Damages Available in Colorado Wrongful Death Cases - Front Range Injury Attorneys – Denver Personal Injury Lawyers

Damages Available in Colorado Wrongful Death Cases

In Colorado, comprehending the scope of damages in wrongful death cases is crucial for families coping with loss. These damages not only serve to acknowledge the injustice suffered but also offer essential financial support during challenging times. Delving into the available damages in Colorado wrongful death cases can provide clarity for families navigating through their legal rights and expectations.

If you sustained injuries in an accident in Colorado, contact the wrongful death lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys today to schedule your free consultation. Our experienced legal team are knowledgeable and zealous advocates for our clients and their cases. We treat our clients as people, not case files. Learn more about how we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact our Denver law firm to learn more.

Denver wrongful death lawyers

Exploring Wrongful Death Damages

Wrongful death damages encompass compensation provided following a death resulting from someone else’s negligence. If the deceased would have been entitled to financial compensation had they survived, their family can initiate a claim. These damages fulfill dual purposes: addressing immediate losses incurred by the victim and accounting for the financial and emotional toll on surviving loved ones due to the loss. Every case is unique and the damages in a wrongful death case depend upon your attorney carefully investigating the case and effectively present the evidence to the jury.

Available Damages in Colorado Wrongful Death Cases

The range of damages available in Colorado wrongful death cases includes:

  • Medical Expenses: Covering medical bills related to the incident.
  • Funeral Costs: Addressing expenses associated with laying the deceased to rest.
  • Property Damage: Compensating for any property damage resulting from the incident.
  • Lost Wages: Accounting for income lost due to the victim’s passing.
  • Pain and Suffering: Recognizing the emotional anguish experienced by family members.
  • Loss of Consortium: Acknowledging the loss of companionship and support.
  • Loss of Services: Compensating for services provided by the deceased to the family.
  • Punitive Damages: Granted in specific cases to punish wrongdoing.

Differentiating Colorado Wrongful Death Damages from Survival Action Damages

Colorado categorizes cases into wrongful death and survival actions. While survival actions address losses incurred by the victim before their death, wrongful death claims focus on the losses suffered by surviving family members. Survival actions are lawsuits to recover the economic losses incurred by the victim as a result of the accident and subsequent fatal injuries. Those damages include medical bills, property damages and funeral expenses. A survival action generally does not include non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Wrongful death claims address the losses of the family left by the deceased victim. A wrongful death claim can include economic damages like funeral expenses or medical bills paid by the family for the deceased. Wrongful death damages primarily focus on the impact to the family, which may also be economic as well as non-economic. Economic damages in a wrongful death case can also include loss of earnings and services for which the family depends, like a parent who will no longer be able to financially support their children. Wrongful death claims also include non-economic damages like the pain and suffering of the surviving family members.

Survivors of a fatal accident may pursue both a wrongful death case and a survival action. The legal mechanisms for these cases are slightly different in important ways. Your personal injury lawyer will evaluate your family’s claims to pursue full compensation for your family’s loss.

Understanding Colorado Law for Wrongful Death Damages

The legal framework governing damages in Colorado wrongful death cases is outlined in the Wrongful Death Act. This legislation allows individuals to seek damages for both financial and emotional losses resulting from negligence. Specific rules regarding eligibility, timelines, and damage limitations are outlined within this act.

Calculating Wrongful Death Damages

To calculate wrongful death damages accurately, consider the following factors:

  • Expenses incurred on behalf of the victim, such as medical bills and funeral costs.
  • Lost wages and benefits that the family relied upon.
  • The value of services provided by the deceased to the family.
  • Out of pocket expenses resulting from the victim’s passing.
  • Emotional distress and suffering experienced by surviving family members.
  • Loss of companionship and support.

In wrongful death cases, the non-economic damages like pain and suffering often make up the most significant amount of damages. Our wrongful death attorneys can help valuate the types and amounts of wrongful death damages so you can pursue full compensation for your family. Colorado law places caps on wrongful death claims, so your attorney will discuss fair value of the case and how the damage caps will affect the amount you may receive.

Caps on Damages in Colorado Wrongful Death Cases

Colorado imposes caps on certain types of damages in wrongful death claims, primarily concerning non-economic damages. Under Colorado law, non-economic damages in a wrongful death case are capped at $250,000 adjusted annually for inflation. (This cap is different from the cap for medical malpractice cases.) The maximum amount available is capped for all plaintiffs collectively, so if there are multiple plaintiffs, the plaintiffs collectively must share the capped amount. The court can increase the available limits for non-economic damages above the limit if there is clear and convincing evidence that the increase is appropriate. Additional rules for wrongful death damages in Colorado include:

  • There are no limits on economic damages–limits only apply to non-economic damages.
  • Exceptions apply when a higher award is clearly appropriate. It is up to the judge to make a legal decision under the statute to increase the limits.
  • A party can choose a flat solatium award instead of non-economic damages.
  • Damage caps do not apply to cases involving a felonious killing (first or second degree murder, felony manslaughter).

Exemplary Damages in Colorado Wrongful Death Cases

Exemplary damages may be awarded under Colorado law in cases involving fraud, malice, or egregious conduct. The court can grant exemplary damages up to three times the actual damages, aiming to deter future misconduct. Exemplary damages, also called punitive damages, are generally awarded when the defendant’s conduct is egregious or willful, such as repeated misconduct or gross negligence. Many people reasonably believe that any negligence that results in fatality should lead to an award of exemplary damages. Unfortunately, Colorado law sets a higher standard. Your wrongful death attorney will evaluate your case and discuss whether there is a claim for punitive damages.

Proving Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

Successfully proving damages in a wrongful death claim requires meticulous documentation and a compassionate approach. Gathering relevant records and illustrating the personal impact of the loss on the family are essential steps in building a strong case. Economic damages are often easier to prove because they can be proven by bills, medical records and employment records. Non-economic damages are more difficult to present because they rely on helping jurors understand the personal impact of losing a family member. Personal and emotional testimony by family members often forms the basis for proving these damages. An experienced wrongful death attorney will evaluate the evidence to present the strongest case for your family.

Seek Legal Guidance from our attorneys for Colorado Wrongful Death Damages

Navigating the complexities of wrongful death damages necessitates expert legal assistance. Our team of experienced attorneys specializes in Colorado wrongful death cases and can provide invaluable support in evaluating your claim and pursuing rightful compensation for your family’s loss. Reach out to us for compassionate and knowledgeable representation during this challenging time.

Colorado Wrongful Death Lawyers

If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, your family may pursue a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. Our experienced Colorado wrongful death lawyers represent families across the state in lawsuits pursuing justice for their lost family member. We represent clients in all four corners of Colorado, including:

At Front Range Injury Attorneys we are compassionate and zealous advocates for our clients. We understand that money will never bring back your loved one but holding the responsible people accountable is important to seeking closure. The compensation we will fight to recover will help ease the financial burden of losing part of your family. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you and your family.

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