Colorado Personal Injury Terminology – Glossary of Terms (2024)

Colorado Personal Injury Terminology

A personal injury claim is a civil suit filed in response to harm caused by a party’s negligence or illegal misconduct. If you have been injured by another party’s actions, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. However, personal injury law is more complex than many people realize, and it is important to know some key Colorado personal injury terminology before you start building your case.

Critical Terms to Understand for Your Personal Injury Claim

An experienced Colorado personal injury lawyer can be an invaluable asset when it comes to helping you understand the details of your case and important terminology. However, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of personal injury terminology so you can approach your case with greater confidence. The following are some of the most important terms you will need to understand throughout your case proceedings.

  • Personal injury. A personal injury is harm done by one party to another through an act of negligence or an illegal act.
  • Plaintiff. This is the party bringing the suit, claiming compensation for their damages from the party who caused their damages.
  • Defendant. This is the target of the personal injury claim, and the party that the plaintiff claims is responsible for the claimed damages.
  • Damages. These are the losses cited in a personal injury case. They may include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. An attorney can explain which damages you will be able to seek from the defendant in your case.
  • Pain and suffering. These are non-economic damages that can’t be easily quantified. However, state law allows a plaintiff to seek compensation for physical pain and emotional distress. Their attorney can help them determine a suitable amount.
  • Liability. This term applies to fault for a personal injury. A party is liable for damages if their actions caused those damages.
  • Comparative liability. It’s possible for more than one party to share fault for damages in a personal injury case. The state enforces a modified comparative liability rule, meaning it is possible for a plaintiff to share fault with a defendant and still recover compensation.
  • Negligence. This term defines a failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. It may also define a failure to uphold a specific duty of care. For example, drivers have a duty of care to abide by posted speed limits at all times.
  • Statute of limitations. This is the time limit in which a plaintiff must file their personal injury case with the court. For most cases, the statute of limitations in Colorado is two years from the date an injury occurred.

These are just the most basic personal injury terms you should understand as you begin the process of connecting with an attorney and building your case. Every personal injury claim is unique, and every plaintiff must know their rights and all their options for recovery. When you have an experienced attorney on your side, you will be better prepared to meet the unique challenges your case presents and approach the case with confidence.


Q: What Types of Damages Can Be Claimed in a Personal Injury Suit?

A: There are multiple types of damages that can be claimed in a personal injury suit. It’s possible for an injured plaintiff to make a claim for all the economic losses they suffered because of the defendant’s actions. They are also able to claim pain and suffering compensation, but Colorado law limits non-economic damages in most personal injury cases. Punitive damages may also come into play when a defendant’s behavior is illegal or exceeds the extent of typical negligence.

Q: What Happens if a Plaintiff Shares Fault With a Defendant?

A: If a plaintiff shares fault with a defendant, they could still receive compensation. A plaintiff who is less than 50% at fault for a personal injury can still recover compensation for their damages from a defendant. The state enforces the modified comparative fault rule with a plaintiff fault threshold of 50%. Therefore, their percentage of fault is how much of their case award they lose as a penalty. If the plaintiff is found 50% or more at fault, they cannot claim compensation from the defendant.

Q: How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

A: The potential value of your personal injury claim depends on the severity of your damages. You have the right to claim compensation for all economic losses a defendant caused you to suffer, and you may also seek financial compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life due to a serious injury. An experienced attorney can help estimate the full value of all the damages you can claim from a defendant.

Q: Why Do I Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A: You need to hire a personal injury lawyer because you are more likely to lose the case or receive less than you should if you try to handle your claim on your own. While it is technically possible to handle a personal injury case without hiring legal counsel, it is likely to be far more difficult than the average person realizes.

Beyond parsing through complex personal injury terminology, you will also need to meet very strict filing deadlines with the court and gather evidence showing the full extent of your damages. You are substantially more likely to succeed with your case if you have an experienced attorney on your side.

Q: What Will It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A: What it will cost to hire a personal injury lawyer depends on many factors. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal offers contingency fee billing for personal injury cases. This means that our client only pays our firm a fee if and when we win their case, and their fee is a percentage of the total compensation recovered for them. There is no risk of them paying more for legal representation than they win in compensation and no fee at all if our team is unable to obtain a case award.

The right personal injury lawyer can help you understand complex personal injury terminology and the more complex details of your impending case. When you choose the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal to represent you, our goal is to help maximize your recovery to the fullest possible extent under Colorado law. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney you trust with your personal injury case.

Office Location

  • Denver
  • Arvada
  • Aurora
  • Boulder
  • Brighton
  • Colorado Springs
  • Lakewood
  • Westminster
  • Wheat Ridge

Put my knowledge and expertise to work for you. Contact my office today to discuss your case in a free consultation.