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Overview of exemplary damages in Colorado

Like other states, Colorado law allows victims of accidents to recover exemplary damages, which are sometimes referred to as punitive damages, in certain circumstances.

Exemplary damages can be recovered following all sorts of accidents, from premises liability claims to automobile and other motor vehicle accidents to accidents that happen on the ski slopes in and around Dillon, Colorado.

However, there are some important limitations on the right to pursue exemplary damages, as well as some procedural hurdles about which victims, and their personal injury attorneys, need to be aware.

Perhaps the most important limitation is that exemplary damages are only available in cases where the behavior of the person responsible for the accident truly goes beyond carelessness. For instance, the responsible party has to have done something to hurt the victim on purpose or, at a minimum, acted with a complete disregard to the victim’s safety.

While this may seem like a steep hurdle, there are many instances in day-to-day life in which exemplary damages might be available. In the context of a motor vehicle accident, for instance, a person who causes an accident while drunk or while racing in the street may face the possibility of exemplary damages.

In the context of premises liability, if an accident happens on a piece of equipment that was clearly substandard and, perhaps, had failed several safety inspections prior to the accident, then the property owner arguably is liable for exemplary damages.

There are other important legal issues that come up with respect to exemplary damages which are best reviewed with the help of an experienced Colorado attorney. It is important, though, for victims to remember that they may be available. Through them, victims can get additional compensation, which can even double their overall compensation for their actual losses.