Punitive Damages in Colorado
While insurers are legally obligated to honor the contracts they have with policy holders, they are also required by law to act in “good faith” with policyholders. This effectively means that insurance companies have a duty to deal fairly with their policyholders. When insurers fail to meet that duty, are in breach of contract with their policyholders and have acted in bad faith:
- Policyholders can sue the insurers for bad faith.
- They may be able to collect punitive damages, along with compensatory damages, for their claims.
- The Littleton bad faith insurance lawyers at the Law Office of Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker can help these people build the strongest possible cases and get the compensation they deserve.
Also referred to as statutory damages, punitive damages are essentially financial settlements that are awarded to people in various types of civil lawsuits, including bad faith lawsuits. Unlike compensatory damages that are intended to repay people for the losses they have suffered as a result of an accident or event, punitive damages are meant to punish the party that behaved in a negligent, illegal and/or egregious manner and to deter that party from acting similarly in the future.
Different states have different laws regulating how punitive damages are awarded and the maximum amounts of these damages. In Colorado, the laws (§ 10-3-115 and 116) generally hold that:
- Punitive damages can be awarded in cases when one party has been proven to have breached a contract with another party (which is the case with bad faith insurance cases).
- The maximum amount of statutory damages is double the amount of compensatory damages awarded in a case (not including attorneys’ fees). So, for instance, if a person was awarded $50,000 in compensatory damages in his case, he can be awarded up to $100,000 in punitive damages plus his attorneys’ fees.
Although it can be difficult to prove that an insurance company broke the law and some courts may be adverse to awarding punitive damages, simply the threat of these types of damages can be highly effective in getting insurers to pay policyholders the compensation to which they are entitled (as insurers will likely want to avoid trial and/or being ordered to pay double or triple the amount they would have otherwise had to payout).
Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker – Let Us Help You Fight Insurers
At the Law Office of Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker, our bad faith insurance attorneys have been fighting insurance companies on behalf of policyholders for more than three decades. Our lawyers know how insurance companies work and how they often try to take advantage of the people that rely on them. We also know how to go up against insurers that practice bad faith in any legal setting, and we have a proven track record of success when it comes to getting our clients the highest possible awards for their injuries and losses.
A choice to work with the trusted Littleton bad faith insurance attorneys at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker can empower people and give them confidence that:
- They will have experienced litigators on their side to defend their rights at every stage of their case.
- Their important legal matters will be resolved as favorably and efficiently as possible.
Let’s Talk about Your Rights – Contact Us for a Free Consult
If you believe that your insurer has practiced bad faith with your insurance claim, our Littleton bad faith insurance lawyers encourage you to get more information about your potential case and rights by meeting with us for a free, no obligations initial consultation. To set up a meeting, call us at (303) 794-7422 or email us using the form on this page.
From our law offices in Littleton, we represent clients throughout Colorado, including in the Denver Metro Area, Arapahoe County, Adams County, Jefferson County and in the cities of Lakewood, Highlands Ranch, Lonetree, Castlerock, Westminster, Centennial and Aurora.