Sam Cannon Personal Injury Lawyer Facebook Pixel
Free Consultation | (970) 471-7170
Free Consultation Here

What Damages Are Available For Emotional Pain & Suffering After a Colorado Injury?

The effects of an accident on a victim are not limited to only bodily injuries and property damage. Many accident survivors also experience nonphysical effects, such as emotional pain and suffering. In Colorado, the civil justice system allows for the recovery of damages, or financial compensation, for pain and suffering in a personal injury case. If your claim succeeds, pain and suffering damages could greatly increase its value.

What Is Considered Pain and Suffering in Colorado?

Pain and suffering is an umbrella term used in personal injury law to refer to almost any type of intangible damage that a victim suffers in an accident. They are also referred to as noneconomic and general damages. They do not have a monetary value and therefore are not classed in the category of economic damages. Pain and suffering can refer to emotional strife, in addition to many other nonphysical losses:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Chronic pain
  • Physical impairment
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Shock
  • Emotional distress
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety or fear
  • Mental anguish
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Diminished enjoyment of life
  • Lost quality of life
  • Humiliation
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of consortium
  • Grief over a loved one’s death

Emotional pain and suffering can be experienced by an accident survivor for many reasons. The victim might have witnessed something traumatic that results in PTSD, for example, such as the death of a loved one in a car accident. The victim may have also suffered serious injuries that are life-changing and painful. If a preventable accident caused you emotional distress in any way, you could seek financial compensation for this type of loss during your Colorado injury claim.

What Caps Are Placed on Pain and Suffering Damages in Colorado?

Many states, including Colorado, have caps on the amount of damages that are available in personal injury law. A cap is a limit or maximum amount of financial compensation. In Colorado, noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering or subject to the following caps:

  • In most civil torts and personal injury cases, there is a cap of $250,000 (plus inflation) on noneconomic damages.
  • In a medical malpractice lawsuit, a victim cannot recover more than $300,000 in noneconomic damages.
  • If clear and convincing evidence exists, a victim may be able to receive up to $500,000 (plus inflation) for noneconomic damages.

Note that economic damages, such as medical costs and lost wages, are not capped. There’s also no cap in cases involving permanent physical impairment. Finally, in a workers’ compensation claim in Colorado, pain and suffering does not qualify as compensatory damages.

How Do I Prove Pain and Suffering Damages?

The courts will only award damages for emotional pain and suffering if you have evidence proving this type of loss. Proving pain and suffering is more difficult than economic losses, as there are no bills, receipts or records that can prove how an individual feels. A lack of hard evidence means that these cases often rely on the storytelling capabilities of the personal injury attorney representing the plaintiff.

An attorney can help you express pain and suffering in a clear and convincing way to a judge or a jury. This may involve giving them a look into your life – how it looked before the accident compared to how it looks now. Your lawyer can do this with aids such as video footage and testimony from friends, coworkers and family members who observed changes. The goal is to demonstrate the impact that the accident had on your mental and emotional health.

Medical records can strengthen your pain and suffering claim. With or without physical injuries, if you have records from a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor or religious leader, this can help you prove emotional or psychological distress. If you have scarring, disfigurement or disability, proof of these physical losses can also support your pain and suffering claim. For assistance proving pain and suffering damages during a personal injury case in Colorado, contact Cannon Law to request a free consultation.