Colorado Accident Verdicts

This page delves into settlement amounts and jury awards in personal injury cases in Colorado. Our legal team provides an in-depth analysis of Colorado personal injury law to aid your understanding of the processes and expectations when filing a personal injury claim in the state.

As a personal injury victim considering a compensation claim in Colorado, it’s essential to have an idea of the potential range of settlement amounts you might expect. The reason? The primary objective of a personal injury or wrongful death claim is monetary compensation. This compensation is the civil justice system’s way of quantifying your suffering in financial terms, as that is the primary remedy it can offer.

Our goal with this page is to give you a comprehensive view of how personal injury cases are typically resolved in Colorado. By presenting Colorado-specific statistics, settlement examples, and jury award cases, we aim to provide you with relevant and useful information to help you gauge and position your claim within the context of Colorado personal injury law. If you have a Colorado accident case, contact us today at 800-553-8082.

Colorado Accident Compensation Statistics

The average jury verdict in car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases in Colorado is $207,687 according to a recent Jury Verdict Research study. This report also found that only 50% of vehicle accident cases in Colorado lead to plaintiff verdicts and the median verdict when the plaintiff does prevail is $44,050.  These Colorado accident payout statistics are older but they are still insightful in 2022. Not surprisingly, half of the vehicle accident cases in the study were either rear-end car crashes or intersection collisions.

In a completely unrelated story, there was a $15 million verdict in favor of a truck driver in a slip and fall lawsuit against Wal-Mart in Colorado earlier this month.

Example Colorado Verdicts and Settlements

Below are sample settlement amounts and jury payouts in personal injury accident lawsuits in Colorado.

  • 2023, Colorado: $20,820 Verdict. The plaintiff said he was riding his bicycle eastbound, attempting to turn left at an intersection from the left turn lane, when the defendant failed to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign and collided with the left side his bicycle, causing him to roll on top of the defendant’s vehicle and then fall onto the road.
  • 2023, Colorado: $102,289 Verdict. The plaintiff was a passenger in an ambulance when the ambulance was involved in a motor vehicle accident with a vehicle operated by the defendant. The defendant, traveling in the opposite direction from the ambulance, caused the accident when she turned left in front of the ambulance at an intersection.
  • 2023, Colorado: $29,266 Verdict. The plaintiff was a front-seat passenger in a northbound vehicle operated by her mother when a westbound vehicle operated by minor defendant failed to yield the right-of-way when proceeding from a stop sign, striking their vehicle and causing it to rotate clockwise before coming to rest on the northwest corner of the intersection.
  • 2022, Colorado: $35,979 Verdict. The plaintiff said he was driving southbound when a vehicle driven by the defendant swerved into his travel lane and collided with his vehicle. The plaintiff claimed to have suffered personal injuries due to the accident. The verdict included $15,000 for pain and suffering the remainder for economic damages.
  • 2021, Colorado: $956,297 Verdict. A woman was rear-ended. She suffered brain, neck, back, and shoulder injuries. The woman was left with cognitive impairments, visual disturbances, post-traumatic stress disorder, a concussion, and tinnitus. She alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. The woman claimed he failed to maintain an appropriate lookout, drove while distracted, and tailgated her. She received $956,297.
  • 2021, Colorado: $282,111 Verdict. A woman was T-boned while waiting to turn left. She suffered a concussion and the aggravation of her pre-existing cervical and lumbar conditions. The woman alleged negligence against the at-fault driver. She claimed unsafely operated his vehicle and ran a red light. The jury awarded $282,111.
  • 2021, Colorado: $105,127 Verdict. A woman was cut off. She swerved to prevent a collision. The woman lost control of the vehicle, went off-road, and landed on an embankment. She suffered a scalp avulsion, a brain bleed, three rib fractures, cervical bulges, road rash, and cervical and shoulder pain. The woman experienced cognitive deficits, recurring migraines, and vertigo episodes. She could not work for a year. The woman alleged negligence against the driver that cut her off. She claimed he made an unsafe lane change and failed to watch the road. The jury awarded $105,127.
  • 2020, Colorado: $72,011 Verdict. A woman suffered rotator cuff tear, a cervicogenic headache, dysphagia, and segmental joint dysfunction after her vehicle was struck head-on. Her two passengers sustained undisclosed injuries and filed separate claims. One of the claims settled for an undisclosed amount, while the other’s outcome was unknown. She sued the tortfeasor, alleging that he failed to stop at a red light, drove without regarding the traffic conditions, and proximately caused her injuries. The Boulder County jury awarded the woman a $72,011 verdict.
  • 2020, Colorado: $130,000 Verdict. A 75-year-old man’s Buick Enclave was rear-ended by a Ford Ranger while he was stopped at a red light. He suffered neck and back injuries. The man sued the Ford Ranger’s driver, alleging that she was driving distracted and failed to pay attention to the road. The Ford Ranger’s driver admitted liability but denied that her negligence caused his injuries. A Weld County jury awarded the man a $130,000 verdict.
  • 2020, Colorado: $227,027 Verdict. A woman’s vehicle was rear-ended after she made a left turn on a green arrow. Before the impact, the tortfeasor was traveling in the opposite direction and ran a red light. She suffered C4-5 and C6-7 herniations that led to spinal cord impingement and myelopathy. The woman underwent fusion surgery to her C4-5 disc and disc replacement surgery to her C6-7 disc. She sued the other driver, alleging that she drove while her child distracted her and that she failed to yield to a red light. The other driver denied liability, contending that she was contributorily negligent and that the woman’s injuries were pre-existing. An Arapahoe County jury awarded the woman a $227,027 verdict.
  • 2020, Colorado: $559,256 Verdict. An underinsured motorist’s Mitsubishi Eclipse struck a non-party motorist’s Honda CR-V, which then rear-ended a woman’s BMW 5-Series. The woman suffered unspecified injuries as a result. She sued the tortfeasor, alleging that he drove distracted, failed to maintain a proper lookout, and negligently operated his vehicle. The woman also sued State Farm, seeking her UIM benefits. She settled with the other driver for $300,000. The Arapahoe County jury awarded her a $259,256 verdict.
  • 2019, Colorado: $437,887 Verdict. A woman’s Honda CR-V was rear-ended by a Buick SUV while stopped in traffic. She suffered unspecified personal injuries. The woman sued the Buick SUV’s driver, alleging that she followed her vehicle too closely, failed to avoid a collision, and failed to keep a proper lookout. The Buick’s driver admitted liability but denied that her negligence caused the woman’s injuries. A Pueblo County jury awarded her a $337,000 verdict. The final judgment increased her net award to $437,887, which included the pre-judgment interest.


  • 2019, Colorado: $98,400 Verdict. A woman was traveling on a roadway in the left lane. Another driver, who was traveling on the right lane, changed lanes, entered her lane of travel, and failed to check his blind spot. She took evasive action to avoid a collision. However, this caused her skid and strike the center median. The impact caused her to hit her head on her vehicle’s interior roof. She suffered a concussion and a loss of consciousness, which led to post-concussion syndrome. The woman sued the other driver, alleging that he drove carelessly and failed to ensure that the left lane was free of traffic. A Boulder County jury awarded the woman a $98,400 verdict.
  • 2019, Colorado: $26,514 Verdict. A man’s Dodge Durango was rear-ended by a Chrysler 300 as he was waiting to exit onto a roadway. His wife and three minor children were passengers in the vehicle. All four suffered unspecified neck and back injuries. They sued the Chrysler 300’s driver, alleging that he followed the car too closely and failed to yield to traffic in front of him. The Chrysler 300’s driver denied negligence, claiming that his passenger distracted him. An Adams County jury awarded the family an $18,000 verdict. The court awarded an additional $8,514 in costs, increasing their net award to $25,514.
  • 2019, Colorado: $12,340 Verdicts. A woman’s Ford Fusion was rear-ended after three cars behind her rear-ended each other. She suffered unspecified injuries because of the accident. The woman sued all three drivers for negligence. She alleged that they each followed the vehicle in front of them too closely. The trial only concerned claims against the driver who initiated the chain-reaction collision. A Jefferson County jury ruled in favor of the woman and awarded her a $12,340 verdict.

Colorado Car Accident Law

Colorado operates under an at-fault insurance system. This means that the driver who is responsible for causing the accident is also liable for any resulting damages. This system is detailed in the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS), Title 42 – Vehicles and Traffic, which outlines the responsibilities of drivers on Colorado roads.

Statute of Limitations

In Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is critical. Under CRS §13-80-101, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for any property damage and two years for personal injury claims. Failing to file within these timeframes generally results in the loss of your right to seek compensation.

Reporting the Accident

Colorado law (CRS §42-4-1606) requires that any accident resulting in property damage, injury, or death must be reported immediately to the local police department, sheriff, or Colorado State Patrol. This legal requirement ensures that there is an official record of the accident, which can be vital in any subsequent legal proceedings.

Minimum Insurance Requirements

Drivers in Colorado are required to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to cover potential damages in an accident. As specified in CRS §42-7-103, these include:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident
  • $15,000 for property damage in any one accident

Comparative Negligence in Colorado

Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence rule, as outlined in CRS §13-21-111. This means that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you are found to be 50% or more at fault, you cannot recover any damages.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

While not mandatory, Colorado law (CRS §10-4-609) allows for the purchase of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This can provide additional protection if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have sufficient insurance coverage.

So under §10-4-609, insurers are required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) benefits in any automobile or motor vehicle liability policy. With the exception of transportation network companies, an insured individual can decline this offer by providing a written rejection, as stated in § 10-4-609(1)(a)(II).

If the offer is not rejected, according to § 10-4-609(1)(a)(I), the insurer must include in the motor vehicle liability policy coverage that compensates for bodily injury or death caused by the ownership, maintenance, or use of the vehicle.

Uninsured motorist coverage in Colorado also protects insured individuals against damages recoverable from the owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles. Thus, if UM/UIM coverage is purchased, the insured is entitled to benefits for injuries incurred in accidents with uninsured drivers.

How does this work practically?  If the damages an insured suffers exceed what the at-fault party’s (tortfeasor’s) liability insurance covers, the injured insured can claim compensation from their own insurance policy. This compensation is provided under their uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage and can cover the remaining damages up to the limit of their UM/UIM policy. Essentially, UM/UIM coverage is designed to supplement any legal liability coverage and provides benefits that the injured would have received if the at-fault party had sufficient liability insurance to match the limits of the injured party’s UM/UIM coverage.

Colorado Wrongful Death Law

Tragically, many car accidents in Colorado led to wrongful death lawsuits. In Colorado, a wrongful death claim arises when a person’s death is caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional act of another person or entity. This legal framework is established to allow the deceased’s family or estate to seek compensation for their loss.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

Colorado has an odd statute with respect to when a victim can file a claim:

  • First Year After Death: According to Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS §13-21-201), during the first year following the death, only the deceased’s spouse can file a wrongful death claim.
  • Second Year After Death: In the second year, both the surviving spouse and the deceased’s children are eligible to file the claim.
  • No Spouse or Children: If the deceased was not married and did not have children, then the deceased’s parents are entitled to bring the claim.

Types of Damages Recoverable

Wrongful death claims in Colorado allow for the recovery of various types of damages, including:

Economic Damages: These can include lost wages and benefits the deceased would have earned, funeral and burial expenses, and medical expenses related to the deceased’s final illness or injury.

Non-Economic Damages: This covers losses like the pain and suffering endured by the deceased before death and the loss of companionship, comfort, and care experienced by the surviving family members.

Punitive Damages: In cases where the defendant’s actions were especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

Does Colorado Cap Pain and Suffering Damages?

Colorado law on damage caps is complicated and, honestly, convoluted.  Colorado caps pain and suffering damages at $437,880 but can go to $500,000 in some circumstances.  But if the evidence is “clear and convincing” the cap can rise to $1,459,600.  There are different caps for medical malpractice or dram shop lawsuits.

Under Colorado’s Health Care Availability Act, damages in medical malpractice cases are typically capped at $1 million. Unfairly, this is a hard cap that includes both economic and noneconomic damages (which as it own cap of $300,000.  However, the Act also allows for this cap to be exceeded if the plaintiff demonstrates “good cause” showing that the cap would result in an unfair outcome.

Currently, in the state session, there is a bill, SB130, under debate that aims to raise the pain and suffering cap on medical malpractice damages from $300,000 to $500,000.  There is also an effort, unlikely to pass for ballot measure 150, which seeks to completely remove these caps in November.

The long and short of all this is Colorado makes bringing large personal injury (and wrongful death claims which is a whole separate issue) very difficult.  Colorado has some of the most anti-plaintiff caps in the country.

Statute of Limitations

The time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in Colorado is generally two years from the date of the deceased person’s death (CRS §13-80-102). This timeline is strictly enforced, with few exceptions. But the statute of limitations can expire on the decedent’s claim and start anew with death.

If you’re under a disability as defined by Colorado law  pauses the countdown for filing a lawsuit. This means the clock for the statute of limitations (the time limit to start a lawsuit) stops running during your disability period.

But the law is tricky. If you have a legal guardian or representative when you get the right to sue, or if one is appointed for you later, the usual time limits for filing a lawsuit apply to you too. But your representative gets at least two years to take action, even if the normal time limit is up.  If you don’t have a representative and your disability ends, you’ll have either the standard time left to sue or two years after the disability ends, whichever is longer.  You want to call a lawyer to better understand your deadline to file any lawsuit.

Colorado Sex Abuse Claims

In Colorado, sexual assault or abuse is legally defined as any sexual contact or touching done without the other person’s consent and specifically for sexual gratification, often referred to as sexual battery in civil lawsuits.

For behavior to qualify as sexual abuse, two critical elements must be present: the contact must be intentional for sexual gratification, and it must occur without the other party’s consent.

Importantly, Colorado law stipulates that minors under the age of 18 cannot consent to sexual activities. So sexual contact with adults is sexual battery regardless of the minor’s apparent agreement or participation.

Victims of sexual abuse have the right to file civil sex abuse lawsuit in Colorado for damages, irrespective of whether criminal charges are pursued or convictions achieved. The civil system provides a lower burden of proof compared to criminal trials, making it easier for victims to prove their cases against perpetrators.

Additionally, recent legislative efforts have focused on amending the state constitution to allow for retrospective civil claims for child sexual abuse, despite a previous law being struck down by the Colorado Supreme Court. This proposed amendment aims to enable victims to seek justice for abuses that occurred decades ago, although it faces significant challenges, including obtaining necessary legislative support. As of the time

Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations

Currently, there is no statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims for incidents occurring from January 1, 2022, onwards. But the problem is that the statute is not retroactive.  In civil suits, not only can the direct perpetrator be held liable, but organizations such as schools or churches can also be sued if they failed to prevent the abuse or covered it up. These third-party institutions can face claims of negligence for not adequately screening employees, failing to investigate complaints, or concealing evidence of abuse, thus providing another avenue for victims to seek compensation and justice.

Contact Us About Colorado Auto Accident Cases

If you have been seriously injured in a Colorado auto accident, contact us today for a free consultation. Call us at 800-553-8082 or contact us online.


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