Have you or someone you love been involved in an accident leading to personal injury? It’s crucial to understand the compensation you may be entitled to. Insurance companies are ruthless and will do anything to avoid paying what you deserve. Arm yourself with knowledge and secure the best personal injury lawyer to ensure the best outcome in your case.

What are the Types of Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases?

The purpose of filing a personal injury claim is to receive compensation for the losses you’ve suffered due to someone else’s negligence. After all, if it weren’t for the other party’s carelessness, you wouldn’t experience these losses. Monetary reimbursement can’t always reverse the effects, but the goal is to make things as right as possible.

Economic Damages

The first type of compensatory damages aims to reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses related to your injury. These quantifiable costs can be documented and verified, covering a wide range of expenses such as:

  • Medical costs: This covers all healthcare costs, from initial emergency services to future long-term care, including surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and rehabilitation. This compensation allows you to focus on healing without a financial burden.
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity: This is compensation for the income you lose while unable to work due to your injuries. It also encompasses future earnings if you can’t return to your previous level of employment, considering your career trajectory before the accident.
  • Property damage: If your personal property is damaged in the accident, you may be reimbursed for repair or replacement costs. This ensures you’re not left bearing the financial burden of damages caused by another’s negligence.
  • Funeral costs: In the unfortunate event of a wrongful death, these damages cover funeral expenses, providing some financial relief during a time of grieving.
  • Essential services: If your injuries prevent you from performing routine tasks, compensation for home and yard care may be available to ensure your living conditions don’t diminish.

Non-economic Damages

Not all the damages you face after a personal injury are directly tied to financial expenses. Non-economic damages compensate for your intangible losses, which are much harder to demonstrate and often require professional legal guidance. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering: This covers the physical discomfort and emotional anguish you endure due to your injuries. It compensates for your daily challenges, the activities you can no longer enjoy, and your overall decreased quality of life since the incident.
  • Emotional distress: This compensation covers the psychological impacts of an injury, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD, acknowledging that invisible wounds can be just as debilitating as physical ones.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: You may be eligible for these damages if you can no longer engage in hobbies, recreational activities, or other forms of enjoyment that were an important part of your life before the injury.
  • Loss of consortium: This offers compensation to the spouse or family members for the loss of companionship, affection, or moral support resulting from the injury.

Damages for Physical Impairments

In Colorado, physical impairments are considered separately from economic and non-economic damages. In an aim to acknowledge the long-term impact of injuries that lead to permanent disability or disfigurement, these damages are not subject to the same caps as non-economic damages. They are calculated based on the profound changes to your life resulting from cosmetic disfigurements, organ damage, neurological damage, or other impairments.

Personal Injury Claims in Fort Collins, CO

What About Punitive Damages?

The court may award punitive damages on top of compensatory damages in cases where the defendant acted with fraud, malice, or willful or wanton misconduct. These damages don’t further compensate you for your losses but are imposed as a penalty against the perpetrator to deter similar conduct in the future. In Colorado, punitive damages may not exceed the amount awarded for compensatory damages.

Factors Affecting Compensation Amounts

Non-economic damages do have limitations. For example, pain and suffering are capped at $250,000, but adjusted for inflation.  For 2024, the non-economic damages cap is $729,790.00, unless there’s clear and convincing evidence to grant a higher amount, up to $1,459,600.00.

It’s crucial to understand that once a settlement is reached, you cannot pursue further compensation for injuries related to that case, even if you require lifelong medical care. That’s why it’s so important to work with a personal injury lawyer who can help you fight for every dollar you deserve.

Contact HSD Law, Serving Fort Collins and Northern Colorado

If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, HSD Law can help you recover damages. We have years of experience navigating complex personal injury cases with expertise and compassion. Our history of securing multi-million-dollar judgments and settlements means we’re ready to take action on your behalf. Contact us today at 970.221.2800 for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Fort Collins.