There are different levels of the Colorado court system that handle disputes. Each has its own purpose and sees certain types of cases. The most important objective is protecting citizens’ rights and ensuring fairness in handling their cases.
What are the different levels of the Colorado court system?
The two main types of courts are trial and appellate courts. Almost every legal matter begins in a trial court. This is where a judge and/or jury hears a case. Both sides present their facts and witnesses, and the judge or jury reaching judgment.
The levels of courts in Colorado are:
- County Courts: A county court handles civil cases less than $15,000. They also handle small claims, traffic infractions and misdemeanors. Decisions from these courts are sometimes appealed in a district court.
- District Courts: A district court hears civil cases (in any amount) and other kinds of legal matters. In Colorado, there are 22 judicial districts. Decisions from these courts are sometimes appealed in the Colorado Court of Appeals.
- Colorado Court of Appeals: Most times the court of appeals reviews decisions made in a district court. Once the Court of Appeals makes a decision on the case, it’s final, but sometimes the Supreme Court will agree to review the case.
- Colorado Supreme Court: This is the last step a party can take in the state court system. Most of the time, the Supreme Court only handles appeals made from the Court of Appeals level. But there are circumstances in which an appeal from a lower court goes right to the Supreme Court.
Will my injury case go to court?
Most personal injury cases get settled without litigation in the Colorado court system. But there are circumstances in which negotiating with the insurance company reaches a standstill and may necessitate taking further legal action. One example is when an insurance company doesn’t accept that its policyholder was at fault for the accident.
Or an insurer may try to pin most of the blame on the injured person, which may prevent the recovery of damages. This may necessitate seeking legal advice and taking the case to court.
When injury cases do end up going to trial, they are usually serious injury cases with significant damages. There may be substantial medical costs incurred or a significant amount of earnings lost because of the injury.
Or it could be that the person is now disabled and unable to work, so he or she wants compensation for anticipated earnings. This can lead to disputes between the insurance company and injured party, which may be difficult to resolve.
Serious injuries may also warrant other damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish and disability. The insurance company might not agree to pay a fair settlement for these damages, which might necessitate going to court. This is why it’s important to hire an attorney who not only handles insurance claims but can handle litigation in Colorado’s court system as well.
Call D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 to set up a consultation about your case. You can also contact us online to schedule your consultation.