The basic definition of negligence is “failure to take proper care.” Those five simple words have an outsized effect on the lives of people in accidents.
What is “proper care?”
The law uses the concept of “the reasonable person” to define the actions of what someone is most likely to do in a given situation. The reasonable person concept serves as the standard to judge actions that cause injuries both.
While no person could anticipate every possible negative result of their actions, “proper care” often refers to “calculated risks.” Businesses and people make calculated risks every day:
- The decision to drive a little faster on the highway
- The decision to take a turn without signaling
- The decision to ignore snow tire laws
- The decision to not wear a seatbelt
These decisions have easily foreseeable consequences and are where people have difficulty.
Specific limits on negligence in Colorado
In Colorado, there are various limits in place for damages. In general, the limits are tied to the specific type of damage. Generally speaking, you can recover 100% of the actual, proven economic damages, such as medical bills, lost wages and property damage.
However, these cap limits do not mean you can only recover the maximum of the cap. The cap is on punitive and pain and suffering damages, often awarded to plaintiffs based on how grievous their difficulties have been.
We will discuss this more fully in an upcoming post.
Understanding negligence can guide your case
Your attorney understands the basics of negligence and fault intrinsically and can explain how they apply to your case. You may find that once you know how the other party showed negligence, you can offer evidence to support your claim. Or you may have a greater grasp of your attorney’s strategy.
After an accident, you lose a lot of control over your immediate future. Having more knowledge of your injury case allows you to get some of that control back.