Suddenly losing a loved one in an accident caused by another person’s negligence may leave you feeling lost and confused about what to do next. While taking legal action may not be on the forefront of your mind, a compassionate Monument wrongful death lawyer could provide support during this difficult time in your life by helping you take steps to hold the negligent party accountable.
Individuals who have lost family members may be entitled to compensation and could collect by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. A personal injury attorney could be your legal advocate and guide you throughout the claims process.
A wrongful death claim is a type of civil lawsuit that establishes the liability of an individual or entity for the fatality of another. These claims are only valid if the deceased would have been able to file another personal injury case had they survived.
Additionally, to pursue a successful wrongful death claim, a Monument attorney would be required to prove that the fatal accident was caused by the recklessness, negligence, or intentional behavior of another person or company. From car accidents to incidents stemming from defective products, there are a wide variety of events and injuries on which a legal representative could base a wrongful death suit.
Colorado Revised Statutes §13-21-201(1) establishes specific parties who could be eligible to file a wrongful death claim, along with the associated time limits to file a suit. Under state law, the decedent’s surviving spouse is the only individual who may file a claim the first year following their loved one’s death. During the second year following the fatal accident, both the surviving spouse and children of the decedent would be permitted to bring a lawsuit.
If the deceased did not have a spouse or children, their parents could file a lawsuit to seek losses for their child’s death. Besides any case presented by surviving family members, the decedent’s estate representative could file a claim for specific types of losses to the state. This is also known as a survival action.
C.R.S. §13-21-203(1)(a) details the possible compensation that a family member could pursue under the Colorado Wrongful Death Act. In Monument, an attorney presenting a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased could seek damages such as:
The decedent’s representatives also could pursue damages for losses incurred by the estate, such as hospital, medical, and emergency care costs associated with the deceased’s final injury or illness, funeral costs, and burial expenses. In certain instances, family members could be able to seek punitive damages, which are awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar negligent conduct in the future.
In general, the wrongful death of a minor is viewed as more tragic than a wrongful death of an adult because the young person did not have a chance to grow up and explore and enjoy life. Jurors tend to think of minors as more vulnerable and needing protection than adults. Additionally, if the claim of a minor is future wages in any capacity, it is going to be more difficult to establish.
Experts are typically needed in this regard because minors do not have a career path set. An expert can be helpful in determining what that minor would be expected to earn in their lifetime which is a bit more difficult than predicting an adult who is already in an established career.
Losing a loved one can be one of the most devastating and traumatic ordeals that someone could ever endure. If your family member recently passed away in an accident caused by another’s recklessness, do not hesitate to contact a Monument wrongful death lawyer. A caring attorney could review your case and explain your legal options in full. To get started on your case, schedule a consultation today.