Personal injuries can have life-long implications, both physically and financially. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we see how devastating these injuries can be to victims and their families. This is why our firm is steadfastly dedicated to advocating for victims and ensuring they can regain control of their lives. Our client-focused approach can drive success in your Westminster personal injury case.
Attorney Eric Steiner, M.D., an integral member of our team, has 17 years of experience working as a medical practitioner. His experience gives our firm a leg up in representing clients in personal injury cases. We are well-equipped to help our clients evaluate their injuries and present them to a jury. Further, every partner at Gerash Steiner Blanton has decades of legal experience.
No one should have to deal with the repercussions of a life-altering injury on their own. If someone else caused you to suffer a serious injury, Gerash Steiner Blanton can help.
Personal Injury Law in Colorado
There are several types of acts or omissions that can give rise to personal injury litigation in Colorado. The legal community calls these acts or omissions torts. The three primary categories of torts that can lead to litigation in Colorado are intentional torts, strict liability torts, and negligence torts.
An intentional tort occurs when an individual’s deliberate actions cause harm to another. In many cases, intentional torts give rise to both civil liability and criminal charges. However, an intentional act does not need to be criminal to give rise to civil liability.
Common intentional torts include actions such as:
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress,
- False imprisonment, and
A Westminster personal injury attorney can help you determine if you are the victim of an intentional tort.
Strict Liability Torts
Strict liability torts are torts for which either Colorado or federal law imposes strict liability. Strict liability means that a defendant can be held liable for acts that are neither negligent nor intentional.
Colorado’s dog bite law is an example of a statute imposing strict liability. Dog owners are liable for the serious injuries caused when their dog bites someone. There are defenses available to dog owners in these situations. However, showing a lack of negligence is not one.
Product liability is another typical example of a strict liability tort. A Westminster personal injury lawyer will help identify if an injury you suffered was due to a strict liability tort.
Most personal injury lawsuits are negligence torts. Usually, negligence torts arise when someone’s carelessness injures another. Victims must prove four elements to hold a defendant liable for negligence. The four elements are:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care,
- The defendant breached their duty of care.
- The defendant’s breach caused the victim’s injury, and
- The victim suffered an injury.
If a victim can prove all four elements, they will likely recover damages for any injury they suffered.
Vehicle accidents are incidents that commonly result from negligence. In many cases, the person who causes the accident is driving distracted, speeding, or violating some other rule of the road. Drivers owe everyone else a duty to operate their cars reasonably safely. When they violate traffic rules, they are breaching this duty. If their breach causes an injury, courts will likely hold them liable for the damage.
Types of Compensation Available for Victims in Colorado
Courts award victims monetary compensation to make them whole for the injuries they suffered. This standard makes victims demonstrate a loss to recover compensation. There are three types of losses that victims can claim in Colorado: economic losses, non-economic losses, and losses due to physical impairment. Colorado courts also sometimes award punitive damages in cases where defendants demonstrate particularly bad behavior.
Economic damages compensate victims for objectively quantifiable monetary losses. Colorado does not cap the amount that can be recovered in economic damages. Common forms of economic damages include:
- Past and future lost wages,
- Past and future medical bills,
- Lost business opportunities,
- Repairing or replacing damaged property, and
- Any other quantifiable costs associated with the injury.
A Westminster personal injury attorney can help determine which forms of economic damages are available to you.
Non-economic damages compensate victims for losses that are unable to be quantified. Common forms of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Reputational harm, and
- A loss of enjoyment of life.
Since non-economic damages are hard to put a price on, Colorado caps the amount victims can recover.
Damages for Physical Impairment
Damages for physical impairment are somewhat like non-economic damages, except that there is no cap on what a victim can recover. Physical impairments are permanent disabilities and other permanent issues caused by a victim’s injuries. These disabilities can include physical disabilities, permanent disfigurement, neurological or mental disabilities, and other similar permanent ailments.
These injuries are difficult to assess and quantify for juries. If you suffered a permanent injury, working with an experienced Westminster personal injury lawyer is crucial.
Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, can be awarded when the defendant’s breach demonstrates fraud, malice, or willful and wanton conduct. It is rare for juries to award punitive damages. Even in cases involving drunk driving, punitive damages are not a guarantee.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
The statute of limitations governs how long you will have to file a claim in court. The clock starts running on the statute of limitations either when the injury occurs or when the victim discovers the injury.
The statute of limitations for most negligence, intentional, and strict liability torts is two years.
If a motor vehicle accident is the cause of injury, the statute of limitations is extended to three years.
If you miss these deadlines, the court will likely toss your case.The statutes of limitations make working with an experienced law firm essential. The skilled attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton can ensure your case meets every deadline. We will work with you to determine the best course of action. Contact Gerash Steiner Blanton today, so we can help you get the recovery you deserve.