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What are the caps on damages in Colorado?

There is no cap on economic damages in Colorado. This means there is no ceiling on losses resulting from quantifiable, out-of-pocket costs like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.

There are, however, caps in Colorado for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.

In 2019, Colorado's Governor signed into law Senate Bill 19-109 which raised the caps on recoverable noneconomic damages to account for inflation through 2022. This is the first time the caps have been raised since 2008.

 According to the new law, damages caps will be raised for inflation starting on January 1, 2020 and will be adjusted for inflation every January 1st for the following two years. The change will apply to claims that accrue on or after January 1, 2020.

 Colorado statute defines noneconomic loss or injury as nonpecuniary harm for which damages are recoverable by the person suffering the direct or primary loss or injury, including pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional stress, and impairment of the quality of life.

 To illustrate how this will impact jury awards in 2020, consider the following:

The current cap for non-economic damages in Colorado is $468,010.  In 2020, the projected new cap will be $584,210.

 The current cap for dram shop/social host damages in Colorado is $280,810.  In 2020, the projected new cap will be $350,550.

 The current cap for a wrongful death claim is $468,010. In 2020, the projected new cap will be $584,210.

 The current cap for solatium is $87,210. In 2020, the projected new cap will be $108,840.

The effective date of the new law is August 2, 2019.

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