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Second Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 980177.01 JLB
SENATE BILL 98042
STATE OF COLORADO
BY SENATOR Tebedo;
also REPRESENTATIVE Swenson.
BUSINESS AFFAIRS & LABOR
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING THE THRESHOLD THAT MUST BE REACHED BEFORE
BRINGING A TORT ACTION ARISING FROM AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments that may be subsequently
Increases from $2,500 to $25,000 the minimum amount that a person must incur in reasonable services as a result of a bodily injury caused by an automobile accident before he or she may bring a tort action to recover for such injuries. Alternatively, requires a person to incur a "serious injury" as the result of such an accident before bringing such an action. Continues to provide that individuals may sue in tort if they lose earnings for more than 52 weeks and are not insured for such loss.
Defines "serious injury" to mean death,
brain injury, quadriplegia or paraplegia, dismemberment, loss
of vision or hearing, loss of or injury to an internal organ or
a bodily function, disfigurement that prevents the injured from
a full and normal life, or fracture of the pelvis, fibula, tibia,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. 104714, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
104714. Limitation on tort
actions. (1) No person for
whom direct benefit coverage is required by operation of sections
104705 to 104707, or for whom direct benefits
would have been payable but for exercise of a deductible option
or but for a waiting period or percentage limitation, shall be
allowed to recover against an owner, user, or operator of a motor
vehicle, or against any person or organization legally responsible
for the acts or omissions of such person, for damages for bodily
injury caused by a motor vehicle accident, except in those cases
A SERIOUS INJURY DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION RESULTS
OR ONE OF THE FOLLOWING has been caused: by
a motor vehicle accident:
(e) Reasonable need for services of the
type described in section 104706 (1) (b) and (1) (c),
(2) (a), or (3) (b) having a reasonable value in excess of
thousand five hundred TWENTYFIVE
THOUSAND dollars. "Reasonable value" as used in this
paragraph (e) means the average cost of specific types of services
described in section 104706 (1) (b) and (1) (c), (2)
(a), or (3) (b) in the state of Colorado as determined by the
commissioner and published not less than once each year. Notwithstanding
the provisions of this paragraph (e), no person shall be allowed
to recover against an owner, user, or operator of a motor vehicle
used in a ridesharing arrangement, as defined in section 104707.5
(2), or against any person or organization legally responsible
for the acts or omissions of such person for damages caused by
a motor vehicle accident in which such vehicle was involved, if
such vehicle was in use at the time of the accident in a ridesharing
arrangement, as defined in section 104707.5 (2), based
on a reasonable need for services of the type described in section
104706 (1) (b) and (1) (c), (2) (a), or (3) (b) unless
such services have a reasonable value in excess of five
TWENTYFIVE thousand dollars.
(f) Loss of earnings and loss of earning capacity extending beyond the fiftytwo week period provided in section 104706 (1) (d) or (3) (e) and not compensated by an applicable complying policy.
(2) FOR PURPOSES OF SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION,"SERIOUS INJURY" MEANS AN ACCIDENTAL BODILY INJURY THAT IS OBJECTIVELY MANIFESTED, HAS BEEN CLINICALLY ESTABLISHED ON THE BASIS OF DIAGNOSTIC TESTS AND MEASUREMENTS THAT ARE OBJECTIVE AND MEDICALLY RECOGNIZED, AND RESULTS IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
(b) PERMANENT AND SIGNIFICANT BRAIN INJURY;
(c) QUADRIPLEGIA OR PARAPLEGIA;
(e) TOTAL LOSS OF VISION IN ONE OR BOTH EYES;
(f) TOTAL LOSS OF HEARING IN ONE OR BOTH EARS;
(g) LOSS OF AN INTERNAL ORGAN OR SERIOUS AND PERMANENT INJURY TO AN INTERNAL ORGAN;
(h) SIGNIFICANT AND PERMANENT DISFIGUREMENT OR SCARIFICATION THAT IS USUALLY VISIBLE WHILE CLOTHED AND WOULD CAUSE A REASONABLE PERSON TO VIEW THE DISFIGUREMENT OR SCARIFICATION AS PREVENTING THE INJURED PARTY FROM LEADING A FULL AND NORMAL LIFE;
(i) SERIOUS AND PERMANENT INJURY OF AN IMPORTANT BODILY FUNCTION; OR
(j) FRACTURE OF THE PELVIS, FIBULA, TIBIA, OR FEMUR.
(3) THE INJURIES SET FORTH IN SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION ARE THE ONLY INJURIES THAT SHALL CONSTITUTE A SERIOUS INJURY FOR PURPOSES OF SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION.
(2) (4) Nothing
in this part 7 shall be construed to preclude recovery against
an alleged tortfeasor of benefits provided or economic loss
recoverable in excess of the minimum coverages required in section
104706 (1) (b) to (1) (d), or, if applicable, to a
person qualified under section 104706 (3), in excess
of alternative coverages.
SECTION 2. Effective date applicability. (1) This act shall take effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninetyday period after final adjournment of the general assembly that is allowed for submitting a referendum petition pursuant to article V, section 1 (3) of the state constitution; except that, if a referendum petition is filed against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part, if approved by the people, shall take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor.
(2) The provisions of this act shall apply to motor vehicle accidents occurring on or after the applicable effective date of this act.