As a Denver business owner, you know that accidents happen despite the greatest degree of caution.
When a victim is injured and claims that your organization is responsible, you want to do all you can to protect your investment. Fortunately, there are multiple defenses available under Colorado law, which may defeat the plaintiff’s claim or reduce the compensation he or she can recover. Our attorneys at the Thomas Law Firm can tell you more about how the following defenses may work to your advantage.
Identify Weaknesses in the Claimant’s Case
The claimant in a personal injury lawsuit must allege the essential elements of a claim based upon negligence. The existence of a legal duty, breach of that duty, and causal link between the breach and the injuries. Your first line of defense should be identifying and exploiting weaknesses within these elements.
Colorado’s Statute of Limitations
Under the state’s statutes of limitations, the claimant has a designated window of time to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for his or her losses. Failure to sue within the statute of limitations is a complete bar to litigation, so you can claim the expiration of this time period as a defense. Note that there are two applicable statutes in Colorado.
For any claim arising out of amotor vehicle accident, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the crash.
All othertort actions based upon negligence, including personal injury claims, are subject to a two year statute of limitations.
Colorado follows a rule called modified comparative fault, which may not be a complete defense to the claimant’s case but may operate to reduce compensation. The theory of comparative negligence focuses on the plaintiff’s actions and the degree to which the conduct contributed to his or her injuries. For instance, you place a sign warning your store’s customers to avoid an area you are remodeling because of the construction hazards; a customer ignores this sign, enters the construction zone, and is injured. You could be partially at fault because you did not create a more effective barricade, but the claimant was negligent in ignoring your sign.
Comparative negligence assesses the relative fault between you and the claimant, assigning a percentage of blame. If the victim is 50 percent or less at fault, compensation is reduced by that amount. Where you present proof showing that the victim is more than 50 percent negligent, it is a complete defense to recovery.
Colorado’s Statutory Cap on Damages
Colorado has enacted a statute that places a cap on the amount of non-economic damages a plaintiff can recover in a personal injury case. The statutory cap base amount is $250,000; if the claimant can provide clear and convincing evidence to support an increase, he or she can recover up to $500,000. However, these base amounts are adjusted for inflation annually, so they are significantly higher today as compared to when the statutory cap was first passed.
The statutory cap only applies to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life. There is no cap on economic damages for medical bills, lost wages, and similar losses.
Discuss Civil Liability Defense Options with an Experienced Denver Attorney
For more information on defense strategies in a general and civil liability case, please contact the Thomas Law Firm in Denver. We can schedule a consultation to review your situation.
When contacting our offices one of the first questions people will often ask our defense attorneys is “What is the chance of winning a case in Colorado?” Every case is unique and presents a different set of circumstances. For example, a case in Aurora would be defended differently from a case in Denver, or a case in Lakewood. However, the sooner you contact a lawyer, the greater your chances are of getting a favorable outcome. Our attorneys have the combined experience of handling thousands of cases throughout their careers.
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Civil Practice Areas
When a victim is injured and claims that your organization is responsible, you want to do all you can to protect your investment. Fortunately, there are multiple defenses available under Colorado law, which may defeat the plaintiff’s claim or reduce the compensation he or she can recover.
Auto Accident Liability Defense Lawyers
Car accidents are disturbingly common, but they can have a serious impact if your Denver business is implicated in the incident. Victims often go for the “deep pockets” of organizations, especially when the amount of the claim is higher than your insurance coverage.
Whether you own a business in Colorado, California, or Alabama, there are state and federal regulations to which you must adhere. If you violate a law, are responsible for an injury, or violate a person’s rights, you may find yourself the victim of a lawsuit. To protect yourself in the event of a lawsuit, have a Denver business employment lawyer on retainer. Call the Thomas Law Firm to learn more about our practice and how we can help you.
Non-compete Agreement Lawyers
A non-compete agreement is an agreement between an employer and an employee that the employee will not seek employment with a competing employer or start a competing business after employment ends. Non-compete agreements are designed to protect employers in the form of commitment from employees and to protect employers’ investment in employees.
Premises Liability Defense Lawyers
As a Denver business owner, you have a duty to maintain your property in a safe condition and to remedy any hazards that may cause a risk of injury to people who enter.
Workers Compensation Defense Lawyers
You work hard to keep your Denver business thriving and a key factor in your organization’s success is workplace safety. When accidents do happen, the associated workers’ compensation claims can take an unfortunate toll.
Wage and Hour Business Lawyer
As a Denver business owner, there are several laws and regulations by which you must abide, otherwise you risk losing money and damaging your business’s reputation. Many of those laws have to do with wage and hour disputes. The best way you can avoid wage and hour disputes is by partnering with a Denver business attorney prior to hiring employees.