When a loved one dies due to another’s negligence, it is essential to prove that person’s or party’s actions were responsible or contributed significantly towards their death. In addition, one must also show that the responsible party owed the deceased a duty of care and failed to provide it, resulting in the loss of life. Both of these factors are essential in proving a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity. It is a civil action brought by surviving family members of the deceased in order to obtain monetary compensation for the loss of their loved one.
Have further questions about wrongful death and filing a claim? Contact our wrongful death attorneys today for a free consultation.
Several types of wrongful death claims can be filed due to medical malpractice, defective products, work-related accidents, car accidents, dangerous property conditions, and criminal acts.
- Wrongful death due to medical malpractice: This type of claim is filed when a medical professional fails to provide proper care, resulting in the patient’s death.
- Wrongful death due to defective products: This claim is filed when a product is defective and causes the death of the user.
- Wrongful death due to work-related accidents: This type of claim is filed when an employee is killed in a workplace accident due to the employer’s negligence.
- Wrongful death due to car accidents: This wrongful death claim is filed when a person is killed in a car accident due to the negligence of another person or entity.
- Wrongful death due to dangerous property conditions: A premises liability wrongful death claim is filed when a person is killed due to dangerous property conditions, such as inadequate security or hazardous materials.
- Wrongful death due to criminal acts: This type of claim is filed when a person is killed due to criminal acts, such as homicide or drunk driving. It is a separate civil suit from any criminal proceedings the defendant may face.
Most types of insurance may provide coverage for wrongful death. Common types of insurance that may cover wrongful death include:
- Car Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Homeowner’s Insurance
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance
- Product Liability Insurance
- Medical Malpractice Insurance
In some cases, compensation may also be available from Social Security or other government programs.
The damages that can be claimed as part of a wrongful death lawsuit include the following:
- Medical Bills
- Funeral and Burial Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Future Lost Income/Services
- Loss of Inheritance
- Loss of Consortium
- Property Damages
In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are designed to punish the negligent party and discourage similar behavior in the future.
In Colorado, only certain family members of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim as allowed by CRS 13-21-201. These include the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. Other close family members, such as siblings, may also be able to file a claim in certain cases.
You do not file a wrongful death claim with your insurance. Instead, you would contact an experienced wrongful death attorney to file a wrongful death claim for assistance with the process. Your attorney will file your claim against the responsible party’s insurance.
It is essential that you file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. In Colorado, you have up to two years to file your claim. However, filing your claim as soon as possible is better to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to receive.
A wrongful death claim involves filing a civil claim against the person or entity responsible for the death of your loved one. Your wrongful death lawyer will help you build a case using evidence of negligence or misconduct. The claim will include a demand for financial compensation due to the death of your loved one from the responsible party’s insurance.
In the event a settlement cannot be reached, then your wrongful death attorney will file a lawsuit in civil court. The court will review the cause and issue a summons when there is sufficient evidence to pursue a lawsuit.
The summons is delivered to the defendant as notification they are being sued. Other legal processes often take place before the trial date. In most cases, the defendant and their insurance company will settle before the trial date.
In the aftermath of the wrongful death of a loved one, you are often left in a state of shock with a sense of uncertainty for the future. You can also feel angry towards the responsible party because they took your loved one away from you.
It can be difficult to decide what to do next and how you should proceed while you are grieving. Getting help from a wrongful death attorney can be very beneficial as it leaves all the legal aspects of filing a wrongful death claim in experienced hands.
Your wrongful death lawyer will take care of many things to help prove negligence and a lack of a duty of care, including:
- Conduct a detailed investigation into the death of your loved one.
- Obtain police reports, hospital records, and other evidence essential to your case.
- Consult with professional experts, such as accident reconstructionists and doctors.
- Prepare all legal documents and send the demand letter to the responsible party and their insurance company.
- Negotiate with the insurance company to reach a suitable settlement.
- Provide updates about your wrongful death claim, and advise when you should consider a wrongful death settlement.
- Provide legal support for your family by answering all your questions and concerns.
- File a wrongful death lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached.
- Continue to attempt to reach a settlement before going to trial.
- Continue to aggressively advocate for you and your loss to ensure a favorable outcome should your case proceed to trial.
You are free to concentrate on grieving your loss, planning the funeral, and planning your next steps without having to deal with the responsible party, their insurance company, or their lawyer.
When the unthinkable happens, and you lose a loved one due to wrongful death, the Elite Litigation Group and attorney Kyle Bachus are here to help. Attorney Bachus knows first-hand what it is like to lose a loved one unexpectedly.
Get the help you need with guidance from our wrongful death law firm with a free case evaluation and consultation today.