immediately recognize damage incurred due to the accident. In such cases, the two-year time period may begin after the time in which the injury is realized.
Colorado is unique in the aspect that it permits the company or individual to fight back against the injured person bringing the lawsuit. The law allows the injured person to receive a ruling of partial fault. Therefore, the judge may rule that the injured person is only 10% at fault or even 50% at fault. Each case is evaluated individually to determine how much unsafe conditions contributed to the accident and how much responsibility should be placed on the injured individual for the accident.
When compensation is rendered, the amount of fault will be taken into consideration. Thus, if the injured person is, for example 20% at fault, they will only receive the additional 80% of the compensation required by the court. In cases where the injured person is ruled to be 50% or more responsible for the accident, no damages will be collected. This law functions to protect innocent parties from paying out large amounts for lawsuits that simply occurred on their property due to little or no fault of their own.
Damage caps are another built in protection by the law. This law serves to provide a maximum amount that those suing for injury can receive. Colorado injury law dictates a cap of $250,000 for cases involving non-economic damages. This amount may be increased up to $500,000 in specific cases that provide clear and convincing evidence deserving of the greater amount.