Hello, my name is Ely. I am here to help you. There may be a slight
delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a reply. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest
information and not to tell you what you necessarily wish to hear.
I am very sorry for your situation. Please allow me to address the separate issues one by one below.Seatbelt - An Issue?
Please understand how this works. Should negotiations fail and you go to Court, then the jury will decide on negligence
- was the driver negligent? Colorado follows a modified comparative fault rule
in determining negligence: an injured party can only recover if it is determined that their fault in causing the injury is 49% or less. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-111
This means that you can only recover for injury overall if it is shown that you are responsible for 49% or less of the injury.
Your attorney is stating that you may not recover for upper body or the pain/suffering because he is "mimicking" a jury's mind when they deliberate - "Well, is this individual's not wearing a seatbelt 49% fault or more of the injury? If so, we do not want to give him that much..."
So yes, there is a risk that you may get a lesser award, or even none at all (if the jury decides that you not wearing a seatbelt was such an issue that it caused 49% of the fault). So there is a risk.
However, juries are unpredictable - you really never know. So it is always a gamble - settle for a little less or go to jury for an unpredictable amount. In the end, the choice is yours whether to go to trial or to settle - remember, the attorney works for you and should follow your decision.Also, what is the highest reward given for an ankle in such an accident in Co. My attorney tells me Co. is a very consevative state when it comes to pay outs on lawsuits. True?
There are no county/state statistics for injury awards by type because (1) many settlements have a non-disclosure
and/or are never filed with the court, and/or (2) the state simply does not collect such statistics. Ergo, I am sorry to state that you will likely not find an "average" or "highest" award number for your county or Colorado. However, Colorado is known to be conservative when it comes to juries and awards, except when it is for medical malpractice (paradoxically, Colorado leads the state in the amount awarded for this).IMPORTANT INFO
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