Medical malpractice lawsuits are a common form of personal injury lawsuits. Medical malpractice can lead to very dangerous situations, resulting both in huge financial burdens and a severe decline in quality of life. For this reason, medical malpractice lawsuits are one of your best tools for securing the compensation that you deserve if you were a victim of medical malpractice. Unfortunately, the field can get a bit complicated, with laws varying from state to state. Here are some of the laws that you will need to know about if you plan on filing in Colorado:
The Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is one of the most important considerations to keep in mind, and for a pretty good reason. A failure to abide by the statute of limitations can completely torpedo your case, leaving you without any chance of winning.
To begin with, the general statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit is 2 years. This assumes that you immediately discovered the malpractice and that you had the means to file a lawsuit.
If you did not discover the malpractice immediately and were unable to reasonably discover the damage, then you have an additional year to file, bringing the total up to 3 years.
However, this can be extended further if one of several criteria is established. If there was a foreign instrument left in your body, if you were fraudulently misled about your health, or if there was no possible way for you to reasonably discover the malpractice, then you are exempt from the above limits.
Like most other states, Colorado places some limits on the amount of money that you can be awarded. However, Colorado is a little unique in that it places a cap on the total number of damages ($1,000,000), in addition to a cap on non-economic damages ($468,010 in regular cases, but an overwhelmingly convincing case can raise the cap to $936,030).
The non-economic cap is fairly easy to understand, since it applies to various forms of emotional distress. Pain and suffering are commonly cited when pursuing economic damages, but loss of consortium is also used.
The overall cap means that your economic damages and your non-economic damages cannot combine to exceed $1,000,000. For reference, economic damages just generally refers to financial burdens that you have been forced to bear due to your injury, including lost wages, medical bills, or anything of the sort.
You might have noticed that the cap for non-economic damages in an overwhelming case is strikingly close to the overall cap for a medical malpractice lawsuit, which is because the non-economic cap accounts for inflation, whereas the overall cap does not.
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