After losing a loved one in a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed with the prospect of filing a wrongful death claim.
You probably have several questions about the process, especially about the average wrongful death car accident settlement.
While many sources claim to have accurate estimates for the average settlement, there are several aspects of wrongful death cases that they may ignore.
Here is everything you need to know about the factors affecting your potential settlement and how our Colorado personal injury lawyers can help you pursue your claim.
Is There an Average Settlement for Wrongful Death Claims in Colorado?
Since most wrongful death cases have confidential settlements, it’s nearly impossible to determine an accurate average.
While the average settlement amount for published cases may be easy to calculate, it doesn’t provide a realistic estimate. In addition, some cases may settle for as little as a few thousand dollars, while others may receive upwards of a few million.
This not only greatly skews the average, but also shows that not all wrongful death cases follow the same pattern. Ultimately, the value of a wrongful death car accident settlement depends on the unique circumstances of the case.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Car Accident Claim
Much like any other personal injury claim, wrongful death requires the plaintiff to prove the liability of the defendant. There are different elements of proof that determine whether the plaintiff may seek damages, including:
- Duty of care,
- Breach of duty,
- Causation, and
- Proof of damages.
Proving each of these elements may be difficult without the help of an experienced Colorado wrongful death attorney. This is why it’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible in the claims process.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Car Accident Settlement
In Colorado, the law divides wrongful death losses into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Each category includes a variety of losses sustained by the family of the deceased.
Economic damages refer to the actual financial losses related to the death. This typically includes things like funeral expenses, potential future earnings of the deceased, and more.
In essence, economic damages must be tangible expenses with a standard economic value. There is also no limit to the amount of economic damages awarded in Colorado wrongful death cases.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate than economic damages. These losses are intangible and subjective, including but not limited to:
- Emotional distress,
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of companionship,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Loss of support and guidance.
Colorado is one of the few states that places a limit on non-economic damages for a wrongful death car accident settlement.
The state adjusts the cap every two years based on inflation. The cap for accidents occurring between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, is $613,760.
The only exception is for wrongful death cases arising from a felonious killing, such as manslaughter or murder. In cases like this, the damage cap does not apply.
Contact Our Colorado Wrongful Death Attorneys
No matter what the circumstances may be, wrongful death is incredibly devastating for families. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we believe that families who lose a loved one due to the negligence of another person deserve justice.
Whether you need money to cover the deceased’s medical bills, funeral costs, or lost income, our attorneys fight for your family’s best interests.
If you lost someone you love to an accident or other incident, contact us online or call us at 303-665-2929. We offer free consultations to all potential clients and manage your case from start to finish.