The area of law in which a Colorado personal injury lawyer practices is known as torts. Tort litigation covers civil issues involving product liability, negligence, loss of property and other non-criminal issues. The tort system is thus separate from criminal justice; in general, tort law involves cases between individuals or groups of individuals or between natural persons and legal entities such as corporations, institutions and in some cases, even the government. There can be some overlap between torts and the criminal justice system. For example, someone who commits a murder can also be held liable for wrongful death.
Within the broad area of torts, there are a number of categories that a Denver personal injury lawyer may choose to specialize in:
Negligence: In these cases, there was no provable intent on the part of the accused, or plaintiff; instead, the defendant, or victim, must demonstrate that the plaintiff failed to exercise a duty of care and allowed harm to take place that might have been prevented.
Liability: Such cases involve a manufacturer that distributed a product or provided a service that was defective and resulted in harm or loss. Food poisoning also falls under this category when due improper handling by food workers (at a restaurant, a food processing plant, etc.)
Intentional torts: these are cases in which one person has deliberately inflicted physical or psychological harm on another. These torts can overlap with criminal cases, since they can involve assault and false imprisonment (kidnapping), though criminal charges are filed separately with the state.
This last category also deals with traffic accidents, and is when most people call on the services of a personal injury lawyer.
Colorado Motor Vehicle Law
The Colorado state Vehicle Code covers those who operate:
commercial motor vehicles (including trucks and buses)
There is also a section of the law that deals with the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians. For example, although pedestrians have the right of way when crossing at an intersection or marked crosswalk, legally a pedestrian must give the operator of a motor vehicle sufficient time to come to a full stop. The law also provides definitions for what constitutes a bicycle and a motorcycle, which can affect how a particular injury case is addressed by a personal injury lawyer. Denver residents who are involved in a motor vehicle accident should for their own protection contact qualified legal representation before signing any papers or speaking to anyone other than law enforcement.