The recovery process can be long and arduous when you or a loved one is injured by someone else. It can also be expensive.
When dealing with the uncertainty of medical bills and therapy costs, you may have a critical question on your mind: How much is my personal injury claim worth?
Though there is no way to reliably predict the ultimate value of any claim, some guiding principles can help you understand what you can recover in compensation.
In Colorado, compensation for personal injury claims is designed to make victims whole for the injuries they suffered. In other words, it should put you as close to the position you were in before the accident as possible.
The concept of making you whole is vague and probably doesn’t answer your question. When it comes to specific payouts, Colorado has standards that it applies to every personal injury case.
Getting a better understanding of the different types of personal injury claims and how judgments compensate victims will help better answer your question.
Personal Injury Claims in Colorado
There are three primary forms of personal injury claims in Colorado. These claims are the most common avenues for victims to recover compensation.
Individuals in Colorado are liable for the injuries they cause to others through their own intentional acts. If a person intends to harm you and causes an injury, they are likely responsible for compensating you for the damage done.
Common examples of intentional acts for which a victim can make a claim include the following:
- False imprisonment,
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress,
- Assault, and
Sometimes criminal charges and civil lawsuits go hand in hand. However, you may have a case even if charges are never filed. An experienced attorney at the Tenge Law Firm can help you understand if you can recover compensation.
Strict Liability Claims
Federal and Colorado laws sometimes proscribe strict liability for specific acts or omissions. This standard means that individuals can be held liable for the damage they caused even if they did not act negligently.
Colorado’s dog bite laws are the most typical example of this. If a defective product injures you, you may also have a strict liability claim against the manufacturer.
Negligence claims are the most common way for victims to recover compensation in Colorado. The basic concept of these claims is that when someone’s carelessness causes injury, they are responsible for the repercussions of the injury. Victims must prove four elements to win a negligence claim.
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care,
- The defendant breached that duty of care,
- The victim suffered a compensable injury, and
- The defendant’s breach caused the injury.
Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common events that lead to negligence suits. Accidents are often caused by carelessness or recklessness. Other common forms of negligence include unsafe premises and medical malpractice.
Exaggerated Personal Injury Claims in Colorado
Exaggerated personal injury claims in Colorado. Sometimes people will give specific answers when you ask, how much is my personal injury claim worth? Unfortunately, specific answers are often exaggerated and have little or no basis in fact.
Experienced personal injury attorneys know that every case is unique. Further, the way the other party responds can impact the case’s outcome.
Instead of looking for a specific number, it is better to understand how personal injury claims are compensated in Colorado. A skilled personal injury lawyer will get a better idea of what your case is worth as the process plays out.
Compensation for Personal Injury Claims
Compensation for personal injury claims is meant to make the victim whole. To do this, Colorado breaks damages down into four types: economic damages, non-economic damages, damages for physical impairment, and punitive damages. The damages you claim must fall into one of these four categories to recover compensation.
Objectively quantifiable monetary losses fall into the category of economic damages. Common examples include:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Damage to property,
- Lost business opportunities, and
- Other quantifiable losses.
The common theme with economic damages is that they can be reliably measured and presented to a jury. There is no cap on the amount of economic damages you can recover.
Damages that are difficult or impossible to quantify are considered non-economic damages. Examples include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Reputational harm,
- Emotional distress, and
- Pain and suffering.
Colorado caps the amount of non-economic damages a victim can recover for their injuries.
Damages for Physical Impairment
Colorado has a different standard for permanent physical impairments than other non-economic damages. Physical impairments are treated differently so victims can recover damages for these injuries beyond Colorado’s liability cap.
Examples of permanent impairments include:
- Physical disabilities,
- Neurological disabilities, and
- Mental disabilities.
Physical impairment is difficult to prove. It is crucial to work with an experienced attorney when making these claims.
Officially known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are designed to punish defendants for fraud, malice, or willful and wanton acts. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in Colorado.
Evidence Needed for a Personal Injury Claim
The evidence needed for a personal injury claim will largely depend upon the specifics of your case. Eyewitness accounts, video evidence, photographs, and documentation will all help you establish the defendant’s fault.
You will need medical bills, pay stubs, documentation for time off work, and other relevant evidence to prove damages.
How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim
Wondering how to win your personal injury claim? Putting together a rock-solid case and presenting it clearly is the best way to win your personal injury claim.
Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer will help ensure you meet this challenge. A lawyer will help you gather evidence and present it in a way that increases your likelihood of success.
Colorado Personal Injury Law Firm
If someone else injured you in Colorado, the Tenge Law Firm can help. We have a reputation for success and high client satisfaction ratings.