Pain and Suffering Damages in Colorado
Maybe you were trying to save money by flying into Denver instead of straight into Eagle airport but didn’t realize you were in for a harrowing drive over I-70. Or perhaps your relationship with your spouse has completely fallen apart ever since he started getting high off the types of drugs that weren’t legalized with Colorado Amendment 64. The Colorado legal system is set up to allow you to recover for more than just the bills you receive from the many healthcare providers you have had to visit. Take a look at the information below to see whether you might be entitled to pain and suffering damages in Colorado.
In Colorado, certain claims specify that pain and suffering damages are available as part of the larger category known as "noneconomic loss or injury" which also includes the following injuries:
- Impairment of the quality of life
- Emotional stress
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
To learn more about pain and suffering damages in Colorado, take a look at the chart and accompanying explanations below.
Statute of Limitations
While Colorado is no different from most states in that it does not offer pain and suffering damages in worker's compensation claims, Colorado does offer injured parties some unique opportunities for recovery for pain and suffering damages. One such opportunity is through a claim under the Drug Dealer Liability Act, which allows claims by a family member of the drug user for economic damages -- including the cost of treatment and rehabiliations -- and noneconomic damages -- including pain and suffering -- in addition to exemplary damages. Additionally, injured parties may bring any one of the following claims in an effort to recover pain and suffering damages:
- Breach of contract (limited circumstances)
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall
- Car accidents
- Construction defects
50% Bar Rule
Recovery for personal injury lawsuits in Colorado, including slip and fall cases, car accidents, and medical malpractice require the injured party to prove that someone else is at least 50% at fault for her injuries. This is known as modified comparative negligence or the 50% bar rule, because a plaintiff whose fault is equal to the defendant is barred from any recovery.
All states have deadlines that dictate how long you can wait before filing a lawsuit. In Colorado, the time limit, or statute of limitations, depends upon the cause of your injuries. If your pain and suffering is the result of a car accident, for instance, you must file a claim within three years of the accident. Otherwise, you have two years to file a lawsuit to recover damages for injuries inflicted by another party.
Specific limits on the amount of non-economic damages that may be awarded may significantly limit your recovery for pain and suffering. Colorado limits non-economic damages in medical malpractice and in most other civil case to $250,000. In claims for injuries not caused by medical malpractice, if there is "clear and convincing justification" for a higher damage award, as much as $500,000 in noneconomic damages is permitted by law. However, the court rarely awards pain and suffering damages in the higher amount.
Learn How Pain and Suffering Damages in Colorado Apply to Your Case
If it feels like an injury you suffered in the Centennial State has kept you away from the things you've loved, an injury claim may be in order. A good first step is to speak with a local personal injury attorney who can help determine whether you might be entitled to pain and suffering damages in Colorado.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.