Colorado Injury and Accident Damage Caps

When someone is injured, whether in an automobile collision, while at work, or due to some other type of negligence, the impact can be devastating.

Denver Car Accident Attorney

The injured party may suffer lost wages due to their inability to work or incur very expensive medical bills. Either way, an injured person’s ability to recover damages when someone else has caused them injury can be the difference between stability and financial ruin.

Find a Personal Injury Attorney in Denver, Colorado

If you were injured in an automobile collision, ski or snowboard collision, or injured due to some other type of third-party negligence, you could endure financial hardship due to your inability to work, expensive medical bills, or both. Finding out that Colorado places a cap on the monetary damages that can be recovered can be disheartening.

Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney can help. Attorney Jennifer L. Donaldson has been practicing law for years and can help you navigate the pitfalls of your personal injury case.

Donaldson Law, LLC is located in Denver County, Colorado and they take cases in Denver, and in the surrounding areas of Arvada, Boulder, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Longmont, Aurora, Centennial, and Westminster.

Call (303) 458-5000 now for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Types of Damages in Denver, Colorado

Damages in Colorado can generally be sorted into two categories with multiple subsets. Damages may be economic or non-economic. Economic damages are defined as those damages that have a computable monetary value such as, medical expenses, wage loss, or costs of property damage.

Noneconomic damages are those things that are considered “priceless,” those that cannot be easily quantified. Noneconomic damages include things like “pain and suffering” or loss of companionship.

The law on damages can be found in Chapter 13 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.

Damage Caps in Denver County, Colorado

The State of Colorado imposes caps on the amount of damages recoverable in certain cases. Generally, a damage cap means that the monetary amount awarded by the trier of fact cannot exceed a certain amount.

Damages for Pain and Suffering

As explained above, pain and suffering is a non-economic form of damages. Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) § 13-21-102.5 entitled “Limitations on Damages for Noneconomic Loss or Injury” outlines recovery for pain and suffering. Under C.R.S. § 13-21-102.5, pain and suffering damages may not exceed $468,010.

Section 13-21-102.5 defines “Noneconomic Loss or Injury” as nonpecuniary harm for which damages are recoverable by the person suffering the direct or primary loss. Examples of such loss include the following:

  • emotional stress
  • loss of enjoyment of life
  • pain and suffering
  • inconvenience

There are some exceptions to caps on noneconomic loss or injury in Colorado, speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney can help explain the exceptions.

Damages for Wrongful Death

Damages for wrongful death fall into two categories as well. When a family member dies due to negligence, the family is often left with burial costs, loss of income, and loss of companionship. It is important to separate these damages because punitive damages for wrongful death may not exceed the amount awarded for actual damages.

According to Section § 13-21-203, noneconomic damages for wrongful death may not exceed $436,070.  As an alternative, a party may also elect to seek a solatium, which is governed by Section § 13-21-203.5.  The solatium is currently capped at $87,210.  The party bringing the action for wrongful death must elect under which section he or she will proceed, so speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case is imperative.

Where the wrongful death resulted from a felonious killing, the cap on damages does not apply.

Dram Shop Damages in Colorado

A dram shop is a legal term that refers to a bar or a tavern. A dram shop is usually a place where alcohol is sold. Section § 12-47-801 determines a bar owner’s liability when an injury arises due to alcohol consumption.

Damages recoverable from a civil action are capped at $280,810.  Dram shop owners are not liable for acts of one drunken patron against another.

Permanent Physical Impairment and Disfigurement

Damages awarded for physical impairment or scarring and disfigurement are separate from other categories of damages such as economic and noneconomic loss. There are no statutory caps on the amount of damages that may be awarded for physical impairment or disfigurement caused by another party’s negligence.

Additional Resources

Filing a Small Claim – Visit the official website of the Denver County Court to finding out more about filing a small claims case in Denver County. The Denver County Court website provides forms and handbooks for individuals seeking to file a civil suit.

Find a Lawyer for Personal Injury Damages in Denver County

If you have been injured by the negligence of a third-party and are now facing costly medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering in the Denver County, area, talk to an experienced Denver car accident attorney about your case.

Attorney Jennifer L. Donaldson understands how stressful filing a lawsuit can be. Having an attorney with 30 years of experience by your side can help ease your stress.

Our office is located in the heart of Denver, Colorado, and services clients with issues in the surrounding counties of Arapahoe, Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, and Jefferson.

Call (303) 458-5000 to speak one-on-one with Denver personal injury Attorney Jennifer L. Donaldson.