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What damages can Colorado car accident plaintiffs get?

A car crash can have a severe impact on many aspects of a victim's life. If you have sustained injuries in a car accident, understanding available legal options can help you make informed decisions about your case with the advice of your attorney.

Colorado law provides that injured victims of a driver's negligence can recover damages to compensate them for the various losses they suffer. While a monetary award cannot turn back time and make it as if the accident never happened, it can go a long way towards helping you cover essential needs such as medical treatment, home assistance and living necessities.

Financial losses

Economic damages typically form a major part of the total award. They reflect the amounts the accident causes you to spend and includes past and projected future expenses. This category may cover medical treatments, loss of salary, assistive devices, and decrease in or loss of earning capacity. Defendants often try to attack the accuracy of projected losses or to claim that already incurred medical expenses were not necessary. Plaintiffs' attorneys may use expert testimony, evaluations and reports to bolster their economic damages demand.

Quality of life

Plaintiffs may also recover for non-economic damages. These include pain and suffering, emotional trauma and general decrease in enjoyment of life. There may be a damages cap that will limit available non-economic damages.

Punitive damages

In some cases, your attorney may recommend seeking punitive damages. In motor vehicle accident cases, courts typically reserve such awards when the driver caused the accident by behaving in a particularly outrageous manner. Intoxication and extreme road rage are types of conduct that may lead to punitive damages. Because these damages aim to deter terrible conduct, courts will evaluate how bad the driver's behavior was rather than how much the plaintiff suffered.

There are many factors that affect the amounts and types of damages available. The accuracy of a damages demand and the solidity of proof to back it up can also influence the other parties' willingness to settle. Each case is different and needs its own strategic approach. An experienced attorney can develop an appropriate strategy for pursuing available recovery.

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