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How Much Is a Wrongful Death Settlement Worth in Colorado?

No one wants to imagine the tragedy of losing a loved one in an unexpected accident. If this has become your reality, know that your family may have the right to pursue justice and financial compensation through a wrongful death claim in Colorado. If someone else’s negligent or careless act caused your family member’s fatal injury, you may be entitled to compensation. How much your wrongful death settlement is worth will depend on the circumstances.

Wrongful Death Settlements Are Not One-Size-Fits-All

In Colorado, the civil courts do not assign a universal value to every wrongful death case. Case values are highly variable, as they are based on the specific circumstances of each individual case. The factors that may affect the value of a wrongful death settlement include:

  • The deceased person’s (decedent’s) age and health at the time of death
  • How much the decedent earned and likely would have continued to earn
  • The extent of the losses and emotional impact suffered by surviving family members
  • The amounts of insurance coverage available by the liable party or parties
  • Defense arguments, such as the decedent’s comparative negligence
  • Potential punitive damages, which may be awarded to punish a defendant for gross negligence or intent to harm

Given these factors, it can be challenging to estimate a specific dollar amount for a wrongful death settlement in Colorado without carefully analyzing the details of the case. Wrongful death settlements can range from thousands to millions of dollars, based on the circumstances.

Types of Damages Available

State law decides what types of financial compensation (also known as damages) are made available to surviving family members, beneficiaries or the decedent’s estate in a wrongful death claim. These damages can vary from state to state and by case. Both economic and noneconomic damages may be available, including:

  • Funeral and burial expenses, up to a reasonable limit
  • Any medical care or hospital expenses arising from the fatal illness or injury
  • Loss of the decedent’s income, earnings and future financial support
  • Loss of inheritance or benefits, such as life insurance
  • The survivors’ pain, suffering, grief and mental anguish
  • Loss of the decedent’s love, care and companionship

Colorado, like many other states, has damage caps on certain types of compensation. These caps place limits on the amount of damages that can be awarded to a plaintiff in a wrongful death claim. Currently, there is a cap on noneconomic damages in a wrongful death case of $679,990. This cap is adjusted for inflation every two years.

How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Calculated?

Economic damages in a wrongful death case are calculated using clear documentation, such as bills and receipts. Noneconomic damages are less tangible and more challenging to calculate. An insurance company will likely have its own equation for calculating pain and suffering in a wrongful death case. A jury may assign any amount they feel is appropriate based on the circumstances. If the amount awarded by a jury in noneconomic damages exceeds Colorado’s damage cap, it will be reduced.

How Much Is Your Wrongful Death Case Worth? Contact Us to Find Out

At Cannon Law, we recognize that no financial recovery will ever be sufficient to make up for the death of your loved one. However, we hope that by securing just compensation for your losses, we can make it easier for your family to move forward with greater closure, accountability and peace of mind. To discuss the potential value of your wrongful death settlement, contact us at (970) 471-7170 to request a free consultation.