Colorado Medical Malpractice Caps: Are Damages Capped?

Colorado Medical Malpractice Caps: Are Damages Capped?

Healthcare professionals are often trusted in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other facilities. Doctors, nurses, and other essential medical personnel help patients with proper treatment and medicine. On the contrary, medical errors and preventable mistakes lead patients to suffer injuries and varying damages. When malpractice cases arise, it can be very challenging for patients to cope and recover from their losses and varying impairments. Navigating medical malpractice cases in Colorado involves understanding complex legal aspects such as statutes of limitations, shared liability rules, and specific filing deadlines, which can be daunting without professional guidance. Partnering with a Colorado medical malpractice lawyer at Mintz Law Firm may help you understand your rights and personal injury claim caps concerning Colorado’s compensable damages.

What Are Compensable Damages in a Colorado Medical Malpractice Case?

Every person’s injury case is different, especially in the case of medical malpractice; no two cases are alike. The malpractice circumstances may be associated with anesthesia errors, early discharge, wrong medication administration, or failure to treat a patient. Depending on how a medical professional failed in their duty to treat and not inflict harm, the damages you sustain and may need to recover can vary.

Types of compensatory damages to recover from medical malpractice include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Wrongful death
  • Loss of consortium
  • Medical bills
  • Future medical bills

Specialized attorneys with experience helping clients deal with the effects of a medical professional’s negligence help patients recover compensation. However, many patients are unaware of the limitations in place for the amounts they may receive. Under Colorado’s law, there are limitations for the awarded non-economic and economic damages in a malpractice case, including a cap on pain and suffering damages set at $250,000, adjusted for inflation, with exceptions for cases involving permanent physical impairment. However, there are exceptions for severe cases where patients require a lifetime of medical needs, loss of future wages, and other healthcare costs that exceed the limit.

Understanding Colorado Medical Malpractice Laws on Compensation Caps

Regardless of the extent of injury, one may sustain from medical malpractice in Colorado, there are limitations or ‘caps’ on the amount one may receive, affecting both medical malpractice claims and personal injury claims. To decline the rise of illegitimate cases, Colorado created new limitations within damage caps awarded in lawsuits, which apply to healthcare professionals and patients alike.

Generally, the limitations are capped as follows:

  • Non-economic damages: $300,000
  • Wrongful death cases: $300,000
  • Total damages allowed: $1,000,000

In the context of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, it’s crucial to understand the ‘certificate of review’ requirement, which necessitates that a qualified healthcare professional review the case for merit before proceeding. This step underscores the importance of clear and convincing evidence in exceptions to the caps, where the truth of a contention must be highly probable and free from serious or substantial doubt.

With a skilled attorney’s understanding of the law and which damages qualify for compensation in a medical malpractice case, you may avoid accepting a settlement offer less than what you deserve. In severe cases, compensatory damages may exceed limitations. If your case qualifies under specific circumstances, you may qualify to receive additional monetary compensation for long-term effects and medical needs.

Compensation Limitations in Cases Against Governmental Personnel 

If the negligent medical provider is a governmental entity or employee, more strict damage caps apply. Colorado law limits damages against governmental entities to $350,000. Therefore, regardless of the number of damages an injured patient has, the most that can be recovered from a governmental agency or employee is $350,000. Whether a medical facility or employee is government-affiliated is not always obvious, so it is important to contact a medical malpractice attorney right away to understand the damage caps that apply to your particular case. 

It is also important to contact a medical malpractice attorney right away, because, if a governmental agency or employee is involved, a very specific notice has to be provided within 182-days of the date the patient knew or should have known about the medical negligence. Failure to timely provide the proper notice can prohibit an injured patient from making any recovery from a negligent governmental entity or employee.

A Colorado Medical Malpractice Attorney at Mintz Law Firm May Help You Retrieve Maximum Compensation 

Recovering compensation from a malpractice case where a patient is injured or harmed due to a medical provider’s wrongdoing may be complex. With varying caps applied to certain medical malpractice situations in Colorado, hiring a specialized attorney may help ensure you are not accepting a claim less than what you deserve. An attorney advocates for patients’ rights and compensation recovery after suffering the adverse effects and life changes surrounding malpractice. 

You may put your best foot forward when filing a claim with an attorney who understands Colorado’s personal injury laws, medical malpractice caps, and exceptions in cases of non-economic or economic damages. To consult an experienced attorney at Mintz Law Firm, complete a contact form or call us at (303) 462-2999 to speak with someone at our Lakewood office.

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