Does Colorado Cap Damages in Personal Injury Cases?
When a person has been injured due to the negligence, or carelessness, of someone else, he or she is often able to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. The lawsuit can seek damages to cover the costs related to the accident. These can include medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
Many states place a cap on damages, or limits, on the amount of compensation available to injured parties, and Colorado is no different. Exactly what those caps are depend largely on when the accident took place and the type of injuries sustained.
Damage Caps According to Year
Colorado places caps on damages according to the year they happened. These caps are as follows:
- Before January 1, 1998: $250,000 or $500,000
- Between January 1, 1998 to January 1, 2008: $366,250 or $732,500
- After January 1, 2008: $468,010 or $936,030
Not only does Colorado have different damage caps for certain dates, there is also clearly a large range between them. A personal injury attorney can advise on which cap will apply in a particular case, and help accident victims fight for all the compensation to which they are entitled.
Damage Caps According to Case
In addition to damage caps based according to year, there are also different caps for different types of personal injury cases.
Cases arising from a motor vehicle accident have damage caps of $250,000 plus inflation for pain and suffering. If there is clear evidence that the accident victim deserves or needs more than this, that cap is increased to $500,000 plus inflation.
Medical malpractice cases are some of the most complex of all personal injury claims. According to C.R.S. 12-47-801, medical malpractice cases are capped at $300,000 for non-economic damages. In total, medical malpractice damages are capped at $1 million. Like car accidents, when it is proven this is an unfair amount for the accident victim, this amount is increased.
Dram shop cases, or cases that involve businesses serving alcohol to an intoxicated person or person under the age of 21, have their own damage caps. These damages are capped at $150,000 against the business for every person injured as a result.
In the case of an accident that takes the life of another, family members are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. These cases have damage caps on non-economic damages of $250,000, plus inflation. When it is shown the family experienced great pain and suffering, the courts may increase this to $500,000 plus inflation. Damages caps are typically not placed on economic damages such as burial costs and loss of support income.
Contact a Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer to Claim the Most Amount of Compensation Available
Although Colorado courts place caps on damages available in personal injury lawsuits, they do not always reach that cap. In order for accident victims to claim the full amount of compensation they deserve, they need to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in Colorado.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh Jardine, P.C. at (303) 792-5595. We can help prove someone else was negligent and responsible for your accident, and fight for your rights in court to ensure you get the full amount of compensation you deserve. Call now or fill out our online form for your free case evaluation.