In any injury case, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing and proving his or her damages. In theory, this sounds easy enough. In practice, however, trying to quantify damages is immensely complicated.
The at-fault party is responsible for all of the “economic” damages caused as a result of an accident. This includes obvious economic losses like medical expenses and lost wages, as well as less obvious damages like a shortened work life. In some cases, the amount of economic loss is easily determined. For example, in a relatively minor automobile accident case in which the plaintiff misses a few days of work and has limited medical expenses, calculating the total amount of economic damage is relatively easy. In other cases, however, calculating the economic harms and losses becomes so complicated expert witnesses are required to properly analyze the true impact of an accident.
For example, if the plaintiff has a high paying physical job but is unable to continue in that field due to an injury and must take a lower paying job, the plaintiff will have ongoing future economic losses that must be considered. The same is true if the plaintiff is unable to return to work altogether.
Issues surrounding future medical expenses are also common. Determining what type of future medical care a plaintiff will likely require and the cost of that care often requires the assistance of an expert. These experts prepare “life care plans.” “Life care plans” contain an analysis of the projected future medical needs, including costs. This is necessary because the jury must determine what the “probable” future medical needs are. In serious cases with ongoing medical treatment, it is important to contact us as quickly as possible to begin the process of collecting, analyzing, and ultimately presenting these future medical needs.
Often times, the “non-economic” harms and loss are the greatest damages people experience. Most people are familiar with non-economic damages like “pain and suffering.” Non-economic damages, however, come in many shapes and sizes. For example, there is the inconvenience and emotional stress that comes with an injury and repeated trips to the doctor’s office. There is also the fear and apprehension people commonly experience after they are involved in a serious accident. In many cases, the greatest loss is the reduction in the person’s quality of life. This is another way of describing the damages associated with not being able to do the things you loved to do before the accident.
Importantly, the “at-fault” party is liable for both the past non-economic harms and losses, and those losses that will continue in the future.
As you can imagine, juries often struggle with how to fairly compensate someone who is forced to live with constant pain. Clearly showing the jury how to fairly compensate for these “non-economic damages is critical. Also, many jurors have deep-seated biases against compensating individuals for non-economic damages like “pain and suffering.” This is due to a carefully orchestrated and highly funded effort by powerful special interests. The lawyers at Fuicelli & Lee, PC have extensive courtroom experience and expertise at confronting and overcoming this bias.
Injured parties are entitled to recover for any “physical disfigurement and impairment.” Unlike the “non-economic damages” discussed above, physical disfigurement and impairment are not capped in Colorado.
If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligent actions of someone else, please call or email us today for a free assessment of your case.
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