The aftermath of an accident can leave victims not only dealing with physical injuries and property damage, but also experiencing emotional pain and suffering. In Colorado, the civil justice system recognizes the impact of these non-physical effects, and it allows for the recovery of damages for pain and suffering in personal injury cases. At Rocky Mountain Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the significance of pain and suffering in a personal injury claim and how it can greatly affect the overall value of your case.
Understanding Pain and Suffering in Colorado
Defining Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering encompasses various intangible losses that an accident victim may experience. The legal term for Pain and Suffering damages is “noneconomic damages.” These include physical pain, chronic pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a diminished quality of life, among others. In Colorado, these non-physical damages are considered an essential component of a personal injury claim.
these non-physical damages are considered an essential component of a personal injury claim.
Caps on Pain and Suffering Damages
Colorado, like many other states, has placed caps on non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, in personal injury cases. The caps on pain and suffering damages in Colorado are as follows:
- For most civil torts and personal injury cases, the cap is set at $250,000 (plus inflation) on noneconomic damages.
- In medical malpractice cases, victims cannot recover more than $300,000 in noneconomic damages.
- If clear and convincing evidence exists, a victim may be able to receive up to $500,000 (plus inflation) for noneconomic damages.
However, it’s important to note that economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, are not subject to caps. Additionally, in cases involving permanent physical impairment, there is no cap on damages. Workers’ compensation claims in Colorado do not include pain and suffering as compensatory damages.
Proving Pain and Suffering Damages
Proving pain and suffering damages can be more challenging than quantifying economic losses, as they lack concrete monetary values. Courts will only award damages for emotional pain and suffering if there is evidence to support such claims. To prove damages in a pain and suffering lawsuit in Colorado, you may need to:
- Provide medical records from mental health professionals or specialists who treated your emotional distress.
- Demonstrate physical injuries or disfigurement caused by the accident, which contribute to your pain and suffering.
- Present testimonies from friends, family, or coworkers who can testify to the changes in your life and emotional state following the accident.
Pain and Suffering Calculation
While it is easy to total economic damages like medical bills or property damage, there is no exact formula for calculating damages for pain and suffering.
Your personal injury attorney can play a critical role in presenting your pain and suffering claim effectively. By building a compelling case with supporting evidence, your lawyer can help the court understand the true impact of the accident on your mental and emotional health.
Pain and suffering are significant aspects of personal injury claims in Colorado, recognizing the intangible toll of an accident on the victim’s life. While quantifying these damages can be challenging, their value can significantly increase the overall compensation in a personal injury case.
Pain and Suffering Damages in Colorado Free Consultation
At Rocky Mountain Personal Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims and seeking fair compensation for their pain and suffering. If you have experienced emotional distress or mental anguish due to a personal injury in Colorado, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.