What Are the Damages In A Colorado Personal Injury Claim?

Keating wagner personal injury claim damages Colorado

It is impossible to tell how much compensation you may recover in a personal injury claim without a detailed review of the unique facts of a case. The truth is that even cases with facts that sound very similar can yield very different outcomes.

The best way to learn what damages you could get from a Colorado personal injury claim is to talk with an experienced attorney about your situation. To help you get started, here’s an overview of potential damages compiled by our Denver legal team.

Compensatory Damages for the Actual Harm You Experienced

Also known as “actual damages,” compensatory damages are ordered by the court to help compensate for the actual loss experienced. While it’s impossible for money to make up for pain, compensatory damages are the court’s attempt to right a wrong.

Compensatory damages are calculated very carefully, and sometimes different professionals, such as economists, are needed to carefully assess these losses. Here are some factors that are commonly taken into account:

  • Physical impairment or disfigurement
  • Lost wages and diminished future earning capacity from times you could not work or data on how your income may be less in the future
  • Expenses you incurred, including medical bills and the cost of continuing care
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress and inconvenience
  • The grief and loss associated with the wrongful death of a loved one

These factors are conceptually divided into three distinct categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and physical impairment and disfigurement.

Economic damages are things like wage loss and medical expenses that are documented financial losses. Non-economic damages are more nebulous and harder to calculate, but are oftentimes the greatest loss a person experiences. They are things like pain and suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life.

Physical impairment and disfigurement relate to how a personal injury physically affects you and will continue to affect you, such as by reducing your range of motion, strength, agility, mobility, and stamina.

Colorado law places a cap on non-economic damages, but there is no cap on economic damages or damages related to physical impairment and disfigurement.

Punitive Damages to Send a Message

When a defendant’s behavior was especially malicious or reckless, courts may order the defendant to pay additional “punitive damages.” These are meant to send a message to the defendant that the behavior should never be repeated.

When a defendant has extensive resources, high-dollar-amount punitive damages can also help them to feel the financial impact of the claim. For example, let’s take a corporation that sells a defective product. They may generate so much revenue by cutting corners that they have no financial incentive to ensure their products are safe.

Punitive damages force these defendants to pay damages in amounts that motivate them to change bad behavior. This can help protect other people from experiencing the same harm in the future.

Get Insights Into How Much Your Personal Injury Case is Worth

Your case may involve both compensatory and punitive damages. The best way to find out is to schedule a free and confidential consultation with our Denver law firm. Begin by contacting our lawyers online or calling 303-534-0401.