After an injury accident, the victim is often left with expensive losses and damages. When the injury victim files a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff is seeking compensation from the parties responsible for causing the accident. This compensation is known as “damages.”
Economic damages include all the financial losses associated with an accident. The injury victim in a car accident needs to understand all their economic damages, including future expenses, before accepting any settlement offer. The economic damages after an injury accident can build up quickly and often end up costing the victim more than they anticipated.
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will investigate your claim, identify all your financial and non-economic losses to get the maximum compensation after an injury accident in Colorado. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Non-Economic Damages in Colorado Personal Injury Cases
In contrast to economic damages, like medical expenses and car repairs, non-economic damages do not always have a clear dollar value. Non-economic damages are intended to compensate an accident victim for the harmful results of the accident on their lives and those around them. Non-economic damages in an injury accident may include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Inconvenience, and
- Loss of consortium.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering after an injury accident can go on for years. This includes physical pain caused by the immediate effects of an accident as well as continuing pain caused by the injuries. Some injuries, including neck, back, or head injuries, can be difficult to treat and result in suffering through treatments while trying to control pain. This can also lead to loss of sleep, depression, and anxiety.
Proving pain and suffering generally involves demonstrating how the injury has affected the individual after the accident, this could include:
- Medical records,
- Mental health records,
- Pain treatment,
- Loss of ability to work,
- Loss of ability to participate in prior activities, and
- Loss of ability to do activities with partners or family members.
A traumatic event like a serious crash can cause anxiety, depression, nightmares, insomnia, and harm one's ability to enjoy life in the same way they did before the accident. Emotional distress can be caused by reliving the painful event, experiencing the extreme violence of a car accident, and having to deal with the physical impact of the accident, such as scarring or disfigurement.
Automobile accidents can cause permanent physical injuries to the victim. This includes loss of a limb, partial paralysis, loss of vision, loss of hearing, permanent nerve damage, burn injuries, and scarring. This can be a permanent change to the victim's body that they will have to live with for the rest of their life. The victim should be able to be compensated for the permanent disfigurement caused by a negligent driver.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is a term used in some personal injury claims to address the losses to the partner of the accident victim. The partner of the injury victim may also suffer as a result of the accident and may be able to seek compensation in the injury lawsuit. This includes the loss of services provided by the injury victim, loss of affection, and harm to the sexual relationship caused by the accident.
How are Non-Economic Damages Calculated?
Calculating non-economic damages may seem difficult where there is no clear value for losses that don't have a dollar value. However, when non-economic damages are determined by a jury of your peers, they may have a good understanding that your pain, suffering, and emotional harm should be compensated at a fair value.
For example, a car accident that left the injury victim suffering for a couple of hours before receiving care at the hospital may represent a relatively low level of pain and suffering if the pain reduced and eventually subsided.
However, an accident injury that leaves someone with regular and debilitating back pain would likely be compensated at a much higher level. Long-term and chronic pain may impair the victim's ability to lead a normal life, continue working, spend quality time with the family, or even get a good night's sleep.
Non-economic damages may also be shown through example, where a prior personal injury case with a similar situation resulted in a given award. The defendant may dispute the amount of non-economic damages in a case and it is your lawyer's job to advocate on your behalf to get the maximum amount of damages you deserve after an injury accident.
Caps on Non-Economic Damages in Colorado
Non-economic damages are not unlimited in Colorado. There is a statutory cap on certain non-economic damages. Generally, the maximum amount of damages for pain and suffering is $250,000, which is adjusted for inflation. For incidents occurring after January 1, 2008, the cap amounts to $468,010.
However, where there is “clear and convincing evidence,” that a higher amount of pain and suffering damages is warranted, the maximum amount is $500,000, adjusted for inflation. For incidents occurring after January 1, 2008, the clear and convincing cap amounts to $936,030.
No Cap for Non-Economic Damages for Permanent Physical Impairment
There is no cap on non-economic damages where the victim suffers a permanent physical impairment. There is not a clear definition of what might be a “permanent physical impairment.” However, anyone who suffers permanent harm after an auto accident should not be limited by caps for their suffering. Even if you do not think your injuries qualify as permanent physical impairment, talk to your Denver accident lawyers about your case.
Denver Auto Accident Injury Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented their clients and families who were involved in a car accident get compensation for their losses. Our attorneys understand how the insurance companies operate and will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.