What is a wrongful death?
Coping with the death of a loved one is never easy, but the loss can be especially difficult to accept when it results from a situation that could have been avoided. A "wrongful death" occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence, misconduct or carelessness of another. Wrongful death actions can arise from medical malpractice, automobile accidents, ski accidents, intentional misconduct, product liability, premises liability or other circumstances.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident or through negligent medical care, we can represent your interests against the parties at fault and their insurance companies. Our detailed understanding of Colorado's insurance and general liability laws means we understand the different sources of recovery available to accident victims and their families, as well as the various theories of liability that enable clients to recover from the parties who are responsible.
What makes a wrongful death case unique?
In Colorado, the surviving spouse, next of kin or personal representative brings a wrongful death action on behalf of the deceased. The wrongful death claim is unique in that the victim, the one with first-hand knowledge of the event, is not able to provide any insight into the accident. For many families, the only option for learning the facts about the death of their loved one is to pursue a lawsuit. Only though legal proceedings are answers provided by the responsible party.
When pursuing a wrongful death claim, you are entitled to seek compensation for the non-economic damages, meaning your grief and sadness associated with the loss of your loved one. Under Colorado statute this is limited to $436,070.00 as of August, 2009, with exceptions including for cases involving medical malpractice claims. Periodically, in accord with Colorado law, this cap is adjusted for inflation - the adjusted limitation on damages certificate is provided by the Colorado Secretary of State.
What to expect from a wrongful death lawsuit?
The emotional trauma that comes from the loss of a loved one is often coupled with significant financial considerations. These financial considerations include both immediate and future expenses. It is important for you and your family to know your future is financially stable. To do so typically requires legal advice as to the different types of damages you may seek. You are entitled to reimbursement for all medical, funeral and associated expenses related to the death, and care for injuries or conditions resulting in the death.
The medical expenses may be subjected to a subrogation interest asserted by the medical insurance provider - we can help negotiate any reimbursement required. Read more about Damages. You may have a claim for the net pecuniary loss resulting from death and this claim is not subject to a subrogation interest or other claim. This will include wages, less what consumption would have occurred during the lifetime of your loved one, as well as fringe benefits. If you shared a home, you may also receive compensation for loss of help in running the household.
For answers about your wrongful death claim, call for a free consultation:
We have handled numerous wrongful death cases and know how to aggressively pursue your rights. We have the technical background to develop the liability claim for the loss and understand the methods which best communicate the extent of the loss to a jury. And though personal matters become public in any personal injury lawsuit, it is particularly true for wrongful death victims – you will be forced to share the most intimate details of your daily life with strangers, many of whom are openly hostile. Choose a lawyer with whom you are comfortable and who is experienced in protecting family members from further harassment. Call us today to speak to an attorney and have your legal questions answered.
How We Helped a Family Win a Wrongful Death Case
Mother and Grandmother Die from Car Accident Injuries.
On the clear and sunny afternoon of December 28, 2000, Mrs. Sandra McClellan was driving her 1992 Jeep Cherokee northbound on Colorado 287 in Boulder County, Colorado. At approximately the same time, Mr. John Pennie was driving a 1999 Ford F-550 utility truck southbound on Colorado 287. Mr. Pennie was driving the utility truck as part of his duties as an employee of Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO.)