A wrongful death can happen from a variety of circumstances. When the death of an individual is caused by another, whether it is an act of malice or negligence, it can leave surviving family members and dependents under an enormous amount of financial pressure.
In the state of Colorado, a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that tries to establish liability of an individual or entity for the death of another. Family members must demonstrate their loved one’s death was caused by negligence or intent.
The assistance of an Arvada wrongful death lawyer can often make the difference for families looking to obtain a degree of justice and fair compensation. Call today to set up a consultation with a compassionate attorney.
Eligibility to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury case in that one party is suing another for an injury. Since the injured person in a wrongful death case is no longer available to pursue legal action, a family member must step in to take the place of the deceased person and pursue the claim.
According to Colorado Revised Statutes §13-21-201, the surviving spouse can pursue a wrongful death claim within the first year of the death, followed by the children after the first year. If the deceased does not have a spouse, then the children may pursue a claim immediately. If the deceased has neither spouse nor children, the parents may pursue a wrongful death claim.
The statute of limitations in Colorado is two years, meaning the victim’s family generally must initiate the claim within two years of the death. An individual who is uncertain about their eligibility for filing a claim could consult with an Arvada wrongful death lawyer to review their situation.
Assessing Monetary Damages
In Colorado, the assessment of damages in a wrongful death suit lies with the jury, or solely with the judge if a jury is absent. Monetary compensation is dependent on the facts of the case, meaning a family must be able to prove the individual perished from circumstances involving:
- Acts of negligence
- Intentionally harmful behavior
- Recklessness and abandonment of care
- Breach of duty
Furthermore, the family must rely on proving guilt through the preponderance of evidence or evidence that strongly supports the case made by the claimants. This differs from the standards set in a criminal case.
Wrongful death suits stem from a variety of circumstances such as:
- Product defects
- Medical malpractice
- Automobile accidents
- Occupational hazards and exposure
- Criminal activities
In some wrongful death suits, a family may be able to pursue punitive damages as well, depending on the situation. Punitive damages may be awarded to deter responsible parties from acting negligently or recklessly in the future, as opposed to compensating for resultant damages.
Work with an Arvada Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful deaths can leave families in financial jeopardy due to the loss of contribution from their loved one’s wages, benefits, and protections. Additionally, family members may experience a loss of companionship, which can affect daily life and work.
When you and your family need to hold an appropriate party accountable, there is no substitute for a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney in Arvada. Contact an attorney today to learn more about your rights and how an Arvada wrongful death lawyer could assist with your legal options.