How are wrongful death settlements divided among family members in Colorado?

When an individual suffers fatal injuries as a result of a wrongful act or an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against the at-fault party. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by a decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parent(s), or estate, and each may be entitled to recover damages depending on how their lives have been affected by the loss.1

If damages are awarded in a wrongful death case, the compensation may be paid to one party or to multiple. It depends on who filed the lawsuit. For example, if the decedent’s surviving spouse came forward with the lawsuit and the couple had minor children, while damages may only be awarded to the spouse, some of the funds may go toward how the loss has impacted the children.


What if multiple parties file a wrongful death lawsuit?


Because multiple parties such as a decedent’s spouse and their adult children may be entitled to a portion of the settlement, given one is awarded in the case, there are a few ways the money may be distributed.


  1. The parties can reach an agreement on how the money should be divided.

When more than one party is entitled to damages in a wrongful death case, they can work together to reach an agreement on how the money should be split up. Of course, it does help to be represented by a Colorado wrongful death lawyer as they can assist with negotiations.


  1. The parties can take the case to probate court.

Because money can sometimes bring out unpleasant characteristics among family members, the parties involved in the case may not be able to reach an agreement on how the settlement should be divided. If this happens, the case will need to go to court. Any party who is involved in the case is encouraged to retain a CO wrongful death attorney to ensure their interests are protected.

During the trial, the court would likely take into account the relationship each party had with the decedent. For example, was the spouse still living with the decedent, or were they on the verge of getting a divorce? Were the children actively involved in the decedent’s life or had they made no contact with them in years? All of this will be taken into account when the court decides how the settlement should be split up.


The Attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC Are Available to Help with Wrongful Death Lawsuits


If a family member is seeking damages for the wrongful death of their loved one, the Colorado wrongful death attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC can assist with the lawsuit process. The team of lawyers at this firm will help an individual understand their right to compensation and guide them through the lawsuit process, allowing them the time they need to grieve or cope with their loss.


Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC can be reached at:


333 W. Hampden Avenue, #420B

Englewood, CO 80110

Phone: 720-923-2333