Colorado Damage Caps - Front Range Injury Attorneys – Denver Personal Injury Lawyers

Colorado Damage Caps

Personal injury accidents in Colorado can leave victims seeking financial compensation from the responsible party. Damages, which refer to the legal compensation awarded, may be subject to caps in certain states, including Colorado. These damage caps impose a maximum limit on the amount a plaintiff can receive from a defendant. It is essential to understand how these caps can impact your claim and determine the potential value of your case.

If you sustained injuries in an accident in Colorado, contact the personal injury lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys today to schedule your free consultation. Our experienced legal team are knowledgeable and zealous advocates for our clients and their cases. We treat our clients as people, not case files. Learn more about how we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact our Denver law firm to learn more.

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Exploring Colorado’s Damage Caps

Colorado has some of the most stringent damages caps in the United States. As per Colorado Revised Statute 13-21-102.5(3)(a), plaintiffs in civil claims cannot recover an amount exceeding the imposed damage cap. These limitations on damages apply to all civil actions, with a few exceptions determined on a case-by-case basis. The specific damage cap applicable to a claim depends on the type of claim being pursued.

Pain and Suffering Damages

In Colorado, non-economic damages, including pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium, are subject to a $250,000 damage cap, which may increase due to inflation. However, if the plaintiff can provide clear and convincing evidence justifying a greater compensation, the courts may award up to $500,000. In cases involving permanent physical impairment, the cap on pain and suffering damages is entirely eliminated.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded to punish defendants for their actions and are granted in cases involving gross negligence or intentional harm. According to Colorado law, a punitive damage award cannot exceed the plaintiff’s actual damages unless certain criteria are met. If these criteria are satisfied, the cap on punitive damages can increase up to three times the amount of actual damages awarded.

Wrongful Death Damages

In wrongful death claims, the recoverable amount for pain and suffering damages is limited to $250,000 (plus inflation) or $500,000. However, if the claim involves medical malpractice, the cap increases to $300,000. It’s important to note that the cap is eliminated entirely for wrongful death claims resulting from felonious killings.

Medical Malpractice Claims

For medical malpractice or medical negligence claims, the total damage cap is set at $1,000,000. Among the awarded amount, no more than $300,000 can be attributed to the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. Unfortunately, these caps can be underwhelming in many medical malpractice cases where injured victims may face a life of pain and loss of ability to live the same life. Future medical costs and other damages may exceed the limits defined by the Colorado state government.

Dram Shop Claims

Dram shop claims refer to damage claims filed against vendors or establishments that served alcohol to individuals who were visibly intoxicated. For instance, if a bartender overserves a patron who later causes a drunk driving accident, the victim may have grounds for a dram shop liability claim. In Colorado, the damage cap for a dram shop claim is set at $150,000 per person.

The Purpose and Impact of Damage Caps

Damage caps play a role in limiting the amount a plaintiff can recover from a defendant. They are designed to prevent civil lawsuits from excessively burdening the state’s economy. Calculating the maximum damage cap, accounting for inflation, may require the assistance of a personal injury attorney in Denver. An attorney can provide an accurate evaluation of your case, inform you about applicable damage caps, and help you gather compelling evidence to support your claim.

Understanding Comparative Negligence

In addition to damage caps, Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence law (Colorado Revised Statute 13-21-111) that can affect a plaintiff’s financial recovery. Under this law, the courts can reduce a plaintiff’s compensatory award based on their percentage of fault for the accident and resulting injuries. If you bear some responsibility for the incident, your compensation may be lower than it would have been otherwise. For example, if you are assigned 20% fault, a $100,000 award would be reduced by 20% to $80,000. Engaging the services of a personal injury attorney for insurance negotiations or an injury trial can help minimize your comparative fault, enabling you to maximize your financial recovery, up to the state’s applicable damage cap.

In conclusion, understanding Colorado’s damage caps and the potential impact on your personal injury claim is crucial. Consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can provide the guidance necessary to navigate these complexities successfully, ensuring you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers

If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right under Colorado law to pursue compensation for your injuries and financial losses caused by the accident. Our experienced Colorado personal injury lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys help clients across the state pursue insurance claims and litigation to be made whole. We represent clients in a wide range of accidents including car accidents, truck crashes, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall incidents, pedestrian collisions, workplace accidents and wrongful death. We help clients in all four corners of Colorado, including:

Contact our law firm to schedule your free consultation with our attorneys. You can speak with our personal injury lawyers at no cost and no obligation to learn more about how we can help you get justice for the harm inflicted by another person’s carelessness.

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