Punitive and Other Damage Caps in Colorado
- posted: May 17, 2021
Many people do not know that the amount of damages they can recover are "capped" by law. The caps that apply are very case specific, and depend on the type of injury you suffered.
One of the most misunderstood areas is punitive damages. In addition to the other damage caps, Colorado also puts a cap on punitive damages. While Colorado allows a jury to award these damages meant to punish the defendant, Colorado caps the amount of the award on a one-to-one basis. This means that the award of punitive damages cannot exceed the amount of actual damages that the jury awards.
In 2020, the Colorado legislature increased statutory damage limitations under 3 important statutes; C.R.S. §§ 44-3-801 (Dram Shop Act), 13-21-102.5 (noneconomic losses), and 13-21-203.7 (wrongful death).
The cap on total liability for claims against vendors of alcoholic beverages was increased from $280,810 to $368,260.
The cap on noneconomic damages in civil actions other than medical malpractice claims increased from $468,010 to $613,760. In some cases, the court may allow noneconomic damages of up to $1,227,530 (increased from $936,030). However, a heightened standard of proof is required before the Court will apply the higher limit.
The cap on noneconomic damages under Colorado’s Wrongful Death Act increased from $436,070 to $571,870. For claimants who are able to and elect to sue for and recover a solatium under Colorado’s Wrongful Death Act, the solatium increased from $87,210 to $114,370.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury, you may need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer in order to get the maximum recovery the law allows. Contact our office today for a FREE consultation at 303-292-0044.