If you were injured in an accident in Lakewood, CO, you may be able to recover compensation–or damages–for your injuries and losses if they were caused by another person’s carelessness or negligence.
Damages in personal injury cases are divided into two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
What Are Economic Damages in Colorado?
If you get into a car accident or are injured in some other incident in Colorado, you may be able to seek damages from the at-fault party.
Economic damages, also known as special damages, refer to the financial consequences of an accident. Often, they are straightforward to calculate and can be proved by receipts or other documentation.
Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, do not relate to financial consequences and are more difficult to quantify. Non-economic damages are often related to the emotional or other effects of an injury, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life.
Common Types of Economic Damages in Colorado
There are many types of economic damages available in a personal injury lawsuit in Lakewood, CO. Some of the most common economic damages include:
- Medical costs
- Vehicle repairs
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Future rehabilitation and medical costs
While economic damages are fairly straightforward to calculate compared to non-economic damages, some are less straightforward than others.
For instance, calculating loss of future earning capacity and future medical costs requires making informed estimates about what costs the victim will incur in the future or how much income they would have earned had they not been injured.
Is There a Limit on Economic Damages in Colorado?
Generally, Colorado does not limit the amount of economic damages one can recover in a personal injury case. The state does have limits on the amount of non-economic damages–such as pain and suffering–that one can recover.
Who Is Eligible To Receive Economic Damages?
Being injured in an accident does not mean you’re automatically entitled to economic damages. However, if your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing, then you may be entitled to damages.
To recover damages in a personal injury case based on negligence, a plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant breached that duty of care;
- The plaintiff suffered injuries; and
- The defendant’s actions were the direct and proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries.
If a plaintiff can prove these four elements, then they may be entitled to recover damages.
Keep in mind that the amount of damages will still need to be determined. Moreover, other factors, such as whether the plaintiff bears some responsibility for the accident, will impact the amount of damages the plaintiff can recover.
Is There a Deadline for Pursuing Economic Damages?
A statute of limitations is a legal deadline for filing a lawsuit. In Colorado, the statute of limitations in most personal injury cases is two years. This two-year period begins running on the date the accident or injury occurs. If the lawsuit is not filed within that two-year period, then the plaintiff will likely lose their right to seek compensation for their injuries in court.
While the general statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years, if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, then you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
There are also a few exceptions to the statute of limitations in Colorado that may extend the deadline for filing a lawsuit. An experienced Lakewood personal injury lawyer can ensure that your case is filed on time.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Recover Economic Damages in Lakewood, CO
If you were injured in an accident and suspect that you may be entitled to economic damages, contacting a personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the claims process. A personal injury lawyer can help you in the following ways:
- Contact the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf;
- Negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company;
- Gather documentation of your injuries and treatments;
- Collect receipts for your injuries and any property damages to begin calculating your damages;
- Take your case to civil court if necessary;
- Interview witnesses and expert witnesses to support your claim; and
- Ensure that your lawsuit is filed on time.
While there is no requirement that you hire a lawyer, an experienced personal injury attorney will help you present a strong case regarding your injuries.
Contact Matos Personal Injury Lawyers To Discuss Your Economic Damages Today
Car accidents, slip and falls, and other accidents can be quite stressful, in addition to causing serious injuries or other damage. Speaking with a qualified Lakewood personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the personal injury claims process during a difficult time.
Contact Matos Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your case and potential economic damages that you may be entitled to.