Anyone who is injured due to the negligent acts of another person has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. Victims may be able to recover damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But, many victims are unaware that there are damage caps that limit the amount of compensation they can be awarded. Here’s what you need to know about damage caps in Colorado personal injury cases:
Types of Damages
Before learning about damage caps, it’s important to understand the three different types of damages that may be awarded in a personal injury case. The first type is economic damages, which are awarded to compensate victims for any expenses they have incurred or losses they have suffered as a result of their injury. Economic damages typically cover current and future medical expenses and lost wages. The second type is non-economic damages, which compensate victims for emotional pain and suffering. Finally, there are punitive damages, which are only awarded in cases where the defendant acted with extreme malice or negligence.
It’s important to note that compensation is never guaranteed in a personal injury case. A personal injury victim is only awarded damages when he is able to prove his losses, expenses, and suffering.
Each state has the right to limit the amount of compensation that can be awarded to personal injury victims. In Colorado, there are no restrictions on economic damages, but there are caps on non-economic and punitive damages. The cap on non-economic damages is frequently adjusted for inflation, but as of 2008, it has been set at $468,010. The cap on non-economic damages is increased to $936,030 in cases that involve “clear and convincing evidence” that justifies more compensation.
But, there are a few exceptions to this rule. In medical malpractice cases, victims cannot be awarded more than $1 million total. Medical malpractice victims also cannot be awarded more than $300,000 in pain and suffering.
There is another exception that applies to victims that have suffered permanent physical impairment. The cap on non-economic damages does not apply to these victims, so they can recover an unlimited amount of compensation.
The state of Colorado has also limited the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded to a victim. Punitive damages cannot exceed the total amount of economic and non-economic damages. Therefore, if the plaintiff is awarded $100,000 in economic and non-economic damages, he cannot be awarded more than $100,000 in punitive damages.
If you have been injured by the negligent acts of another person, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation permitted by law. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.