Denver, CO – Losing someone you love in an accident is a terrible tragedy and no one is ready to discuss their loss in terms of money, yet this is something you must do if you’re going to file a wrongful death claim against those responsible. How do you put a price on the most precious person in your life, like your spouse or your child?
This is not something you should have to deal with alone. This is the kind of stuff your Denver wrongful death lawyer should handle.
One of the main reasons people go to an attorney at a time like this is exactly this – they need someone to represent them. They cannot bear the idea of facing the people responsible for the accident that destroyed their family, let alone bargain for money that won’t bring back their loved ones no matter what.
What is the average wrongful death settlement in Colorado?
Frankly speaking, this is the wrong question. Any lawyer can come up with an average figure, but that doesn’t tell you anything. What you should be asking is how much is my claim worth.
If you browse the Internet you’ll find stories of people winning $10-20 million settlements, or even higher. What you won’t find are settlements barely worth a few thousand dollars although there are plenty of them.
It’s not that some people are worth more than others per se, it’s just a question of economic value. It’s harsh, but that’s how the law operates.
If you file a wrongful death lawsuit, the jurors may be moved to tears by the tragedy that befell your family, but they cannot go on emotions alone, they have to look at what the law says.
How are wrongful death settlements calculated in Denver?
Under a wrongful death settlement you are allowed to seek two types of monetary compensation:
These refer to the financial losses caused by the death of your loved one and include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses of the deceased paid by the estate
- Loss of financial support for the surviving spouse, children, or, in some cases, parents.
- Loss of services the deceased provided around the house.
The big issue here is the financial support the family lost. It’s just a matter of economics. If the deceased had a great job and made a lot of money, their spouse or their children stand to lose the way of life they were accustomed to. Your Colorado accident lawyers will argue that the deceased would have provided for them until their retirement, but now the kids who lost their father also risk losing the kind of life they were accustomed to.
This is the part of the settlement that should compensate you for your pain and suffering. Economics doesn’t play any part here. The child who lost a parent will suffer the same, whether the deceased made $2 million per year or was unemployed.
Colorado is one of the few states that places a limit on non-economic damages for a wrongful death settlement.
Under non-economic damages you can claim compensation for:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of affection protection and guidance
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
In Colorado, non-economic damages are capped at a sum adjustable for inflation every two years. For instance, if you lost someone in an accident occurring between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, the most you can get is $613,760 in non-economic damages.
If you lost someone in an accident caused by someone’s negligence, talk to an experienced lawyer at the Bryan & Terrill law firm which offers help to bereaved families in the Denver area.
333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B
Englewood, CO 80110
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