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Any type of accident that causes harm to someone is unfortunate. However, some accidents may result in the victim’s death. Losing a loved one is always a difficult and painful experience, but this pain may be made even worse when the loved one’s death was caused by someone else. After the wrongful death of a loved one, you may be experiencing significant financial difficulties caused by their medical bills, funeral costs, the loss of support provided by their income, or a variety of other reasons.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you should contact an experienced Colorado personal injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group today by calling (800) 863-5312 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about your legal options. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
WHAT IS WRONGFUL DEATH?
Typically, wrongful death claims are made as a result of a loved one dying due to the negligence, reckless actions, or willful misconduct of another person or entity. Some common examples of such incidents include:
- Medical malpractice
- Vehicle accidents
- Accidents occurring in a work environment
- Slip and falls
- Defective products
- Intentional actions such as criminal acts
Under Colorado law, a wrongful death occurs when a victim’s death was “caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” Further, the statute allows the loved ones of a victim to pursue compensation for the victim’s wrongful death in cases where “the act, neglect, or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof.” Thus, a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado may often be thought of in terms of the deceased victim being unable to file a lawsuit themselves to pursue the compensation they may have been entitled to if they had survived. Instead, someone close to the victim is allowed to step in and file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased victim.
If you have loved one who died in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you should hire an experienced wrongful death attorney in Pueblo who may be able to help you determine who is liable for causing your loved one’s death. A good attorney who has handled many similar cases will be able to tell you very quickly whether you are able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.
common causes of Wrongful death claims
There are often a variety of potential causes and contributing factors of wrongful death. Many of the incidents that result in wrongful death are caused by the negligence or reckless behavior of an individual or entity. Meanwhile, other wrongful deaths are caused by someone’s deliberate actions, such as violent, criminal acts like assault and battery.
If you have lost a loved one in Colorado because of the negligent or deliberate behavior of someone else, you should hire a skilled wrongful death lawyer to help you determine who may be liable for your loved one’s death. Your injury attorney can also help you pursue any compensation you may be entitled to through a wrongful death lawsuit. Finally, knowing the cause of your loved one’s death and then being able to seek justice for your loved one by pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party may help give you some peace of mind.
Some of the most common causes of wrongful deaths include:
If a medical professional fails to properly diagnose an illness or ailment, a wrongful death could result. Many other medical malpractice cases also occur when the doctor or other medical professional makes a mistake during a surgery or makes a mistake during the patient’s treatment, such as by giving the patient the wrong medication.
Car accidents can often result in severe injury or death. A number of factors are considered by the court when they are determining whether a wrongful death has occurred in a car accident, such as:
- How fast the vehicles were moving
- How forceful the impact was
- Whether or not the driver(s) and passenger(s) were wearing a seatbelt
- Whether the driver was distracted
- Whether the driver was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- The size and model of the vehicle(s)
- Inclement weather conditions
Commercial Truck Accidents
The large size and momentum of a commercial truck can often cause even more catastrophic injuries than many other car accidents, due to the larger size and force of commercial trucks. As a result, the driver(s) and passenger(s) of the other vehicle(s) involved in an accident caused by the drowsy or distracted driver of a large commercial truck are at a greater risk of severe and permanent injuries or fatality.
Depending on the nature of the job, many workplace environments present a variety of hazards that may result in serious injury or wrongful death. Some work environment hazards include:
- Faulty or poorly maintained equipment
- Failing to warn of possible hazards
- Employers failing to provide necessary safety equipment
- Employees failing to follow safety guidelines in the workplace
Products with manufacturing or design defects may result in the wrongful death of the person using the product or someone who is otherwise near the defective product. A company’s failure to warn a product’s consumer of any potential hazards that foreseeable use of the product may pose can also lead to a victim’s wrongful death.
Regardless of the cause of your loved one’s wrongful death, you should contact a skilled personal injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group as soon as possible. We are committed to helping all of our clients better understand their legal options.
who can file a wrongful death claim in colorado?
Laws determining who may be allowed to make a wrongful death claim vary from state to state. Several states only allow a victim’s children, spouse, or parents to file a wrongful death claim, while some states allow surviving siblings or grandparents of a victim to file a lawsuit. Colorado specifies who can file a wrongful death claim at which stage following the victim’s death. For example, in the two years following the victim’s death, Colorado provides that:
- The surviving spouse is the only person who may pursue a wrongful death claim during the first year after a loved one dies.
- The victim’s spouse or any surviving children may file a wrongful death lawsuit during the second year following the victim’s death.
- The victim’s surviving parents may file a wrongful death claim only if the victim does not have any surviving spouse or children.
how much may my wrongful death case be worth?
Compensation for a wrongful death claim will vary depending on the specific details of the case and the nature of the incident. In Pueblo, the victim’s loved ones may seek both economic as well as non-economic damages.
Examples of Economic Damages
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of potential income
You may be able to seek compensation for medical and funeral expenses to cover medical costs that may have occurred as a result of the accident before the victim’s death as well as the costs of burial and funeral services. The spouse or child of the victim may also be entitled to compensation for the loss of income missed after the accident before the victim’s death as well as the loss of potential income and support the child or spouse would have been able to receive the benefit of if the victim had not been killed.
Examples of Non-economic Damages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental figure
- Punitive damages
You may also be able to pursue compensation for any pain and suffering the victim experienced before their death. The victim’s spouse may also seek compensation for loss of companionship and consortium suffered by the loss of their spouse, while the victim’s children may seek compensation for the loss of a parental figure and support. This is meant to address the role the victim may have played in his or her family’s life and how their loss deprives their loved ones of that companionship or support.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in some cases if the at-fault party acted in a particularly negligent or malicious manner. However, it should also be noted that in Colorado, non-economic damages are capped by C.R.S. Section 13-21-203.7 at approximately $571,870. A wrongful death lawyer in Pueblo can help you determine the type and amount of compensation you may be able to pursue.
CONTACT A Pueblo accident lawyer TODAY
Losing a loved one is always difficult, but you should not have to pay financially after losing your loved one because someone else failed to take the appropriate level of care to avoid a fatal accident. Further, you should not be faced with having to deal with the financial difficulties of medical bills, funeral costs, or losing the support of your loved one’s income. Fortunately, when you retain an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney, they will be able to help you pursue compensation for these difficulties, allowing you to focus on recovering from your loss emotionally.
If you have lost a loved one because of the actions of someone else, you should contact Zinda Law Group as soon as possible for a free consultation with one of our skilled wrongful death attorneys. Wrongful death claims can be especially complex, as you are filing a claim in the place of the deceased victim while also pursuing compensation for losses that you have suffered as a result of their loss. Our team of attorneys at Zinda Law Group will use their years of experience and skill to help you untangle the complexities of your case as you pursue the maximum compensation for your wrongful death claim.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.