When one party causes injury and economic losses to another party through any type of negligence or willful misconduct, it can form the basis of a personal injury claim. The objective of a personal injury claim is for the victim to hold a defendant accountable for the harm they have done and to secure recompense for their damages. However, if the victim does not survive the actions of another party, their surviving family would need to file a wrongful death suit against the defendant.
Legal Counsel for Wrongful Death Claims in Colorado Springs, CO
Wrongful death suits effectively replace personal injury claims that the victims could have filed if they had survived. However, while these civil cases are functionally similar, there are special rules that apply specifically to wrongful death suits. If you intend to file a wrongful death claim in response to the untimely and unexpected death of a family member, understanding what your case will entail and what you can expect in terms of recovery of your damages is essential.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has many years of experience handling all types of personal injury cases for Colorado Springs clients; we have also successfully handled many wrongful death cases. We know the various legal challenges you could face in the aftermath of a family member’s unexpected death and the many questions you are likely to have in this situation. The sooner you connect with our team, the more time we have to build a compelling case on your behalf.
Building Your Wrongful Death Suit in Colorado Springs
Many of the most common causes of personal injuries also cause wrongful deaths. Some of the most frequently cited causes of wrongful deaths in Colorado Springs include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. If a driver causes a fatal accident, their insurance may only cover a portion of the total damages they inflicted, and depending on how they caused the accident, they could face criminal charges. Driving under the influence (DUI), speeding, and distracted driving are just a few examples of common causes of fatal vehicle accidents.
- Premises liability. Property owners must address foreseeable safety issues on their property. If a slip and fall or other accident causes the death of a lawful visitor, the property owner can face liability for wrongful death under the state’s premises liability laws.
- Violent crime. Assault, armed robbery, and domestic violence are just a few examples of violent criminal acts that can potentially result in death. Any defendant who engaged in intentionally illegal behavior that resulted in the death of any party could face prosecution for homicide and face many years in prison.
- Medical malpractice. While most medical professionals do all they can to provide safe and effective treatment to every patient, medical negligence continues to be a leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths in Colorado Springs each year. If your loved one died from medical malpractice, this type of wrongful death suit would be more complex than a standard wrongful death claim against a private individual.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways a wrongful death might happen. No matter how your family member died, if someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct caused the death, it forms grounds to file a wrongful death suit.
State law limits eligibility to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased had an estate plan in which they named a personal representative, this individual would have the primary right to file a wrongful death suit. Otherwise, the eligibility to file a wrongful death claim belongs to the surviving spouse, children, or parents. Your Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney can answer any questions you may have regarding eligibility to file a wrongful death suit and where the proceeds of the suit will go if you succeed with the claim.
Claimable Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit
The purpose of a personal injury claim is for the victim to recover compensation for their damages. When it comes to wrongful death suits, these cases aim to compensate the family of the victim. Similar to a personal injury case, it is possible for a wrongful death suit to yield compensation for economic and non-economic damages. However, there are limits as to how much can be claimed from a defendant.
When it comes to economic damages, these include the direct financial effects of the wrongful death. The plaintiff may claim compensation for funeral and burial expenses and the economic impact of losing the financial support the deceased provided to their family. It’s possible to recover compensation for the future income the deceased could have earned for their family if they had survived. It is also possible to recover compensation for damages incurred by the deceased’s estate, such as property losses and medical bills.
Non-economic damages in wrongful death claims are limited. It is possible for the family of the deceased to recover compensation for the loss of care, affection, and companionship and for the surviving spouse of the deceased to recover compensation for the loss of consortium. However, pain and suffering compensation in most wrongful death suits is limited to $500,000.
When you choose the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal to handle your wrongful death suit, our goal is to help your family recover as much compensation as possible as quickly as we can. We will do everything we can to help you maximize your case award in the shortest time possible and settle the matter quickly, but if litigation is necessary for any reason, we are fully prepared to represent you in court.
Colorado Wrongful Death FAQs
Q: How Much Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth in Colorado Springs?
A: State law limits how much compensation a plaintiff can receive for a successful wrongful death claim, and the proceeds of this lawsuit will go to the beneficiaries of the deceased. It is possible to recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, lost financial support the deceased provided, and the future financial support they could have continued to provide if they had survived. The family can also collect compensation for their pain and suffering. Your Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney can estimate your claim’s total potential value.
Q: How Do You Prove Fault for a Wrongful Death?
A: According to state law, a wrongful death occurs whenever one party’s negligence or intentional misconduct results in the death of another person. Proving liability for your loved one’s wrongful death may require a combination of various types of evidence, from physical and digital evidence to testimony from eyewitnesses who saw the fatal injury happen firsthand. You must prove a causal link between the defendant’s actions and the death, which means proving that the death could not have occurred from any other cause.
Q: What Is the Time Limit for a Wrongful Death Claim?
A: If you plan to file a wrongful death suit in response to your loved one’s death in Colorado Springs, you must do so within the two-year statute of limitations. This time limit begins on the date the death occurs. Two years might sound like enough time, but there are various legal prerequisites you must fulfill before you can actually file your claim. It is important to start your claim filing process as soon as possible to have the greatest chance of success with the claim and to ensure you meet the statutory deadline.
Q: Will the Defendant Face Criminal Prosecution for Causing a Wrongful Death?
A: This is a possibility if the defendant caused the death through any illegal act, such as intentional violent crime or driving under the influence. If the defendant caused your loved one’s death through an illegal act, they would face not only civil liability for you and your family’s damages but also criminal penalties, such as fines, jail time, and other punishments. Additionally, the penalties for breaking the law automatically increase when the defendant’s actions result in death.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Colorado Springs Wrongful Death Attorney?
A: The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal accepts wrongful death claims and personal injury claims in Colorado Springs on a contingency fee basis. This means our client only pays an attorney’s fee if and when we win their case, and their fee is a portion of the amount recovered. There is no risk of your legal fees overshadowing your recovery when you choose our firm to represent you. If our team cannot obtain compensation for your wrongful death suit for any reason, there is no fee at all, so there is no risk to you by choosing our firm to represent your case.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal offers compassionate and communicative legal counsel in every case we accept. We know how difficult it can be for any family to unexpectedly lose a loved one, and we know the frustrations that come with the realization that the death was the result of negligence or willful misconduct. Whatever your wrongful death claim entails, you can trust our firm to guide you and your family to a positive conclusion. Contact us today and schedule your free consultation with a Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney to learn more about the ways we can help with your case.