Determining Liability in a Pedestrian Accident Case
Liability in a pedestrian accident case depends on who is responsible for the accident and how their negligence or reckless actions led to your injuries. Negligent parties may include:
Drivers must drive carefully, pay attention, and look for pedestrians at crosswalks. The driver may have been driving distracted, driving under the influence, or driving recklessly. As a result, their actions led to the accident that caused your injuries. If so, the driver is responsible for compensating you for damages such as medical bills, lost pay, or pain and suffering.
Not all pedestrian accidents are the driver’s fault. The pedestrian may be responsible for the accident if they were not paying attention to the traffic or tried to cross the street in an area other than a designated crosswalk. If so, the driver may not be liable for damages that occurred as a result of the accident.
Road Crew or City
The City of Denver is responsible for ensuring that all roadways are safe and properly marked. If roads, stop lights, or signs are neglected, they create a hazardous environment for both drivers and pedestrians. If an accident occurs, and the City of Denver is responsible, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the city and recover your losses.
What is Modified Comparative Negligence in Colorado?
In a modified comparative negligence case, the insurance company, judge, or jury court determines that the victim was partially responsible for their injuries. Consequently, the percentage of damages that the victim receives is based on their degree of fault in the accident.
Colorado courts have a system for determining fault in a modified comparative negligence case. For instance, if the plaintiff is 50 percent or more responsible for their injuries, they may not be allowed to recover their losses. If the plaintiff is 49 percent or less at fault for their injuries, damages are adjusted according to the percentage of liability. For example, if it is determined that the victim was 20 percent responsible for the accident occurring, then a $10,000 award would be reduced by 20 percent resulting in a final payment of $8,000.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Nearly 16 percent of all motorists in Colorado are uninsured. To help victims in pedestrian accidents, Colorado has established uninsured motorist (UM) laws. This allows you to file a claim for damages from your own insurance company if the negligent driver does not have auto insurance.
The law also applies if the driver is underinsured: meaning, they do not carry enough insurance to cover your losses. Due to the rise in auto insurance premiums, many drivers carry the minimum insurance allowed by law, which is only $25,000 of coverage. If your losses exceed this amount, you may be able to file a personal injury claim with your insurance company to make up the difference.