Adjusted Caps on Damages in 2021
Governor Polis signed Senate Bill 19-109 into law by this year. The bill adjusts limitations on damages (caps) to reflect the effects of inflation. Colorado’s caps on damages were last adjusted for inflation in 2008. This new law adjusts damage caps for non-economic damages, wrongful death damages, and damages for unlawfully serving alcohol damages.
The adjusted caps will go into effect on January 1, 2020 and will be adjusted for inflation each January 1 every 2 years thereafter.
Non-economic injuries, damages, and losses
Prior to January 1, 2020, the adjusted limitations for non-economic injuries, damages, and losses were $486,010 which may be increased by the Court upon clear and convincing evidence to a maximum of $936,030.00 C.R.S. 13-21-102.5(3)(a)
The anticipated adjusted limitations will now be $584,210.00.
Wrongful Death Injuries, Damages, and Losses
Prior to January 1, 2020, the adjusted limitations for wrongful death injuries, damages, and losses such as grief, solace, and loss of a loved one were $436,070.00 C.R.S. 13-21-203. This cap on damages can be exceeded if the death constituted a felonious killing, which is defined as “the killing of the decedent by an individual who, as a result thereof, is convicted of, pleads guilty to, or enters a plea of nolo contendere to the crime of murder in the first or second degree or manslaughter.” C.R.S. 15-11-803(1)(b).
In wrongful death cases, an heir must prove emotional loss. Alternatively, they can make a solatium claim which is capped by the state at $87,210.00 C.R.S. 13-21-203.5
The anticipated adjusted limitations will now be $584,210.00 for wrongful death and solatium will be $108,840.00.
Dramshop and Unlawfully Serving Alcohol Injuries Damage and Losses
Prior to January 1, 2020, the adjusted limitations for non-economic injuries, damages, and losses were $280,810.00
From January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021, the limitation will be $350,550.00.
Can a wrongful death attorney help me?
Your Denver wrongful death attorney recognizes that you are going through a particularly trying time in your life. Your lawyer will guide you through the maze of sophisticated wrongful death laws and increased Colorado damage caps and will hold those responsible for your loss accountable.
This involves taking precautions to preserve critical evidence that can aid in your rehabilitation and the proof of your case’s elements. Videos and event reports can be lost, as well as witness information. A wrongful death attorney will send a preservation letter to the at-fault party to ensure that any important material is preserved. If they fail to do so, they may be subject to adverse instruction if the case goes through to trial.
Don’t Take Chances with Your Case
Colorado’s wrongful death rules have evolved into a complicated tangle of statutes and case laws that many attorneys and judges cannot agree on. Contact the best Colorado wrongful death lawyers today to preserve your rights if you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s carelessness or recklessness. In most situations, unjust deaths could have been avoided with a little prudence and common sense. By holding negligent parties accountable for their conduct, we may reduce these tragic losses and make our communities safer for families and friends.