An injury accident can be very disruptive to your life. A vehicle crash that results in an injury means having to deal with car repairs, medical bills, and taking time off of work. On top of all that, the insurance company may be giving you a hard time and only offering a small portion of your damages. Instead of taking whatever the insurance company offers, talk to an experienced Denver auto accident lawyer about your rights.
Damages in an Injury Accident
Damages in a car accident claim include any of the financial and non-economic losses caused by the accident. The injury victim can file a personal injury claim to recover damages from the parties that caused the accident. The claim can be settled through a settlement agreement or through the court process.
It is generally easier to estimate economic damages in a car accident. Even future costs can be estimated with the help of life-care experts. Economic damages generally include:
- Car repairs and temporary car rental
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Future costs of medical care
According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2018, the average auto liability claim for property damage was $3,841 and the average claim for bodily injury was $15,785. Bodily injury claims include minor injuries and more severe injuries. More serious injuries, including back injury, head injury, or neck injury, may have much greater damages.
To calculate your economic damages in a car accident, you can add up all your medical bills, costs for medical care, car repair estimates, and lost income from missing work. Car repair bills can vary, depending on the extent of damage and the value of the car. For a minor injury accident with only a couple of days out of work, those damages may only account for a few thousand dollars.
For moderate injuries, damages can easily exceed $20,000 or more. For permanent injuries, disabling injuries, or injuries that will require lifetime care, the damages could exceed $1 million. Consider a young person, permanently disabled by a car accident. They may no longer be able to work, losing out on a lifetime of income potential. Regular medical treatment, surgery, and 24-hour medical care can be very costly. The injury victim should not be responsible for the financial losses of the accident when someone else was responsible.
NonEconomic Damages in Colorado
Not all losses are easily calculated. Non-economic damages include losses and damage that does not always have a set dollar amount. Under Colorado Revised Statutes 13-21-102.5, noneconomic loss or injury includes:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional stress
- Impairment of the quality of life
Colorado is one of about half of all states that has a cap on the amount of non-economic damages an injury victim can receive. The jury may award an amount over the cap but the judge will reduce the award to the damage limit. The damages cap is adjusted for inflation, every two years. For all claims that accrue on or after January 1, 2021, the cap for noneconomic loss or injury is $613, 760. That amount can be increased to a maximum of $1,227,530, upon a showing of clear and convincing evidence.
Settlement Offers and Legal Advice
Our lawyers take on every client with the willingness to take the case to trial. However, the majority of personal injury cases are settled before they get to trial. The decision of whether or not to take the offer is ultimately up to the client. Your lawyer can't accept a settlement offer without your approval. If you have questions about how much you may be able to receive in your injury accident claim, talk to your Denver accident lawyer for advice. Contact our attorneys today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation.