When an individual sustains an injury caused by the negligent actions of others, the victim should be able to recover compensation for their losses. Typically, individuals are able to recover compensation through either an insurance settlement or as a result of a personal injury trial verdict. Here, we want to review the most common types of damages awarded as well as whether or not there are any caps or limitations on these damages.
Economic damages are often referred to as special damages for the purposes of personal injury claims, and this refers to calculable expenses that Colorado personal injury victims are likely to experience. This includes actual expenses such as emergency medical bills, ongoing follow-up medical treatment, physical therapy and rehabilitation, medical devices, prescription medications, lost earnings, property damage, and more.
Because these are all actual expenses that a person experiences, there are no caps on how much compensation a person can receive for economic damages in Colorado.
Non-economic damages are also referred to as general damages for personal injury claims, and this refers to the more immeasurable aspects of a personal injury claim. Even though there may not be bills or direct receipts that can be used to measure non-economic losses, they are still important. This includes compensation for a person’s physical pain and suffering, emotional and psychological trauma, loss of quality of life, and loss of consortium for family members.
Colorado does place limitations on non-economic damage amounts. In April of 2019, the Colorado governor signed a bill into law that increased the damaged caps for non-economic losses for the first time in more than a decade. Non-economic damage caps increase every two years. As of January 1, 2022, the current limit for non-economic damages is $642,180, but this amount could increase to $1,284,370 if the court hears clear and convincing evidence of the at-fault party’s negligence.
There is also a limit on how much compensation family members and estates can receive for non-economic damages related to wrongful death claims. It is important to note that there is no damage cap for economic losses related to a wrongful death, but the non-economic cap is currently $613,760, though this figure will increase every two years just like other non-economic damage caps. The next adjustment will be on January 1, 2024.
Just like traditional personal injury claims and wrongful death claims, medical malpractice claims also have a limitation on non-economic damages allowed. This number also increases every two years, but between now and January 1, 2024, the current noneconomic damage cap for medical malpractice claims in Colorado is $385,310.
As you begin working on your personal injury, wrongful death, or medical malpractice claim, we strongly encourage you to reach out to a skilled attorney who has experience handling your particular type of case. An attorney will work diligently to recover maximum compensation not only for your economic damages but also for your economic losses within the confines of the caps put in place by Colorado law.
Call us today to speak with a Denver personal injury lawyer.