Losing a family member unexpectedly is not easy, but when you know your loved one’s death was the result of negligence or illegal misconduct, it can make the situation much worse, adding frustration and resentment to an already powerful mix of emotions. If your family has recently lost a loved one due to the actions of another party, it is important to know your options for legal recourse that can ensure accountability. When one party injures another party, it can form the foundation of a personal injury case, but when the victim dies, their family could file a wrongful death suit instead.
Compassionate Legal Representation for Wrongful Death Claims in Broomfield, CO
A wrongful death claim is very similar to a personal injury claim from a procedural standpoint, but while a personal injury suit aims for recompense for a victim’s losses, wrongful death claims seek recompense for the victims’ families. Money cannot replace a deceased family member, but the case award your family obtains after a successful wrongful death action can make it easier for you to adjust to your new circumstances.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has the professional resources and experience you want on your side for a wrongful death suit. We have successfully handled all types of personal injury cases in Broomfield and are ready to leverage our years of experience on your behalf in a wrongful death claim. If you are mourning a family member lost due to another party’s negligence or misconduct, we will do everything we can to ensure accountability with a cohesive wrongful death action.
How to Prove Liability for a Wrongful Death in Broomfield
Much like a personal injury case, a wrongful death suit requires the plaintiff to prove where the fault for the death lies. They must identify the party responsible for the death and then prove their actions directly resulted in the death. Commonly cited causes of wrongful deaths in the Broomfield area include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Any car, truck, or motorcycle accident has the potential to cause severe or fatal injuries. Proving liability will be an essential first step in recovering from this kind of accident, and the at-fault driver’s insurance may cover some of the victim’s losses. However, if a vehicle accident caused your loved one’s death, insurance is likely to only cover a fraction of the total losses you can claim from the defendant. Our team can help prove who is at fault for the fatal accident that took your family members’ life and hold the at-fault driver appropriately accountable.
- Premises liability. If a slip-and-fall or similar incident caused your loved one’s death on someone else’s property, the property owner could be liable for the wrongful death. All private property owners must ensure their properties are safe for lawful visitors, and they must address known safety issues as soon as they arise. Failure to do so could lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries to lawful visitors.
- Intentional misconduct. While most of the wrongful deaths reported in Broomfield each year result from negligence, it is possible for intentional and illegal misconduct to cause fatal injuries. If another party was driving while under the influence of intoxicants or was committing a violent crime and caused your loved one’s death, the at-fault party not only faces civil liability for wrongful death but also criminal prosecution from the state.
These are just a few ways wrongful deaths might happen in Broomfield, CO. Your attorney can assist you in gathering the evidence you will need to firmly establish liability for the death, and once you have identified the defendant or defendants and proven their liability, you can proceed with claiming compensation.
Claimable Damages in a Broomfield Wrongful Death Suit
Under the state’s wrongful death statutes, the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim has the right to seek both economic and non-economic damages from the defendant. Economic damages include the direct financial effects the death has on the remaining family, such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Losses incurred from the deceased’s estate, such as the cost of the victim’s final medical treatment.
- Lost financial support provided by the deceased. This may include future income they can no longer earn for their family and/or lost value of household services. Your Broomfield wrongful death attorney can assist you in calculating these unrealized damages.
In addition to these economic damages, the family also has the right to claim compensation for their grief and emotional distress. It may sound difficult to translate these intangible losses to financial terms, but an experienced Broomfield wrongful death attorney can help their client determine a suitable amount. Colorado law limits pain and suffering compensation in most wrongful death suits, but your attorney can assist your family in maximizing this part of your case award.
If your loved one’s death resulted from any illegal action from the defendant, the judge handling your case might award your family punitive damages along with your other compensation. As the name suggests, punitive damages intend to punish a defendant’s behavior, and the amount they pay generally hinges on their financial status.
Ultimately, you could have grounds to claim far more compensation than you may have initially expected, and the right attorney is an invaluable asset for maximizing the final case award of your wrongful death suit. When you choose the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal to handle your case, our goal is to settle the claim as swiftly as possible for the maximum amount of compensation possible under state law. However, if litigation is required to resolve your wrongful death claim, you can rely on our firm to provide the compassionate and responsive litigation counsel you need to approach your courtroom proceedings with confidence.
Q: How Much Compensation Can My Family Win From a Wrongful Death Claim?
A: Under the state’s wrongful death laws, you have the right to seek full compensation for all the financial losses resulting from your family member’s wrongful death. Additionally, your family can seek compensation for pain and suffering to reflect the emotional distress the death has caused. The exact value of a wrongful death claim can fluctuate based on several variables, so it is important to consult reliable legal counsel if you want to maximize your case award.
Q: Is a Case Award From a Wrongful Death Suit Taxable?
A: There is no need to worry about your wrongful death settlement or trial award facing taxation. Your case award is exempt from taxation at both the state and federal levels. However, this applies to your economic and non-economic damages. If your family receives punitive damages as part of your settlement or case award, this section of the case award is subject to taxation. If you have questions about the tax implications of your wrongful death suit, your Broomfield wrongful death attorney may provide advice or refer you to a tax professional who can help.
Q: How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Broomfield?
A: There is a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. You need to file the claim within two years or lose the ability to seek compensation from the defendant. However, during the first year following the death, only the personal representative of the estate or their surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim. Alternatively, the spouse may allow the surviving children of the deceased to file the claim or join them in filing the claim. During the second year, other surviving relatives and beneficiaries can pursue a wrongful death suit if no one else has already done so.
Q: Why Do I Need to Hire a Broomfield Wrongful Death Attorney?
A: Hiring legal counsel for your wrongful death suit is not strictly required, but you are more likely to succeed with the case when you have trustworthy legal counsel on your side. Your legal team can handle the procedural aspects of your case and help your family identify all claimable damages you can seek from the defendant. Ultimately, you are not only more likely to win your case with an attorney’s help but also more likely to maximize the final case award you obtain from the defendant.
Q: What Are Attorneys’ Fees for a Broomfield Wrongful Death Attorney?
A: The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal will not add to your financial concerns when you are already struggling in the aftermath of an unexpected death in the family. We take wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will only pay a fee after we win your case, and your fee is a percentage of the total compensation we win on your behalf. If our team is unable to win your case for any reason, you pay nothing.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has helped many clients in Broomfield and surrounding communities with all types of civil claims, including wrongful death cases. We know the emotional strain these cases carry and the many legal questions you will probably have. Contact us today and schedule a free consult with a Broomfield wrongful death lawyer to start working on your case with confidence.