Colorado

Colorado Medical Malpractice Laws

Unlike most western region state malpractice laws, the state-specifics of Colorado’s medical malpractice laws are considered more physician-friendly by outside legal observers. The following outlines some the basic challenges and options for patients aggrieved by the medical treatment that they have received in the state of Colorado while also noting the basics of Colorado’s medical malpractice lawsuit process.

However, determining the appropriateness of a given jurisdiction for a medical malpractice claim is best left to the guidance of legal counsel in conjunction with the case-specific factors of a given medical malpractice claims case. In certain instances, including claims against the federal government or in cases involving a diversity of citizenship, a federal jurisdiction venue may be more appropriate.

URL from Above:

http://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/resources/npdbstats/npdbStatistics.jsp

Immediate State-Specific Considerations in Medical Malpractice Cases in Colorado and Statutory Law

 A person who has been injured by medical malpractice and doctors who are practicing in Colorado should consider, per Colorado’s medical malpractice statutes, the following:

 

  • Colorado medical malpractice cases must be filed within two years of occurrence of the malpractice or two years after the injury is known
  • With certain exceptions, a case that is filed more than three years after occurrence of the medical malpractice will be barred under Colorado’s statute of repose
  • Colorado imposes a modified comparative negligence standard that precludes recovery of damages if the injured party is more than fifty percent responsible for his or her own injuries
  • An injured party’s attorney must file a certificate of review within sixty days of initiating a medical malpractice lawsuit in Colorado
  • Colorado imposes hard caps on noneconomic damages that can be received by an injured party
  • Claims against municipal or state entities, as well as those entities funded by state or municipal funding sources, may require adherence to a different procedural approach under Colorado medical malpractice laws

URL from Above:

http://tornado.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/olls/sl1998/sl_165.HTM

Important Statute of Limitations Considerations under Colorado Medical Malpractice Law

 The statute of limitations in Colorado establishes a very tight window for an injured party to file a medical malpractice case, namely, within two years of the malpractice or discovery of the injury.  Colorado’s statute of repose, however, imposes an absolute three-year deadline after the malpractice event unless the malpractice was concealed fraudulently, involves foreign objects being left inside an injured party’s body, or could not have been discovered by the injured party’s exercising reasonable diligence. While these exceptions do provide an opportunity to avoid the strictness of Colorado’s statute of repose, these exceptions will first entail the imposition of a legal shift in the burden proof onto an injured party to claim the exceptions prior to following through with their case.

URL from Above:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/medical-liability-medical-malpractice-laws.aspx

Medical Expert Verification of Claims Requirements in Filed Colorado Medical Malpractice Law

Colorado requires an injured party’s attorney to procure and file a certificate of review within sixty days of filing a medical malpractice case. The certificate must verify that a plaintiff’s injuries were reviewed by a third party, who verified the validity of the injuries and the causal relationship of those injuries to medical malpractice. Colorado’s medical malpractice statute imposes limitations on expert testimony at trial and allows experts to testify only within the scope of his or her specific medical specialty. Medical Malpractice claims in Colorado are limited to the state’s treatment of those claims, but they are certainly not unfeasible.  An injured party should consult with an attorney as soon as he or she suspects an injury due to medical malpractice to preserve or protect his or her rights with Colorado’s system.

URL from Above:

https://www.cobar.org/index.cfm/ID/226/subID/1349/CITP/Expert-Opinions,-Reports-and-Endorsements/

Damages Variations and Colorado’s Statutory Caps on Non-Economic Damages in 2016

The constitutionality of absolute caps on damages has been successfully challenged in other states, but Colorado’s damages cap has yet to be so challenged.  The effect of this cap is highlighted by the verdict in Walters v. Memorial Hospital.  The injured party in that case, who suffered paralysis as a result of a misdiagnosis, received a $15 million jury award, $10 million of which was allocated to pain and suffering. Colorado’s cap on those noneconomic damages, however, limited the total amount he was able to recover to $300,000. In an earlier case, Pressey v. Childrens’ Hospital Colorado, a family was awarded more than $17 million to compensate for brain injuries their daughter suffered after a malpractice occurrence.  Only $1 million of that amount was subject to the cap on noneconomic damages.  This disparity highlights the importance of characterizing and allocating damages in Colorado medical malpractice cases.

URL from Above:

http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2012/08/01/colorado-jury-awards-record-15m-in.html

http://gazette.com/jury-awards-colorado-springs-family-17.8-million-over-daughters-hospital-treatment/article/1549063

Modified Comparative Negligence Standards in Colorado in Medical Malpractice Claims

Colorado’s adherence to a modified comparative negligence standard poses a further challenge to injured parties. If an injured person in Colorado is more than fifty percent responsible for the injury, the right to any recovery may be defeated. For example, the patient now filing claims initially had failed to follow a doctor’s orders or recommendations thus resulting in injuries that may not have happened if those orders had been followed, his or her right to any recovery may be defeated. For these and other reasons, having legal counsel involving from the outset of your case that may entail medical malpractice in Colorado is critical to filing future legal claims.

 URL from Above:

http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/Colorado/

Learn More
Welcome to Malpractice Center

Get the Facts

Questions About Medical Malpractice? Call Us

844-329-3288