How Are Personal Injury Damages Calculated?

In injury cases, the statute provides that damages can be recovered for medical or funeral expenses for the injured party and losses of income. There are also statutory caps on noneconomic damages in most personal injury lawsuits.

The plaintiff has to show an actual monetary loss as a result of the defendant’s negligence. The jury will then determine how much money would reasonably compensate you for your injuries and damages. You should present documentation of past, current, and future economic losses such as:

• Loss of earnings/income

• Lost opportunities (present and future)

• Medical expenses related to treatment after the accident

• Cost of home modification if applicable (special equipment, ramps, etc.)

If you suffered physical impairment from your injuries and require surgery/physical therapy beyond several months, you should anticipate future economic losses. For example, if you sustained a permanent injury to your back and require surgery which causes 6-months of physical therapy extending into the future at an anticipated cost of $500 per month ($6,000 total) for the next year or two.

• Vacation time lost. If you were injured on vacation (say a boating accident), how much can you claim as a loss of enjoyment of that vacation? It may not be covered by your travel insurance policy but is recoverable in court from the person or company who caused the accident.

Noneconomic damages are generally capped depending upon the circumstances and type of case involved. Colorado car accident cases have no cap on noneconomic damages, but the cap applies in other personal injury cases.

Hearing loss (caused by the negligence of another) is one of the most difficult kinds of damages to prove because, in many cases, there is no objective way to measure a person’s hearing loss. A hearing test (audiogram) is probably the best way to document a person’s pre-accident hearing ability. However, such tests are usually performed for health purposes rather than in connection with an accident.

The statute requires that an injured victim must show actual monetary loss caused by the defendant’s negligence. Unless you can establish your lost wages from past and future work losses, it may be difficult to recover substantial damages in a case involving hearing loss since there is no proof of lost earning capacity or permanent disability without showing impairment of other major bodily functions which would affect employment opportunities in the future.

If there was only a momentary shock without any serious injury suffered by the plaintiff, noneconomic damages cannot be recovered by him or her unless the defendant was guilty of some conduct that aggravated the injury or did something to make it more difficult for the plaintiff to recover.

Colorado does not have a cap on noneconomic damages in car accident cases. This means that anyone who is injured as a result of another’s negligence can be fully compensated even if his or her injuries do not manifest themselves until years after the accident. This is particularly important in situations involving brain or spinal cord injuries, as such injuries often do not manifest themselves immediately.

An experienced personal injury attorney will help you get the compensation deserved.