Is there a cap on medical malpractice damages in Colorado?
Yes. Like a lot of other states, Colorado has passed a
number of laws that put limits on the amount of compensation that a patient can
receive even after a jury has found that an error
by a doctor or other health care professional liable caused the patient’s
Colorado is a little unique in that the state actually has two
damage caps on med mal cases.
First, there is a $1 million “umbrella” cap on the total amount of
compensation that a medical malpractice plaintiff can receive, whether economic
losses -- which includes payment of past and future medical bills, as well as
compensation for lost income and reduced earning capacity -- or non-economic
losses, which we’ll explain in more detail below.
A plaintiff might be able to get around Colorado’s $1
million cap if there is good cause for doing so and the court finds that
application of the cap would be unfair under the specific circumstances of the
case, but any amount in excess of $1 million will typically be limited to
compensation for future medical care and future earnings.
The second Colorado law you need to know about sets a damage
cap of $300,000 on non-economic damages
in a medical malpractice case. Non-economic damages are those that aren’t
as easy to quantify or capture with a dollar amount. That includes compensation
for “pain and suffering,” loss of enjoyment of life, fear and anxiety,
sleeplessness, scarring, disfigurement, and other subjective negative
consequences of the defendant’s medical malpractice.
Learn more about Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case.
by: David Goguen, J.D.