Losing a loved one is always a painful tragedy, but it may feel more painful when someone else’s negligent behavior causes their death. This sudden loss may cause significant financial hardships for surviving loved ones, leaving the surviving spouse or children struggling to make ends meet.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, call an experienced Fort Collins wrongful death lawyer from Zinda Law Group. We’re ready to provide your family with compassionate care, so call or fill out our online contact form today.
You can discuss the legal options available to your family with a personal injury lawyer in Fort Collins today.
Can You File a Fort Collins Wrongful Death Claim?
The court system generally defines wrongful death as an unnecessary death caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness. Therefore, you may have a chance to file a wrongful death claim if you lose a loved one due to another party’s dangerous actions.
A Fort Collins wrongful death attorney can review your situation and determine if your family is eligible to seek damages.
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For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Fort Collins, call 800-863-5312
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Motion in Fort Collins?
Colorado has complicated rules regarding eligibility to file a wrongful death claim. The state allows you to file a claim for your spouse within the first year of their death. After a year, you may file a claim for your spouse or a parent. Eligible beneficiaries may also file a claim during this period.
Parents may bring a claim for their adult children if their child was not married and had no children or designated beneficiaries. A Fort Collins wrongful death lawyer can help you determine your options for a wrongful death action.
We Provide Compassionate Care for Claims Involving the Loss of a Child
Wrongful death claims involving children may differ from claims involving a deceased spouse. If the wrongful death victim was a minor, the child’s parents may file a wrongful death claim, so long as the minor did not have a spouse or children.
Our team at Zinda Law Group understands the emotional toll caused by losing a child. We focus on handling your legal needs so you can focus on your family’s emotional needs.
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What Wrongful Death Claims Can We Handle in Fort Collins?
While car accidents cause many wrongful deaths, other common causes of fatal accidents include:
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and falls
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Defective products
- Construction accidents
Our law firm can help your family secure financial compensation after these dangerous events. Find out more about how to handle your legal situation in Larimer County with a wrongful death lawyer in Fort Collins.
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What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death lawyer in Fort Collins, CO, may help your family secure damages to cover the financial burden associated with the loss of a loved one. After an unexpected death, we may bring your family funds for the following:
Economic Damages in Fort Collins
Economic damages include financial costs to the victim’s family in the case of wrongful death claims resulting from the accident. Economic damages frequently include compensation for medical expenses, such as any hospital bills before the victim died and funeral costs.
Economic damages may also include lost income between the time of the accident and the time of the victim’s death.
Non-Economic Damages in Fort Collins
Meanwhile, non-economic damages may often include compensation for the pain and suffering the victim experienced before death. The victim’s family may also be entitled to non-economic damages for emotional distress caused by the victim’s death.
Finally, the victim’s children may be entitled to compensation for losing parental guidance and the parent’s care. At the same time, the victim’s spouse may also receive compensation for the loss of consortium or loss of companionship caused by their spouse’s death.
Punitive Damages in Fort Collins
Punitive damages may be available in some cases. Colorado law on punitive damages differs from many states, as CO Rev. Stat. § 13-21-102 requires trial courts to thoroughly review the evidence before a plaintiff may assert a claim for punitive damages.
Thus, punitive damages cannot be requested when first filing the wrongful death lawsuit. Instead, the victim’s loved ones must wait until after the court finds clear and convincing evidence showing that punitive damages are appropriate.
Find out more with a wrongful death attorney in Fort Collins, CO.
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How Can a Fort Collins Wrongful Death Lawyer Help You?
Wrongful death lawsuits may often be more complicated than other personal injury cases, as the claim focuses on the death of a loved one rather than your own injuries. This difference may complicate the case as many accidents may be more challenging to investigate, especially if no witnesses exist.
However, an experienced wrongful death attorney in Fort Collins may walk you through each step of the process, including how the lawyer may gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim successfully.
Your wrongful death lawsuit lawyer in Fort Collins may take the pressure of pursuing the case from you by handling the case for you. Your lawyer may help you gather evidence of the other party’s liability for the accident while using this evidence to successfully negotiate a satisfactory settlement from the other party’s insurance company or to win your case at trial if negotiations are unsuccessful.
Why Hire Us for a Wrongful Death Accident in Fort Collins?
Our team provides compassionate and empathetic care after losing a loved one. However, we work aggressively to handle your legal needs, focusing on maintaining our honesty and integrity.
We focus on good communication during Fort Collins wrongful death cases, using our 15 years of experience to address all your family’s legal concerns. We’ve secured over $200 million in damages for clients like you, and we’re prepared to turn the full force of our legal knowledge onto your claim today.
Contact us now for a confidential consultation.
Who Is Liable for Your Loved One’s Wrongful Death?
The liable party in wrongful death claims often varies depending upon the nature of the accident which caused the victim’s death. In vehicle accident cases, the responsible parties may be the following:
- At-fault driver
- Car manufacturer
- At-fault driver’s employer
- Vehicle’s owner
- Government entity responsible for maintenance of the roadways
For workplace accidents, the employer may often be liable for crediting or not preventing unsafe work conditions. Property owners may often be found liable in slip and fall cases or other fatal accidents occurring on the owner’s property.
If your loved one died due to medical malpractice, the doctor or other medical staff who may have treated your loved one may be liable. Finally, product manufacturers and product manufacturers may be responsible if a defective product causes your loved one’s death.
Your Fort Collins wrongful death lawyer can focus on demonstrating the burden of proof after identifying the parties responsible for losing your loved one.
What Must a Fort Collins Wrongful Death Lawyer Prove?
Like other negligence claims, a wrongful death suit requires proving four main elements. First, your Fort Collins wrongful death attorney may confirm the other party had a duty of care, such as the duty of care to avoid causing a car accident.
Next, your Fort Collins wrongful death lawyer must show that the other party’s behavior breached this duty of care, such as by driving drunk. If a lawyer can show that the other party breached the applicable duty of care, the victim’s loved ones must show that this breach caused the victim’s death.
Finally, while negligence claims typically require proving that the other party’s breach caused damage to the victim, the damages are generally presumed in a wrongful death case, as the accident resulted in the victim’s death.
What’s the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims?
When seeking compensation in Larimer County and the state of Colorado for a wrongful death claim, surviving family members must file any potential lawsuit within the applicable legal time limits, called the statute of limitations.
CO Rev. Stat. § 13-21-204 and CO Rev. Stat. § 13-80-102 establish a statute of limitations of two years for wrongful death claims in Colorado. However, Colorado also has specific laws governing the time frame for filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Only the victim’s surviving spouse may file a claim within the first year. After the first year has passed, any surviving children or spouse may file a claim. If the victim did not have a spouse or children, the victim’s parents may file a wrongful death claim.
What Can a Lawyer Do During a Fort Collins Wrongful Death Case?
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, contact a wrongful death lawyer in Fort Collins as soon as possible to discuss your options. An experienced lawyer may help you understand the potential liability of other parties and handle your case and any investigation.
After discussing your options, your attorney may help you file your wrongful death lawsuit, investigate the evidence thoroughly, prove the negligence or liability of the at-fault parties, and seek a satisfactory settlement by taking the following steps:
1. Investigating the Deadly Accident
After consulting an attorney, they may immediately begin investigating the fatal accident to understand better how it occurred, such as by photographing the scene, interviewing witnesses, and recording any additional information that may help prove your case.
2. Gathering Documentation
You may often need to gather various documentation to support your wrongful death lawsuit. First, you should obtain a death certificate for your loved one, available from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
You should also attempt to gather and document as much evidence as possible related to your loved one’s accident. This evidence may include any pictures of the accident scene, witness statements or contact information, accident reports, or other information about the accident.
Your Fort Collins wrongful death lawyer can provide more details about these documents.
3. Negotiating a Settlement
As with most negligence claims, the other party’s insurer may attempt to begin negotiating to lower the overall payment amount to settle your claim.
During these early stages, your attorney may continue to work on the investigation to help prove the at-fault party’s liability. After your initial offer, the insurer may make a counteroffer while disputing aspects of your claim, such as the evidence indicating the other party’s liability for your loved one’s death.
Your wrongful death lawyer in Fort Collins may continue negotiating until the insurer agrees to a satisfactory settlement offer. If the insurer refuses to agree to a satisfactory settlement offer, your attorney may take your case to court.
5. Representing Your Family at Trial
If negotiations are unsuccessful, your lawyer may take your case to trial and present your claim before a jury or judge to prove the other party’s negligence or recklessness caused your loved one’s death.
At trial, your Fort Collins wrongful death attorney may present evidence gathered during the investigation to prove the other party acted with negligence or recklessness and breached a duty of care to your loved one, resulting in the victim’s death.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Fort Collins for Help Today
At Zinda Law Group, our Fort Collins attorneys are here to assist you with your claim. We help our clients pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after losing a loved one because of another party’s negligence or recklessness. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
Call or fill out our online contact form today for a free consultation with our team. As one of our clients, you will not pay anything unless we can successfully resolve your case. Learn more now with a Fort Collins wrongful death lawyer.
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AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2016-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)
AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)
LIFETIME MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA & JOE CAPUTO