Pain and Suffering Damages in Colorado


If you have been injured in an accident caused by negligence, you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages consist of out-of-pocket losses (e.g., medical expenses, property damage, lost income, etc.), while non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as “pain and suffering.” 

Damages for pain and suffering compensate the injured party for having to endure the physical and/or emotional pain and suffering since the accident. Although there is no exact and specific standard or measurement to calculate pain and suffering, the court generally considers the evidence presented to determine what is fair. 

The following are two types of pain and suffering: 

  • Physical pain and suffering – Injuries from an accident can not only be significantly painful, but they can also last for a long time or even permanently. Common examples of physical injuries that may qualify for pain and suffering compensation include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury (such as paralysis), neck pain, back pain, nerve damage, broken or fractured bones, and internal organ damage. 

  • Emotional pain and suffering – Being injured in an accident can also lead to serious mental and psychological distress that could last months or years. Common examples of emotional pain and suffering include anxiety, depression, fear, insomnia, grief, psychological trauma, loss or diminishment of the quality of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

It is imperative to document the accident and provide evidence to the insurance company or the court that conveys the true pain and suffering you suffered in an accident. Common examples of evidence include all forms of medical documentation, a list of medications prescribed following the accident, any documentation regarding any disabling or permanent conditions, testimony from an expert medical witness to corroborate the evidence from healthcare providers, and testimony from friends and family members stating how the accident has affected your life. 

Insurance companies and the courts will also take into account the severity of your injuries, the impact your injuries have on your life (including your employment and regular activities), how long the recovery process will be for your injuries, the degree of negligence by the defendant, and the overall physical and mental pain suffered by individuals with similar injuries. 

The following are two methods used to calculate pain and suffering: 

  • Multiplier method – Pain and suffering is given a “multiplier” figure between 1.5 and 5, which means the injury is 1.5 or 5 times the value of the injured party’s economic damages. 

  • Per diem method – This method assigns a specific monetary value to every day the victim suffers injuries, starting from the date of the accident until the date of “maximum medical improvement,” which is the date that the injured party is either completely healed or will never reach any better health since the accident. 

If you have been injured in an accident in Arapahoe County, CO, call the Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C. at (720) 809-8262 or complete our online contact form today to schedule a free case evaluation. Our firm has more than 25 years of trial-tested experience!