Firouzbakht Law Firm | Colorado Personal Injury Law Firm
Firouzbakth Law Firm Logo
Firouzbakth Law Firm Logo

What Type of Compensation Can I Get From a Personal Injury Claim?

06/01/2021

Compensation is a significant issue in Colorado personal injury claims. Colorado residents who have suffered some personal injuries should know what class of damages they’re eligible for. There are many types of personal injury compensation. A personal injury claimant may not be eligible for all these classes of damages. Therefore, it’d be best to have legal advice and representation to determine what classes of damages an injured person can get. You can hire an excellent personal injury attorney from the law office of Firouzbakht Law Firm..

What Qualifies as a Personal Injury?

Blind justice statute on a Denver lawyers desk

Many people have heard the personal injuries, but some don’t know what it means. Therefore, it’s essential to know which damages qualify as personal injuries. This is because the types of compensation you can claim from the liable party depend on your type of injury.

Personal injury is a concept in civil law. It‘s a phrase used to refer to injuries to the body, mind, and emotions of a person instead of personal property damage. Personal injury is sometimes used interchangeably with bodily injury. However, both are different concepts because personal injuries are wider than physical injuries. 

Common Causes of Personal Injuries

A personal injury claim can arise through these ways:

  • Accidents: The bedrock of many personal injury lawsuits is accidents. These include motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, premises liability claims, etc. Victims of accidents often incur heavy expenses during treatments. They can recover all their monetary losses through personal injury compensation from the party responsible for the accident. 
  • Medical Malpractice: The law requires medical personnel to treat patients with utmost care. Where a doctor breaks this duty of care, they can be liable to pay compensation to the patient, including the medical expenses.
  • Defamation: According to Britannica, defamation is an injury to someone’s reputation. It could be libel or slander. To get a personal injury compensation for defamation, you must prove that the responsible party made an untrue statement that caused you actual loss.

Some other significant causes of personal injuries include intentional actions of people. Furthermore, manufacturers of defective products may also be liable for damages for the harm caused by their products. 

How Much Money Can You Get From a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injury victims often want to know how much compensatory damages they can get from a jury verdict or settlement negotiation. This is understandable because many victims must have expended some out-of-pocket expenses since their injury. Furthermore, if you don’t know how much to expect from the lawsuit, you may not know whether you have received fair compensation for your injuries. 

However, there’s no fixed amount that you should expect from your injury claim. This is because all lawsuits are different. Furthermore, many factors affect the amount of money you can collect from your claim.

Two of such elements are:

1. Your Injuries: Injuries are a significant determinant of damages amount in Colorado. You can recover your medical expenses for treating your wounds. So, knowing the amount you spent in the hospital, you can estimate how much a court can grant you. The basic rule is that the more severe your injuries, the higher your compensation and vice versa. 

2. The Defendant’s Insurance Policy: Since the defendant will most likely pay you from their insurance coverage, the extent of the coverage determines how much compensation you get. The defendant won’t be able to pay sums above their policy limits. Therefore, it would be best to find out the other party’s insurance coverage.

Colorado's Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

It’s essential to note that Colorado has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims.. You have two years to institute legal action. For defamation, it's one year. This time starts to count from the date of the injury. If you don’t file your claim after this time, the courts may bar your claim.

What Are the Types of Damages for Personal Injury Claims?

After proving their loss in personal injury lawsuits, accident victims, for instance, can receive compensation benefits. Usually, to receive any compensation, parties must link their injury to the actions of the defendant. 

Compensatory Damages

In a claim for compensation, you can receive compensation for any injury another person causes you. These could be economic damages or non-economic damages. These are the type of compensation most easy to determine. In legal practice, damages are broadly classified  into:

Doctor looking at xray
  • Special damages
  • General damages

These recoverable expenses include medical costs, disability damages, emotional distress, wrongful death damages, etc.

Nominal Damages

The court will award nominal damages in a lawsuit where although the plaintiff has proven they suffered harm, the injury is minimal or insignificant. In these kinds of cases, the personal injury compensation is usually around a few dollars. The court’s record will show that the negligent party’s actions were wrong but that the harm wasn’t severe. 

Punitive Damages

The jury or court awards punitive damages to punish the liable party for bad behavior. This is the case where the fault party’s behavior is so appalling to deserve punishment. The defendant’s action here must have been malicious or reckless. With this class of compensation benefits, the court intends to deter other parties from any action similar to the defendant. Punitive damages will most likely be absent from your personal injury compensation if you receive payment via a settlement. 

What Are the Two Types of Compensatory Damages?

Compensatory damages are awarded to plaintiffs to cover the cost of their injuries, damages, or any other losses. There are also two types of compensatory damages. It’s noteworthy that a plaintiff may not be eligible to receive these two compensation benefits. You may get one or both types of compensation.

Compensatory damages are broadly divided into general and special damages. They are: 

General Damages

General compensatory damages are an estimate of the damages any other person would have suffered in similar circumstances. This is compensation for intangible, non-economic losses that flow from the accident. It could be physical or psychological. Often, the jury reviews the facts of the case and awards a definite amount as compensation benefits.

Examples of general damages include:

  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Impairment compensation
  • Future treatment
  • Emotional distress
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Disability damages
  • Loss of opportunity
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Future wages
  • Emotional distress

Special Damages

Special damages refer to actual financial losses that the plaintiff suffered. It’s meant to replace what was lost and nothing more. This class of compensation is often easy to calculate and affix with a definite figure. Examples of actual compensatory damages are:

  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Cost of medical examination
  • wrongful death expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Vehicle repair costs
  • Transportation fees
  • Physical therapy
  • Domestic services
  • Nursing home services
  • Lost income

How Is Pain and Suffering Compensation Calculated?

Pain and suffering is an example of non-economic personal injury compensation. Pain and suffering refer to the physical pain and suffering that the injury inflicted on you. This can include anxiety and emotional distress in Colorado. Calculating pain and suffering isn’t as easy as it is to calculate other medical losses.

However, lawyers and insurance adjusters use some methods to place a figure to your pain and suffering. 

  • Multiplier Method: This method involves the parties fixing a number from one to five and using it to multiply your actual damages. The severity of injuries often determines the multiplier.
  • Per Diem Method: The per diem method involves placing a dollar amount on your pain and calculating it by the number of days you suffer the pain. The daily dollar amount must be arrived at through reasonable calculations.

Caps on Pain and Suffering 

Colorado law places limits beyond which no jury can award pain and suffering. The caps are:

  • $250,000 for injuries before January 1, 1998
  • $366,250 for injuries occurring between January 1, 1998, and January 1, 2008
  • $468,010 for injuries occurring after January 1, 2008
  • $300,000 for medical malpractice claims

However, there are exceptions to these damages limits. They include:

  • Where there is clear evidence that the claim is worth more than the prescribed limits.
  • Where the plaintiff suffers permanent physical impairment.

What Is Fair Compensation for Personal Injury?

All personal injury victims desire to receive the maximum compensation for their losses. However, how do we know whether damage awards are fair compensation for the victim’s losses? Many times you can put a number on the special damages you should get from their case. This would include costs of medical treatment and other expenses. Therefore, fair compensation will cover all the out-of-pocket costs you already bore. 

Furthermore, fair compensation should include additional compensation. This extra compensation would then cover general damages, which would consist of the non-economic losses you suffered. Finally, for compensation to be described as fair, it must also cater to the future consequences of your injuries. If a personal injury compensation offer meets these criteria above, then it’s most likely fair.

Should I Accept the First Settlement Offer?

No, it would be best to reject the first offer an insurance adjuster makes you. This is because insurance companies never offer to pay the correct value of your claim at the beginning. They start negotiating from a significantly lower number. The insurance companies usually hope that the plaintiff will accept a lower settlement out of desperation. However, a personal injury attorney will know the proper value of your claim and wouldn’t let you accept anything lower..

the word injury spelled out

Trust Firouzbakht Law Firm To Get Your Personal Injury Compensation

If you have suffered a personal injury from an accident or other means, you deserve compensation from the liable party.. It would be best to hire a personal injury attorney. This way, you can get all the types of damages for your claim. 

The dedicated Firouzbahkt Law Firm can get you fair compensation for your severe injuries. We can even get you punitive damages, depending on the nature of your personal injury claim. Therefore, it would be best to call us today for a free consultation. 

Free Case Review
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram