What’s factored into a wrongful death suit and settlement?

There are numerous factors that go into a wrongful death suit and eventually the wrongful death settlement, including both economic and non-economic damages.
Whether a loved one’s fatal injuries stem from negligence of someone else in a traffic accident or on an owner’s premises, it’s important to understand how much a claim is worth. Talking with an Aurora, Colorado personal injury lawyer can help.

Factors Considered in a Wrongful Death Suit & Settlement

Medical expenses incurred prior to death are one factor considered in a lawsuit for wrongful death. If the deceased received treatment, such as emergency services, surgery, hospitalization, or other care before death, those costs could be recoverable in a claim. Reasonable funeral costs may also be factored into a wrongful death settlement.

If the deceased contributed significantly to the finances of his or her family, the lost earnings may also be factored into a wrongful death settlement as well as:

  • medical insurance;
  • a 401(k); or
  • a pension plan.

An Aurora, Colorado personal injury lawyer can help families estimate these losses.

Property damage could also be a factor in a wrongful death suit. Let’s say the cause of death was a traffic accident. If the vehicle was totaled, the value of the vehicle may be figured into the claim as well.

If the deceased provided services (such as housework or childcare) that will now require outside assistance, these costs could be included. Hiring someone to clean the home or take care of the children are examples.

In addition to costs incurred and actual financial losses, a settlement may include compensation for non-economic damages as well.

In the state of Colorado, the types of noneconomic damages that may be included in a wrongful death settlement include:

  • pain and suffering;
  • grief;
  • emotional stress; and
  • loss of companionship.

Families can discuss potential for these losses with an Aurora, Colorado personal injury lawyer.

Impact of Colorado Laws in a Wrongful Death Settlement

State laws can also impact a lawsuit. For instance, limits on how much damages can be recovered will be considered. Noneconomic damages often have limitations. The cap for non-economic damages in Colorado is $250,000.

Another law that can impact the ability to even file a wrongful death suit is the statute of limitations. In Colorado, from the date of death, the family has two years to file a claim. Any legal action pursued after this timeframe will likely prevent the recovery of compensation.

Filing a Claim with an Aurora, Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer

Wrongful death cases can be very complicated. Not only in determining who can be liable and if it’s a legitimate claim, but in figuring the damages available. While actual costs may be more easily established (although figuring loss of potential income may be difficult in some cases), it is the emotional losses (non-economic damages) experienced that can be difficult to settle.

Because of the complex issues that can arise, it may be in a family’s best interest to talk with an Aurora, Colorado personal injury lawyer. D.J. Banovitz can help families who are considering a wrongful death suit evaluate eligibly and build their case.