Wrongful death claims are a relatively new addition to the American legal system. Historically, surviving family members were unable to bring a legal action to recover for the losses they sustained due to the wrongful death of a loved one.
This led to the somewhat anomalous result that a person who was seriously injured but lived would be able to recover significant compensation for his or her economic or non-economic losses from the at-fault party, but no one could recover should the victim pass away due to his or her injuries.
In order to rectify this situation, states have passed wrongful death statutes creating a cause of action (a legal basis for a lawsuit) that allows certain family members of people who have been wrongfully killed to recover compensation for their losses.
This is because it is created by statute, wrongful death law differs in many important respects from personal injury law, so individuals who believe that they may have a claim are best served by retaining an attorney familiar with representing wrongful death plaintiffs.
Our wrongful death attorneys in Colorado are available to discuss your case at no cost to you and you will not incur any legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
Legal actions based on wrongful death can arise from a wide variety of incidents.
Some of the most common types include the following:
Importantly, in order to be able to recover, surviving family members of victims must be able to establish that the incident that resulted in their loved one’s death was caused by someone’s negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct.
In many cases, doing so may require the collection, analysis, and presentation of a significant amount of evidence, so it is important for anyone who believes that they may have a valid claim to speak with a dedicated wrongful death attorney in Colorado immediately.
The kinds of evidence that may tend to establish legal liability in a Colorado wrongful death case include eyewitness statements, surveillance footage, accident reports, cell phone records, vehicle computer data, vehicle maintenance records, internal business documents, expert witness testimony, and medical records.
In some cases, parties with an interest in the outcome of a wrongful death case may be reluctant to produce evidence necessary to the plaintiff’s case and may even be tempted to destroy it, so it is critical for surviving family members to retain an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Colorado as soon as possible.
Colorado law is particularly restrictive about who can file a wrongful death claim and has time limits that are specific to how a particular plaintiff is related to the decedent.
The only parties that may potentially bring a claim for wrongful death are a surviving spouse, the children or designated beneficiaries of the decedent, or the decedent’s parents.
Notably, Colorado law differs from many other states in that it limits the parties that can recover to lineal descendants, excluding other descendants such as nieces, nephews, siblings, or others.
The law allows different parties to sue based on the amount of time that has elapsed since the decedent passed away.
The determination of damages in a Colorado wrongful death claim can be extremely complicated and are assessed by the jury or the judge in a bench trial.
Wrongful death plaintiffs can be entitled to the following types of damages:
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent or otherwise wrongful conduct of another person or party, you may be able to recover significant compensation.
While no amount of money can bring your loved one back, a civil lawsuit can help family members feel that there are consequences imposed on the person or party responsible for the death of their loved one.
The Colorado wrongful death lawyers of McCormick & Murphy, P.C. have been representing the rights of people who have been injured by the negligence of others since 1995 and are committed to securing the best possible result in each case we take.