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Damages

In any personal injury case, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing and proving his or her damages. This may sound easy enough. In practice, however, trying to quantify damages can become immensely complicated.

Economic Damages

The at fault party is responsible for all of the "economic" harms and losses caused as a result of an accident. This includes obvious economic losses like lost wages and medical expenses, as well as less obvious losses like a shortened work life. In many cases, the amount of economic loss is easily ascertainable. For example, in a relatively minor automobile accident case in which the plaintiff misses a few days of work and has limited medical expenses, calculating the total amount of economic damage is easy. In other cases, however, calculating the economic harms becomes so complicated expert witnesses are required to properly analyze the true impact an accident has had.

For example, if a plaintiff has a high paying job in construction but is unable to continue in that field due to an injury and must take a lower paying job, the plaintiff will have ongoing future economic losses that must be considered. The same is true if due to the seriousness of the injury the plaintiff is unable to return to work altogether.

Issues surrounding future medical care are also common. Determining what type of future care a plaintiff will likely require and the cost of that care often requires the assistance of an expert. These experts prepare what are known as "life care plans." "Life care plans" contain a detailed analysis of the projected future medical needs, including costs. This is necessary because the jury must determine at the time of trial what the "probable" future medical needs are. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism to go back to court once your case is finished. Therefore, in serious cases with ongoing medical treatment it is important to contact us as quickly as possible to begin the process of collecting, analyzing, and ultimately presenting these future medical needs.

You may be wondering how health insurance comes into play and whether or not they have the right to be paid back for medical treatment provided. This question is addressed in detail on our "How does health insurance come into play" page.

Non-economic Damages

Often times, the "non-economic" damages are the greatest harms and losses people experience. Most people are familiar with non-economic damages terms "pain and suffering." Non-economic harms and losses, however, come in many shapes and sizes. For example, there is the pure inconvenience and emotional stress that comes with a serious injury and repeated trips to the doctor's office. There is the fear and apprehension that people commonly experience after they are involved in a serious accident. In many cases, the greatest harm is the loss or reduction in the quality of life. This is just another way of describing damages associated with not being able to do the things you loved to do before the accident.

Importantly, the at fault party is responsible for both the past non-economic harms and losses, and those losses that will continue in the future.

As you can imagine, juries often struggle with how to fairly compensate someone who is forced to live with chronic pain. Clearly demonstrating for the jury how to fairly compensate for these "non-economic" harms and losses is crucial. Also, many jurors have deep-seated biases against compensating individuals for "pain and suffering." This is due in large part to a carefully orchestrated and highly funded effort by powerful special interests. The lawyers at the Kaudy Law Firm have extensive courtroom experience and expertise at confronting and overcoming this bias. Call or email us today for a free case assessment.

In Colorado, the total amount of recoverable non-economic damages is capped. Currently, the maximum amount you can recover for "non-economic" damages is $366,250.00. This amount can be doubled upon a showing of "justification by clear & convincing evidence" and is based on a per person basis. For a complete list of limitations on damages in Colorado, click on our "Limitations on Damages" link.

If you have any questions regarding your case, please call or email us today. We take great pride in our commitment to our clients and look forward to helping you.

Physical Disfigurement and Impairment

The third category of damages that plaintiffs are entitled to recover is for physical disfigurement and impairment. Unlike "non-economic damages" discussed above, physical disfigurement and impairment are not capped in Colorado.

You may notice that damages for physical impairment in this section appear to overlap with damages discussed in "non-economic damages" for loss of the quality of life. Indeed this is true and the damages in the two categories can appear to overlap. In cases with serious injuries it is critical that the proper arguments are made so that the jury award more damages in the "physical disfigurement and impairment" category as those damages are not capped.

If you or a loved one has been injured by the careless actions of someone else, please call or email us today for a free case assessment.

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The Kaudy Law Firm, LLC, provides legal help to injured people and victims of insurance misconduct, including bad faith, in Denver, Colorado, and communities throughout the Denver metro area, Rocky Mountain region, Front Range, Eastern Plains, the Foothills, the Western Slope, I-70 and I-25 corridors, Denver County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Adams County, Boulder County, Summit County, Eagle County, Pitkin County, El Paso County, Weld County and Larimer County, including the cities of Aurora, Broomfield, Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley, Colorado Springs, Lakewood, Littleton, Golden, Longmont, Loveland, Vail, Aspen, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Castle Rock, Parker, Highlands Ranch, Thornton, Brighton and Westminster.