Were you recently injured in an accident due to someone else’s careless or negligent conduct? Whether you were injured in a slip and fall, a car accident, or some other type of accident, you may be able to recover compensation for the injuries you suffered. This can include compensation for your economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.

You can also seek compensation for your non-economic damages, which could include things like pain and suffering or loss of quality of life. If you are able to recover non-economic damages, they may be a substantial amount of your financial award.

It’s important to understand non-economic damages to get a better idea of the potential damages available in your case and the possible value of your case. An experienced personal injury attorney can work with you to assess the full extent of your non-economic damages and pursue all available compensation. 

What Role Do Damages Play in My Case?

Most personal injury cases are founded on negligence, meaning that the at-fault party failed to exercise reasonable care or caution under the circumstances.

In most personal injury cases, you will need to prove that the opposing party was negligent. 

To establish negligence, you must prove four elements: 

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care.
  • The defendant breached the duty of care.
  • You suffered damages.
  • Your damages were caused by the defendant’s actions.

Therefore, you cannot succeed in your personal injury case unless you can prove damages. Failure to prove damages can eliminate your ability to recover compensation for your injuries. 

What Damages Are Available in Colorado Personal Injury Cases?

In Colorado, personal injury victims could recover two main types of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

As the name suggests, economic damages refer to the financial consequences caused by the accident or injury. They include past and future medical costs, lost wages, property damage, loss of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, in contrast, refer to the non-economic consequences of the accident or injury. These damages typically refer to the emotional harm you endure as a result of the accident.  

Non-economic damages include the following: 

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Emotional anguish 
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability 
  • Loss of consortium
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Mental distress  
  • Loss of quality of life

Determining the full extent of your non-economic damages can be challenging without the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer.  

What’s the Value of My Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages are not as simple to quantify as economic damages, as there is no direct monetary value associated with things like emotional anguish. However, several factors may be considered when calculating an award of non-economic damages. 

The factors considered include the following:

  • The nature and extent of your injuries
  • The type of accident 
  • Your total medical expenses
  • The duration of your medical treatment
  • Insurance policy limits 
  • The expected future consequences of your injuries
  • How much time you missed from work due to your injuries
  • Whether you will be able to resume your same or a similar job
  • Whether you will suffer permanent disability as a result of the accident
  • The impact that your injuries have on your quality of life 

In addition, the circumstances of the accident will be considered, such as whether there was especially egregious behavior on the part of the defendant. A personal injury attorney will keep in mind your non-economic damages when engaging in settlement negotiations. Your legal team may also work with an expert to help establish the value of your non-economic damages and ensure you don’t settle for less than your case is worth. 

Are There Any Caps on Non-Economic Damages in Colorado?

Colorado law places a limit on the amount of non-economic damages an injured party can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. Most personal injury claims are capped at $250,000 in non-economic damages, but a court can award up to $500,000 in non-economic damages if the court finds sufficient justification for doing so. 

Importantly, these amounts are adjusted to reflect inflation. Personal injury claims that accrued between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023, are capped at $642,180, rather than $250,000. 

Contact an Experienced Boulder Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Case

If you were injured in an accident and someone else was at fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Don’t risk not accurately accounting for your non-economic damages after an accident in Boulder, CO. An experienced Boulder personal injury lawyer at Tenge Law Firm, LLC can assess the extent of your damages and help you fight to recover full compensation. Contact us at (303) 665-2929.