A Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney can help you through the confusion about your options after you lose a loved one. Wrongful death is when someone’s passing is due to the wrongful conduct of a person or company. In such cases, the lack of care or the misconduct of the party means that they are responsible. Their negligence caused the loss of life which would not have otherwise occurred.
Wrongful death is a civil complaint, not a criminal one. A defendant can be charged separately with a crime if the state so chooses. However, the case to file a compensation claim is a civil matter and requires a Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney.
The benefit of wrongful death claims being civil is that the family doesn’t have to wait for a prosecutor to file charges. Furthermore, the burden of proof is lower than in a criminal case. In criminal charges, the defendant must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil court for a wrongful death claim, it is only needed to show a factual likelihood beyond 51%. The family is also not reliant on a prosecutor who does not work for their interests but only those of the state.
As such, a Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney is a necessary part of any wrongful death claim. For the family to have the best outcome from a wrongful death claim they need a knowledgeable attorney on their side. Navigating the complexities of a wrongful death claim in Colorado can be a challenge. Hiring the best Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney will help to have the best outcome.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?
The responsibility for wrongful death is defined by Colorado law as resulting from the “negligence, unskillfulness, or criminal intent” of another party. This could be someone who was operating a vehicle or the company responsible for putting that vehicle on the road. It could also include a company that hires someone who failed to properly design the at-fault vehicle or item. The company can be held responsible if this employee’s misconduct or negligence led to an error that caused loss of life.
A Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney will work for you to show how the defendant was responsible. The claimant needs to show that the victim, had they survived, would have been entitled to damages. The burden of proof must show that the victim had less blame in the accident than the party accused of wrongdoing.
1. Evidence that can help prove a claim of wrongful death includes:
2. Police reports
3. Eyewitness accounts
4. CCTV or video surveillance
5. Phone or email correspondence
6. Medical records
7. Criminal conviction
8. Expert testimony
9. Accident reconstruction
Who Can Receive Compensation For Wrongful Death?
Under Colorado law, during the first year, only the surviving spouse can file a claim of wrongful death. In the second year, the heirs or children may file a claim or join the claim of the surviving spouse. If there is no spouse, the children may file a claim in the first year. If there is no spouse or children, the deceased’s parents may file a claim. When another family member joins a claim, the potential compensation will be divided.
Colorado is especially complex in how it defines heirs and beneficiaries. Whether or not a parent or sibling could file may not be possible without expert knowledge of the local legal system. The timelines for filing a claim can be equally confusing. To navigate this better, a Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney can clarify who can make a claim and when.
What Damages Can You Recover From Wrongful Death?
In many cases, when a person dies from the negligence of another, their death is not immediate. It is more likely that there will be hospitalization or medical treatment in the hope to save their life. This treatment is often costly and is a financial burden on the family in addition to funeral costs. In Colorado Springs, the average cost of burial and funeral arrangements ranges from $4,500 to $9,000.
In addition to the cost of medical and funeral expenses, there is also the loss of income. The victim’s earnings may have been the only income the family was dependent on. All the future earnings that would have been income are no longer available to support the family. With their experience, a Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney can help to calculate these economic losses. This is taken into account during wrongful death claims to help the spouse or heirs in the wake of their loss.
The grief and suffering of having lost a loved one is also something that is factored into wrongful death claims. It is impossible to put a price on the loss of a loved one, of course. Nonetheless, financial compensation can help a family through tough times as they recover from their loss. This allows the spouse or children to take the time they need to grieve and heal from their loss.
There is no limit to the amount of economic damages the family of the victim can receive. However, there is a cap put on the amount of non-economic damages (pain and suffering, etc). Be sure to hire the best Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney to help you understand these details.
The damages that can be recovered from wrongful death include:
1. Medical bills
2. Burial and funeral costs
3. Lost income
4. Loss of insurance benefits
5. Any expenses that resulted from the victim’s death
6. Pain and suffering
7. Emotional distress
8. Grief, sorrow, loss of companionship
9. Exemplary damages
How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help With Wrongful Death Claims
In cases of wrongful death, the proceedings are always very emotional and complex. Colorado law is always changing and trying to navigate it can be confusing and difficult. Knowing how much you can ask for and what documents you need to gather is already a challenge. Additionally, you have to deal with constantly evolving statutes and confusing legal language. The responsible party may try and confuse you or trick you to avoid having to pay damages.
This is why you want a skilled Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney. They will support and guide you through the process of making a wrongful death claim. You can rest and grieve while their knowledge makes the procedure run smoothly, ensuring you receive the most compensation and the best outcome.
Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation
Our Colorado Springs wrongful death attorneys know how to help you through a wrongful death claim. Our lawyers are dedicated to treating our clients with compassion and providing expert legal representation and advice. We are committed to helping individuals suffering from the financial and emotional damages they are experiencing. If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, contact a Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney today to see how we can help. Your initial consultation is free so don’t delay any longer.