A lot of thoughts may be running through your head after the unexpected death of a loved one. Among these may be questions of how you will pay for the funeral and any outstanding medical bills. You may also wonder how your family will cope financially after your loss.
While a wrongful death lawsuit may not be able to help you grieve, talking to a personal injury attorney about filing one may help provide financial stability during a time of uncertainty. A Colorado Springs wrongful death lawyer could walk you through this difficult process and explain all the necessary steps for pursuing compensation from the party responsible for your family member’s death.
A wrongful death is a death that would not have happened if not for the reckless or violent actions of another party. More specifically, Colorado Revised Statutes §13-21-201 establishes that a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate when the facts of the case infer a valid personal injury claim had the victim survived the incident.
As a result, a wrongful death case may follow from many common personal injury incidents, including:
A Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney could review a case to determine whether a family member or other representative has the grounds to file a valid wrongful death lawsuit on a deceased person’s behalf.
One key aspect in which a wrongful death lawsuit differs from a traditional personal injury case is choosing an eligible plaintiff. CO. Rev. Stat. §13-21-201 provides a list of who may serve as a plaintiff in a wrongful death case and when these representatives may file a claim.
Within the first year following an unexpected death, a surviving spouse, child, or parent has priority to serve in this role. Regardless of who brings the case to court, though, the purpose of the lawsuit is to provide compensation to the decedent’s estate. A Colorado Springs lawyer with experience in wrongful death claims could help families choose an appropriate plaintiff to represent the estate in court and navigate this family member through the legal process.
Another distinguishing factor in wrongful death claims is the types of damages that a plaintiff can pursue. First, an estate can collect economic damages, which are the financial losses incurred by the family because of the death, including funeral costs and hospital bills.
If the decedent held a job and used their income to support their family, the claimant also can demand future lost wages. Between expenses and lost wages, there is no limit on the amount of economic damages that wrongful death case may claim.
The other category of damages is noneconomic losses. According to CO Rev. Stat. §13-21-203, there is a maximum limit of noneconomic damages that a jury may award in this type of claim.
Noneconomic damages typically include loss of companionship, parental guidance, consortium, and general grief. A wrongful death lawyer in Colorado Springs could help to measure a family’s losses to demand appropriate payments.
The time following an unexpected death can be uniquely difficult, and the pressure for surviving family members to take account of their finances after a devastating loss can be overwhelming. A Colorado Springs wrongful death lawyer could help you handle the emotional and complex legal undertakings while you and your loved ones focus on grieving. Call whenever you are ready to schedule a consultation on your case.