Damage caps are limitations that are placed on the amount of damages a person can receive after a Colorado car accident. It places a maximum amount of damages a person can receive unless certain exceptions are met. These can become important in very serious car accidents where the potential costs are high, and the pain and suffering damages could also be high. Understanding these limitations and how to work around them can be an important part of getting the financial compensation you deserve following your Colorado auto accident.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at accidentdenver.com are here to help you get financial compensation for your injuries and get your life back on track.
Purpose of Damage Caps
According to the Colorado legislature, the purpose of damage caps is to prevent the risk of "out of control" verdicts in cases that do not require incredibly high awards. There is also a concern that these high verdicts will create a substantial burden on the economy as well. Whether damage caps actually do this, or just harm injured victims, is certainly debatable.
Damage Caps in Colorado
There are no damage caps placed on economic damages in Colorado in personal injury cases. Economic damages are actual "out of pocket" expenses, such as
- medical bills,
- lost wages,
- costs of rehabilitation,
- damage to property, and
- lost earning capacity.
The limits are instead placed on non-economic damages for pain and suffering in the following amounts:
- $250,000 (adjusted for inflation), or
- $500,000 if there is clear and convincing evidence that an increase is justified by the facts of the case.
If the court or jury finds that the damages are for permanent physical impairment, however, there is no cap on the amount of pain and suffering award the jury can give. This means that in truly horrific cases, injured victims will not be limited in what they can collect for pain and suffering.
Under Colorado law, punitive damages cannot be awarded in excess of the actual compensatory damages awarded to the victim. This prevents incredibly high punitive awards that exceed the amount given to the victim for the rest of his or her injuries. Certain exceptions exist in wrongful death cases, though they are rare.
Consult an Experienced Denver Auto Accident Attorney
Damage caps may come in to play in your case or they may not. Consult with your attorney on how they may or may not affect your case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any sort of motor vehicle accident in the greater Denver metropolitan area, please do not hesitate to contact us today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation. We are here waiting for you.