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 injuries.
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.