CALL (719) 423-4149 TO SPEAK WITH COLORADO SPRINGS WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYERS FOR FREE
The loss of a family member typically brings with it a deep sense of anguish and loss. The subsequent grieving period is a very confusing and difficult time. However, an experienced wrongful death attorney can bring to a little bit of clarity to a very complex and stressful situation.
While it sometimes may seem wrong to think about pursuing compensation for the death of a loved one, the law in Colorado does not take wrongful death lightly and contains provisions for the compensation of surviving family members by the at-fault party or parties.
If you believe that your family member has died because of the negligent or wrongful act of another, contact the experienced wrongful death attorneys at the Zinda Law Group for a FREE consultation on how to seek compensation.
What is Wrongful Death?
Simply put, a “wrongful death” is a death that is caused by the negligent or wrongful actions of another party. This doesn’t mean that the act had to have been intentional if the actor was not exercising due caution. For example, a driver who is driving while under the influence may not mean to cause a fatality, but if they do, it can certainly fall under the umbrella of wrongful death. This area of the law is governed by statutes, the aim of which is to provide compensation for families who have had a member die due to the actions of another party.
Common Wrongful Death Cases
It is difficult to describe in detail the various types of wrongful death cases because they vary so vastly, but a few of the more common cases include:
One of the most common causes of death in America is car accidents—according to data collected by CDOT, there have already been 257 traffic fatalities statewide. Common causes of these sorts of deaths include driving under the influence, distracted driving, or aggressive driving. In most cases, the driver will be the party against which a lawsuit is filed.
If the crash which caused the death involved an 18-wheeler, then the lawsuit takes on an added level of complexity. Truckers are typically employed by a larger trucking company, and there are certain federal regulations about driving time that they are required to follow. This means that there can be more parties to file against the lawsuit than just the trucker.
When medical professionals fail to rise to the standards required of them, the family may sue for compensation. Common medical malpractice cases include misdiagnosis, errors in surgery, or mistakes in prescriptions. These lawsuits are typically filed against the medical professional themselves, as well as the hospital or office in certain cases.
Certain professions are obviously more dangerous than the others, but there is no such thing as a workplace that is totally and completely safe. Workers’ compensation may provide some benefits after a wrongful death, but a family may be able to pursue more compensation after a workplace accident.
Any manufacturer who sells goods to the public is under tight restrictions to make sure that their products are safe. However, products still lead to deaths every year in Colorado. These accidents typically happen as a result of faulty design, failure to properly warn of a product’s inherent danger, or a defective manufacturing process. Most products go through a long chain before they are actually purchased by the consumer, which means that the parties in your lawsuit may include the retailer, the distributor, and the manufacturer themselves.
Property owners owe a duty of reasonable care to visitors by either removing dangerous conditions entirely or effectively warning of their existence. If they fail to do so, then your family may be able to pursue compensation from the property owner for the death of a loved one.
What to Do After a Wrongful Death
The time after the loss of a family member is very confusing and stressful. However, it is important that you complete a few key steps in order to preserve any possible wrongful death lawsuit you may have.
Make sure to take time to work through and process the emotions that result from the loss of a loved one. Decisions that are fueled by emotion typically do not end up being the most productive in the long term, so make sure that you are in a clear headspace before making decisions that will impact the futures of you and your family. That being said, there are certain time limits that exist for bringing a claim, so it is important that you do move forward when you feel ready.
2. Open a Probate Estate
Anytime somebody dies, whether it is due to negligence or simply natural causes, probate laws apply. Probate is simply the legal term for determining how to distribute the estate of the deceased.
3. Contact an Attorney
The period after the loss of a loved one is difficult on its own, and the addition of having to deal with a complicated legal process soon after only makes it worse. This is why it is important to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will walk you through the necessary steps and help you seek maximum compensation. There is no amount of money that can replace the presence of a loved one but being financially secure and seeing the responsible parties brought to justice can bring a sense of closure. The wrongful death attorneys at Zinda Law Group will help walk you through every step of this complicated process.
4. Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
In order to bring a successful wrongful death claim, you first need to establish that the other party acted wrongfully or negligently and that that negligence or wrongful acting was actually what caused the death of the deceased. Then, the surviving family members must prove that they are the legal beneficiaries of the deceased and suffered actual loss because of their passing. These steps may sound simple, but wrongful death cases become very complicated very quickly.
Determining who is at Fault
One of the critical primary steps in a wrongful death claim is deciding who to bring the lawsuit against. While no two wrongful death cases are the same, the possible parties to bring a suit against can be grouped into some broad categories:
This is typically the place where most wrongful death claims will start. This is the person whose actions actually ended up causing the death. A successful suit against the actor means proving that they acted negligently or wrongfully.
Employers have a responsibility to make sure that their employees are acting in a way that is not dangerous. If they shirked this responsibility, then they may be liable to the family of the deceased.
This category only really applies in products liability cases, but if a defective product causes a wrongful death, then the manufacturer may be held liable for their faulty processes or inadequate warnings.
The Property Owner
Whenever an accident occurs on private property, there is a possibility that the property owner will be liable. This is especially true in premises liability cases, where the dangerous attributes of the property itself are what caused the death.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim
After deciding to pursue legal action, there a few important steps that need to be completed in order to have a shot at filing a successful lawsuit.
1. Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
As stated before, the legal process is long and complicated, and there are many twists and turns and opportunities to make mistakes. An experienced lawyer will guide you through the process and give you one less thing to worry about during a confusing and stressful time.
Once you have hired an attorney, they can get to work investigating your case. Some of the components that go into this investigation include interviewing witnesses, analyzing any footage or photographs that may be available, and going through any applicable employment or ownership records.
Once your attorney has a handle on the case, they can begin to negotiate a favorable settlement with the other parties involved. At this stage, it is very important to have an experienced attorney on your side, as the other parties involved will want to pay out as little as possible.
Wrongful Death Settlement
Once you have initiated a wrongful death action, you will probably begin to wonder how much your case is actually worth. While there is a lot that goes into the final number, damages can generally be grouped into two categories.
This category includes things like medical bills and lost future wages of the deceased party. These damages can usually be estimated with a fair degree of certainty and come from actual bills or employment documents.
This category includes pain and suffering and is typically implicated in wrongful death cases more than any other kind of case. While it may be difficult to put a dollar amount on the pain and suffering you feel, they are very real and certainly can be compensated for as part of the legal process.
Legal Time Limits
For every category of injury or death claim, there is what’s known as a “statute of limitations.” This is the legal term for the timeframe within which a claim must be brought. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the death. It is advisable to contact an attorney as soon as possible to preserve your claim.
Child Wrongful Death
The loss of a child is one of the most heartbreaking events a parent can suffer through. Child victims also present another wrinkle in that they usually do not have a job from which to draw economic damages. However, children are obviously an important part of your family, and the attorneys at the Zinda Law Group can assist you in pursuing fair compensation for their loss.
RETAIN EXPERIENCED COLORADO SPRINGS WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYERS
Zinda Law Group has a legal team that includes experienced and caring Colorado wrongful death lawyers. Our attorneys will take over the legal work for you so you can get back to focusing on what is most important: your family.
We will strive to provide you with top-notch legal counsel and clear communication throughout your case. Unlike many firms, you’ll be able to work with and speak to your attorney directly rather than a middleman. In addition, our firm does not charge a fee unless we win your case.
Call Zinda Law Group at (719) 423-4149 today at for a free consultation with a Colorado Springs wrongful death lawyer.
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