Generally speaking, the “at-fault” driver is responsible for his or her share of harms and losses caused by an accident. In is important to note that the “at-fault” party is only responsible for “his or her share” of the damage. As discussed in more detail on our elements of a claim page this means that in some situations the at-fault driver may be responsible for less than 100% of the harms and losses caused. This can occur, for example, when others, including the plaintiff or other drivers, are also deemed a “cause” of the car accident.
As noted above, the “at-fault” driver is responsible for all of the damage caused as a result of his or her negligent actions. Determining the nature and extent of a person’s damages, however, is often extremely complicated. In some cases, the insurance company disputes that the physical injuries were caused from the accident. The insurance company may try to blame the injuries on a “pre-existing condition.” Other times disputes arise as to the extent of someone’s true damages. These issues are also discussed in more detail on our elements of a claim page.
If someone is breaking is the law while driving, for example speeding or drinking and driving, that person is legally responsible for the damages caused through the legal doctrine of negligence per se. This legal term simply means that as a result of the defendant violating a law or rule, he or she becomes responsible for the harms without the plaintiff having to prove the defendant’s actions were “negligent.”
If someone is “on-the-job” when an accident occurs, an employer is legally responsible for the negligent acts of the employee through the doctrine of Respondeat Superior. This Latin phrase literarily means let the master answer for the servant. This rule can have very important consequences for your case. Employers usually carry “general liability insurance” which can have much higher limits than traditional automobile insurance policies. It is also important in many cases to determine what training, if any, was provided to the employee and whether the company should have hired the person to begin with. Colorado recognizes a separate claim based upon an employer’s failure to train and/or supervise its employees. Colorado also recognizes a claim for negligent hiring (for example, if the person has a horrible driving history) and negligent supervision.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, please call or email us today. The highly skilled attorneys at Fuicelli & Lee, P.C., are experts in handling automobile injury cases and are here to help.
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