Your Colorado Springs Personal Injury Case: The Basics
Injuries can happen to anyone, at any time, and at any place, even in beautiful Colorado Springs. When you go hiking in the city's Garden of the Gods park, you have accepted the reasonable risks associated with navigating a natural terrain. In legal terms, the City of Colorado Springs (which owns the park) does not owe you a duty to keep you safe from sprained ankles and other possible hazards of outdoor recreation. However, if you are struck in the head and knocked unconscious by a light fixture in the park's visitor's center, then you may in fact have a legal case.
The difference is whether you are accepting reasonable risks and whether a given party owes you a duty. It is not reasonable to accept that you may be injured by a falling light fixture, and in fact the city owes you a duty to prevent such an occurrence. There are several different kinds of personal injury cases, which arise out of another party's negligence or intentionally harmful conduct.
This article covers the basics of personal injury law and how to file an injury suit in Colorado Springs. See FindLaw's Torts and Personal Injuries section to learn more.
Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit
If you have been injured and have reason to believe another party is at fault, one of the first things to consider is the statute of limitations. This refers to time limit for filing a lawsuit from the date of the incident. For example, Colorado's statute of limitations is typically two years, but varies for some types of claims:
- Negligence: 2 yrs. (3 yrs. if involving a car accident)
- Assault/Battery: 1 yr.
- Medical Malpractice: 2 yrs. (upon discovery)
- Defamation (liable/slander): 1 yr.
Common Injury Claims
If you live in Colorado Springs, you probably do quite a bit of driving. That means your likelihood of getting into a car accident, if only a minor rear-end collision, is relatively high. Claims typically are handled through insurance, but you may want to contact a local attorney specializing in auto-related injuries if you are seriously hurt in a collision.
Whether you work in construction or one of Colorado Springs' numerous high-tech manufacturing plants, workplace accidents are a reality. Injury claims typically are managed through workers' compensation insurance, which businesses are required to carry. But you may want to consult an attorney if you need to appeal a denied claim.
If you slipped and fell on a freshly mopped (but unmarked) floor at Chapel Hills Mall, causing an injury, the owner of the mall could be held liable. If a visitor slipped and fell on your icy front porch, resulting in a concussion, you could be held liable. Basically, businesses and homeowners are responsible for maintaining reasonably safe premises. See Premises Liability FAQ to learn more.
Consumer products must be reasonably safe. If your ski binding suddenly malfunctions and triggers a broken leg, or that burger you ate last night has left you gravely ill, then you may have a valid products liability claim. See What is Product Liability? for more information.
Working with an Injury Lawyer
The heavily populated and growing Colorado Springs area has plenty of personal injury attorneys ready to work with you. Look for an attorney experienced working with plaintiffs (the party filing the lawsuit), and ask about working for a 'contingency" fee. This means clients do not pay upfront, but instead pay a percentage of damages if they prevail.
If you are being sued, consider contacting your homeowners' insurance policy, which may provide legal defense.
For more information about working with an injury attorney, see:
- Reasons to Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
- Injury Checklist: What to Bring to Meet Your Lawyer
- Documents for Your Attorney: Illness & Hospitalization
Remember, accidents often happen in active communities such as Colorado Springs. But when someone else's negligence is the cause, you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.
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