In Colorado Springs, wrongful death occurs when someone dies because of another person’s negligent behavior or intentional violent actions. Auto collisions are some of the most common causes of fatal accidents in the Colorado Springs area. In these situations, a family member of the deceased may be entitled to pursue legal action. While typically these actions may begin after an individual’s will is review, other situations may change this process.
When a person dies without a will or trust, they are considered intestate. These laws would apply regarding how to deal with that person’s estate. If it is a large estate, it would need to go through probate, which is governed by state probate laws.
Because these can be many legal nuances and challenges that arise out of these claims, you should seek the services of a skilled attorney if you are looking to take action after your loved one has died. For help understanding Colorado Springs wrongful death cases, speak with a caring legal representative today.
It is important to understand that wrongful death claims in Colorado Springs are not criminal cases. They are civil law cases designed to get monetary compensation for the loss of a person. This compensation typically goes to the deceased’s family members. Criminal charges are separate cases handled by the government to punish somebody for violating the law.
These cases are different from other personal injury claims because the person who suffered injuries has died. In other situations, the person who is hurt is the individual who brings the claim. In wrongful death cases, a family member brings the claim.
Every state has a different law on wrongful death. Even within Colorado Springs, every jurisdiction has a different type of jury pool, which is based on the types of people who live in that jurisdiction. This city tends to draw from more conservative communities. Politically conservative groups such as veterans and ex-military members are often part of the jury pool. These individuals may look at the damages and losses to a family member differently than other socioeconomic groups.
The statute of limitations is two years in a wrongful death case. However, in the first year after the death, only the legal spouse of the deceased can bring a wrongful death action, if they were married. After this first year, if the spouse has not filed, then the decedent’s children may be eligible to file an action within that second year. If the person who died was not married at the time of their death, then their children can bring a claim immediately. Understanding the various statutory deadlines for a Colorado Springs wrongful death claim can be difficult without a skilled attorney. Therefore, a claimant should retain a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that they meet the statute of limitations.
Most wrongful death cases are settled out of court. When settling any case out of court, the costs are usually much lower because they do not need to include filing and expert fees, depositions, court reports, or transcript expenses. It can cost as much as ten to 15 times more to settle when the case goes to court versus outside of court.
Additionally, settling a wrongful death case out of court can have psychological benefits. Typically any type of lawsuit can be stressful. However, with the added stress of a grieving family, the effects can be much greater. Settling out of court avoids the psychological impact of a long and arduous courtroom process.
If the insurance company is not offering a fair amount, then it may be better to take the claim to court. However, this decision differs from case to case, and insurance companies may try to pay less by arguing fault on the part of the deceased person or claiming that the plaintiff’s damages are overestimated.
Different people apply diverse values to having a case resolved, so it is up to each person to discuss the best course of action with their attorney. An experienced attorney could help a claimant determine whether a settlement is appropriate. Additionally, these claims may involve large sums of money, so it is best to have someone on the team who has legal experience.
Usually, attorneys charge a contingency fee, which is a percentage of the total amount the claimant recovers. This percentage varies depending on the lawyer’s practice and the risks associated with each case. The advantage of a contingency fee is that the claimant does not have to pay them as the case progresses. This percentage is the same regardless of how long they spend on the case. Additionally, this system allows a plaintiff to avoid paying a retainer.
At its core, these claims involve asking for a certain amount of compensation for the loss of a loved one. Understandably, no amount of money can replace a human life, so there is a tremendous strain on surviving loved ones during this process.
They need an attorney who is compassionate and understanding of the changes in the survivor’s personal life and who could advise them on how to handle all of the related issues. These challenges may include funeral expenses, probate issues, wills, trusts, estate matters, and more. Most importantly, grieving family members need a considerate attorney to help ease that burden.
These cases are unique and different from general personal injury cases in many aspects. A person needs an attorney who understands all the various intricacies in these claims. For help understanding Colorado Springs wrongful death cases, contact our compassionate lawyers today.