It is not hard to imagine that serious injuries and losses can follow a high-speed crash between multiple vehicles, but even a minor fender-bender can leave you with repair bills and nagging injuries like whiplash and a mild concussion. Regardless of how severe your wreck was, you may be able to recover compensation for any losses that stemmed from it with the right legal guidance.
Depending on your specific circumstances, several types of recoverable damages may be available after a Pueblo car accident. A knowledgeable car wreck attorney could discuss your unique situation with you and determine what losses you could include in a lawsuit or settlement demand.
The majority of car accident cases in Pueblo center around compensatory damages. Also known as actual damages, these cover specific losses that can be traced directly back to the accident.
There are two subtypes of compensatory damages that may become relevant during a claim, the first of which is economic damages. These are losses that are monetary in nature, which means they can typically be proven using formal documentation like bills, receipts, or income statements.
Since most personal injury cases are based on at least one physical injury, expenses for short-term medical treatment usually make up many of the recoverable economic damages after a car crash in Pueblo. Additional recoverable damages in this category may include lost income, costs associated with long-term physical therapy and prescription medications, property repair or replacement costs, and legal fees.
The second subtype of compensatory damages—noneconomic damages—cover losses that do not a specific dollar value. Instead of presenting billing statements, an attorney seeking to recover noneconomic damages for a claimant after a Pueblo car accident may use testimony from family and friends, accounts from the plaintiffs, prior court precedent, and other qualitative evidence to argue for compensation.
Most noneconomic losses refer to the blanket term “pain and suffering.” More specifically, though, these damages may include but are not limited to physical pain, emotional anguish, symptoms of PTSD, loss of consortium with family, and loss of enjoyment of life, as well as a subjective valuation of the loss a permanent disability or disfigurement represents for a particular plaintiff.
It is important to note that Colorado Revised Statute §13-21-102.5 establishes a cap on the amount a claimant can recover financially for noneconomic harm. Adjusted for inflation, this cap is set at $468,010 for most cases, but it may be extended up to $936,030 at a civil court’s discretion based on “clear and convincing evidence.”
In rare cases, a civil court may elect to expressly punish a defendant in a car crash case for wanton negligence or malicious conduct. A plaintiff cannot request punitive damages in their initial filing, but they may file an additional motion after initial disclosures. State law also limits exemplary damages to no more than the plaintiff’s compensatory damages.
Recovering compensation is the core concern of any civil lawsuit, but before you start pursuing a settlement or court verdict, you should know exactly what damages you could stand to recover. An experienced lawyer could sit down with you and discuss your eligibility for recoverable damages after a car accident in Pueblo. Call today to set up your initial meeting.