There is perhaps nothing more devastating than the unexpected loss of a loved one. This loss can be all the more overwhelming and painful if you believe that your loved one’s death could have and should have been prevented, if not for the negligent or intentional action of someone else.
At Zaner Harden, we are committed to helping our clients in the wake of the unthinkable. We know that you are overcome with loss, and we are here to help you through the legal aspects of your case, so that you and your loved one can find justice and financial support even as your mourn.
We want you to know that you could secure both legal justice and compensation if your loved one’s death was due to another person or party’s:
We offer residents of Colorado a free, private legal consultation. This can simply be a time where you can tell your story and as your legal questions to an experienced, compassionate attorney. It can also be a time when we plan legal action against the entities that contributed to your loved one’s death.
In the U.S., unintentional injuries (read: accidents) are the fourth leading cause of death, behind only heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases.
However, not every death due to unintentional injury is grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit – however, many are.
Wrongful death cases can take on many different forms–technically, any death that is caused by another party’s negligence or direct intention can be followed by a civil lawsuit. But some types of wrongful death cases are more common than others. In both the United States and Colorado, the following wrongful death cases are most common:
These are just a few of the most common causes of death in wrongful death cases. No matter the type of accident or death, if you believe that your loved one’s death should have or could have been prevented, you should speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney about your case.
Colorado has special state laws regarding who can file a wrongful death claim. These laws not only specify who can file a claim against the at-fault parties, but also when they can file. Here’s what you need to know:
Because of these statutes and limitations, it is very important to act quickly after your loved one’s death to make certain they get the justice they deserve and you get the compensation you need. Even if you are not sure if you are legally allowed to file, and even if you aren’t sure if you have a valid wrongful death claim, speaking to a Colorado wrongful death attorney can help you get the answer you need and reveal your best options for action.
We lose so much when we lose a person that we love. But while most people are overcome with grief because of their lost dreams and their lost futures, it’s important to keep in mind the wide range of damages that occur when someone is taken from our lives unfairly and unexpectedly. In a Colorado wrongful death case, you can sue liable parties for several types of damages, including:
In addition, you may seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are a monetary award taken from the at-fault party to punish them for their negligence or recklessness. For example, you may seek punitive damages from a drug company that knowingly sold a dangerous prescription drug, in order to better ensure that the company stops its illegal practices in the future.
Colorado state law (C.R.S. § 13-21-202) states that in wrongful death cases, a person must prove that if the deceased person had survived, they could have pursued damages in a personal injury case. Furthermore, they must prove that the majority of fault belonged to the other party and not to the deceased.
Just as with personal injury lawsuits in Colorado, proving fault means proving whether the defendant breached a duty of care owed to the affected person and whether this breach ultimately resulted in the accident/assault and death.
Secondly, a person must prove the amount of damages they believe they are owed. This can be calculated with the help of your legal team and experts who specialize in determining damages. One of the biggest mistakes families make when settling wrongful death claims is not realizing the extent of their damages and accepting much less money than they are owed under the law.
There are caps to the damages you can recover in Colorado wrongful death cases. In most cases, but not all cases, the limit is just above $430,000. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, in cases of a “felonious killing”–first degree murder, second degree murder, or manslaughter–all caps are lifted.
We understand that you are likely not thinking first and foremost about legal actions following the death of your loved one. That’s why we are here: we take the burden of your loved one’s legal proceedings off of your shoulders and make certain that their rights and your rights are protected, every step of the way.
Our team of experienced, thoughtful, and thorough attorneys are here for you, from determining whether you have a wrongful death claim, to filing the claim, to settling the case or going to court. We are committed to answering your questions, analyzing your best options for legal action, and making certain that you get what you deserve fairly under the law.
Zaner Harden Law offers confidential, complimentary consultations for families who have lost loved one. Call our offices today to ask a question, find out more about our legal services, or schedule your meeting with a Colorado wrongful death attorney.