Is There a Cap On Wrongful Death Settlements?

Many lit candles in memorial for a wrongful death.

Unfortunately, losing a loved one due to a wrongful death is not uncommon. This experience is often traumatic, leaving a deep emotional scar and ultimately altering the surviving family permanently. However, despite how difficult it can be to lose a loved one under these circumstances, it’s important for the surviving family members to remain diligent and file a wrongful death lawsuit to collect damages and seek justice for the deceased.

Wrongful death settlement payouts can be essential in helping surviving family members move on. For example, dependents who lost a parent will be able to obtain compensation that could make up for the lost parental financial support, while a surviving spouse may be able to continue life without suffering from the financial difficulties of losing their life partner. 

Since wrongful death can be difficult on family members in so many ways, we urge you to seek legal advice from our expert wrongful death attorneys here at Bachus & Schanker. We are proud to fight for your loved one and to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your loss.

Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with our wrongful death attorneys today.

What is the cap on damages in wrongful death cases?

If you’re seeking compensation for a wrongful death case, it’s important to understand the terminology and many legal factors that will come into play. One of the most important things to understand is what a damages cap is in a wrongful death case. 

A wrongful death case settlement typically has limitations, which is known as the damages cap. This determines the maximum amount of compensation that you may receive for the damages being claimed in the lawsuit. While there is no damages cap on economic damages, the damages cap does apply to non-economic and punitive damages. 

The state of Colorado does limit how much compensation you can receive if you have a loved one die due to another person’s negligence, but the wrongful death attorneys at Bachus & Schanker are here to assist you with the entire legal process.

What is the highest settlement for a wrongful death?

Depending on the factors that must be considered when determining wrongful death lawsuits, it is not surprising that some of these cases can settle in the millions. While it is not common for all wrongful death cases to settle for such high amounts, a significant amount of negligence on behalf of the defendant and an extremely traumatic death resulting from that negligence could lead to a very high settlement amount for the surviving family members.

What is the average wrongful death settlement in the U.S.?

Given the many factors that must be taken into consideration when determining a wrongful death case and the appropriate settlement amount, it can be difficult to determine a specific average settlement amount for these cases in the United States. 

Since every case is unique, this is where your wrongful death attorney will become useful, as they will be able to give you a solid understanding of what you can expect to receive in compensation based on the elements specific to your case. 

Some of the most common factors that must be taken into consideration when determining the settlement amount for a wrongful death claim include: 

  • The decedent’s age
  • The decedent’s health status prior to their death
  • The decedent’s income at the time of their passing
  • The decedent’s level of education
  • The decedent’s dependents

How much is a human life worth in a lawsuit?

Understandably, determining the value of a human life is not particularly an easy task. There are so many factors that must be taken into account when determining the value of a wrongful death settlement amount, that there is not necessarily one correct answer.

What damages can I recover in a wrongful death case? 

There are three categories of damages that can be sought by the claimants in a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Economic damages
  • Non-economic damages
  • Punitive damages

Economic damages

Economic damages are financially determinable costs related to the decedent’s death. Some common economic damages that a claimant may seek in their settlement for the wrongful death amount include:

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages do not take into account the monetary value of the wrongful death. Instead, they focus on compensation for the personal and emotional toll you face as a result of losing your loved one. Some common factors used to determine the value of non-economic damages in a wrongful death case include:

  • Grief
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering

Punitive damages

If you’re looking to receive more than financial compensation and are hoping to obtain justice for your loved one’s wrongful death, you can speak with your wrongful death attorney about considering punitive damages — also known as criminal punishments. In order for a claimant to establish punitive damages in a wrongful death case, the claimant must be able to demonstrate that the responsible party acted with gross negligence and that their negligence was the reason for the decedent’s untimely death. 

How can a wrongful death attorney help me?

A wrongful death attorney is filling out paperwork as he speaks to his client. Near him is a gavel and the scales of justice.

The wrongful death attorneys at the law firm of Bachus & Schanker understand how difficult the aftermath of an unexpected loved one’s wrongful death can be for the surviving family members. We are here to guide you through this legal process while ensuring that you understand all of your legal options, allowing you to make the best decisions for moving forward in your wrongful death claim. 

Our wrongful death team conducts detailed investigations and research while building your case, making sure we leave no stone unturned and that you receive all of the compensation and justice that you and your loved one are owed. While our experienced legal team is working on your case, you can focus your energy on mourning your loved one while we focus ours on providing you with the best legal representation. 

Contact Colorado’s wrongful death lawyers at Bachus & Schanker for a free legal consultation.


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Punitive Damages Definition. (2023).

Special Damages Definition. (2023).

What is a Damages Cap? (2022).