In a personal injury case, the amount of money recovered by the injured party is called “damages.” There are two primary categories of damages: (1) economic damages and (2) non-economic damages. This article discusses non-economic damages (sometimes referred to as “general” damages).
Non-economic damages are for non-monetary or non-quantifiable losses. Common examples of non-economic damages are:
- Reputation harm
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment (no cap)
- Disfigurement (no cap)
Non-economic damages are subjective and attributing a dollar value to these losses can be difficult. There are no receipts, bills, or direct economic loss to evaluate. Attorneys commonly hire experts to give an opinion on the dollar value of the non-economic damages. In addition, experienced attorneys will study and track jury awards to stay apprised of current trends.
The issue of “caps” is consistently raised in discussions of damages. Caps on damages are when the state legislature writes a law that places a ceiling on the maximum amount of damages someone can recover. In Colorado, the cap on non-economic damages is $468,101 (which the court can increase to $936,030 under certain circumstances). The cap amount is periodically adjusted for inflation and cost of living.
However, Colorado has a few exceptions to the non-economic damage cap. Damages for physical impairment and/or disfigurement have no cap, while medical malpractice and wrongful death cases have additional caps.
If you have been injured, the attorneys at Burnham Law would be honored to help. At Burnham Law, we understand that your non-economic damages are real and essential to your recovery. Burnham Law has a client-centered personal injury division where we commit to obtaining justice for the injured. Going up against large insurance companies and large retailers is intimidating; at Burnham Law, we have the experience, litigation skills, and resources to win your case.