With over half a million people in the Colorado Springs metropolitan area, the city boasts the second largest population in Colorado. In addition, Colorado springs stretches across nearly 195 square miles, making it the largest city by area in the state. Nestled at the foot of the Rockies, the city draws more and more people every year who move there for the outdoor recreation, abundant sunshine, and winter sports. The city planners expect hundreds of thousands more to move to the city within the next few decades, and local government and police forces are struggling to accommodate the influx. In addition, Colorado Springs is an extremely popular tourist destination, making tourism the third largest employer in the region. While there are many reasons to live in and to visit Colorado Springs, certain factors may necessitate civil claims within the municipality.
Like most cities in Colorado, there are multiple courts that operate within the limits of Colorado Springs in different buildings around town. The Fort Collins Municipal Court is located in the Robert M. Isaac Municipal Court Building at 224 E. Kiowa Street. This court handles cases detailing violations of city ordinances and traffic violations, usually brought by the local police department. The El Paso County Courthouse handles a variety of local issues such as appeals family matters, criminal and civil cases. It is located at 270 South Tejon. Finally, El Paso County is located in the Fourth Judicial District of Colorado. This court, which handles criminal, family, and civil cases, is housed in the United States Courthouse at 212 N. Wahsatch Avenue. If you are planning to file a civil claim or lawsuit in Fort Collins, there are three courts in which you have the option to proceed.
Small Claims Court
This court handles civil claims that are under $7,500. This court is designed to make the process of minor claims easier for those filing and does not require a hearing or a jury to process. You can choose to file your small claims online through the Colorado Judicial Department’s website, or you can visit the El Paso County Court to obtain the necessary forms.
For claims less than $15,000, you may file with the El Paso County Courthouse. Claims filed in this court will be subject to more extensive review than in small claims court, however, you will most likely not go before a jury unless the plaintiff particularly requests this and the request is granted by the judge. If the verdict is not favorable, the case can be, on occasion, appealed to the District Court
This court handles civil lawsuits including personal injury, wrongful death, and negligence lawsuits of any amount. In order to begin the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit with the district court, review the procedures. While the district court allows individuals to represent themselves in court, there will likely be a trial and a jury, and experienced legal representation will greatly increase your chances for success.
Childcare During Court Visits
The El Paso County Courthouse also provides free childcare for people who are conducting business in the court, as plaintiffs, defendants, or jury members. The service, called Court Care, is provided by the nonprofit Colorado Springs Child Nursery Centers and is located in the county courthouse, room S140. They are open 7:45 am to 12:15 pm and 1:15 pm to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, and you can call to arrange childcare over the lunch hour if your court date will conflict with their break. Alternatively, if you are retired on unemployed and you have found someone on your own to watch children in your care, the state will reimburse you up to $50 per day for up to three days.
Colorado Springs sees an average of 39 inches of snowfall every year. Severe winter weather combined with a growing population and expanding city may help explain the number of car accident fatalities that occur within the city. In 2014, the Colorado Department of Transportation has reported that 44 people died from car accidents within El Paso County. 19 of those deaths happened within the city limits of Colorado Springs, the second-highest number of fatalities within city limits in the state of Colorado.
In addition, there are hundreds of non-fatal automobile accidents that occur within the city every year. One local news station asked the Colorado Springs Police Department for information regarding the frequency of crashes by intersection for 2016. They then published the list that they received. According to this data, there were 158 crashes at the intersection of I-25 and W Cimarron Street, followed closely by 148 crashes at the intersection of I-25 and S Nevada Ave and S Tejon Street. In fact, the eight intersections that had the most car accidents in 2016 all involved the interstate I-25, making it one of the most dangerous sections of road in the city. This is to be expected because it is one of the most heavily traveled roads and is often used by trucks and tourists who are passing through the city and fail to slow to appropriate speeds within the city limits.
One of the strangest and most interesting issues that people in Colorado Springs have to be aware of is the presence of old abandoned mines. Since Colorado Springs began as a coal mining town, there are dozens of abandoned mines that lay beneath large portions of the city. Although experts may disagree about the level of threat these mines pose to residents of the city, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, “a spate of collapses in the 1980s raised anxiety levels and put property values at such risk the state spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to locate, map and aggressively fill old mines.” The city also offered an insurance option to homeowners who lived in old coal fields.
Since that era, many people in the city have forgotten about the mines that lie beneath the city, but their potential for property damage and injury persists. Some of the mines are up to 500 feet deep and run for miles and miles in an underground labyrinth. It is estimated that around 15.5 million tons of coal were taken from the Pikeview mine, which lies under the Rockrimmon neighborhood in Colorado Springs.
With access to the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs residents often take advantage of the wilderness areas that the city’s location offers. Even within the city limits, there are ample opportunities to go walking outside. Unfortunately, weather and other factors, such as drinking, drug use, or lack of experience, can contribute to injuries or fatal accidents while hiking. A 37-year-old man died in November of 2016 at the Palmer Lake Reservoir trail when he fell 40 feet from a cliff. The park is just a short drive from Colorado Springs, and therefore a popular destination for local hikers. Immediately outside of the city, a woman was killed in December of 2016 while hiking on the Mount Cutler trail in the snow, presumably from slipping and falling from the trail.
Many people who live in Colorado Springs enjoy access to winter skiing to the west of the city. While most ski resorts take precautions against personal injury, there is always the risk of injury when properties are poorly maintained or equipment is not checked and repaired on a regular basis. Although ski resorts ask their visitors to sign liability waivers, they can still be found negligent if they fail to maintain safety equipment or allow some hazard to skiers without clear warning and appropriate safety precautions.
Compensation for Personal Injury Victims in Colorado Springs
In any city, a variety of causes can lead to personal injury, from car and bicycle accidents to unsafe and icy conditions on someone’s property. In any case, no matter the circumstance, personal injury victims deserve legal representation from a lawyer who is intimately familiar with not only the details of their case but also the ins and outs of the local court system. At The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal, we have handled countless cases in Colorado Springs and know how to fight to get victims the money they need to recover from injuries or begin to heal from the loss of a loved one. if you are considering taking legal action against a negligent party in Colorado Springs, do not hesitate to contact us today for a free case evaluation. Call us at (303) 825-2223 or fill out our online form to get started.