Wrongful Death Attorneys
When you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, what steps can you take to recover damages? Turn to the experienced wrongful death attorneys at The Foley Law Firm in Colorado Springs, CO to lead your wrongful death case.
Wrongful Death Attorneys in Colorado Springs, CO
Wrongful death cases require the plaintiff to prove that another’s negligence led to the death of their loved one according to a preponderance of evidence (meaning the claim is more likely true than not). A wrongful death attorney can help build your case and seek compensation for losing your loved one’s income and future contributions.
Only certain family members may bring forward a wrongful death claim; in the first year, only the surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim. Within the statute of limitations, eligible family members include:
- Dependents of the decedent
- Parents (if unmarried and without children)
Additionally, non-economic damages have caps of $250,000 in wrongful death claims. In medical malpractice wrongful death claims, there is a $300,000 cap for non-economic damages and a $1 million cap for all total damages.
Economic damages may include funeral and burial costs and loss of income and services based on the decedent’s lifetime earnings up to their untimely passing.
Examples of Wrongful Death Scenarios or Causes
Wrongful death falls under the umbrella of personal injury law because the same accidents that lead to injuries may also lead to deaths. Whether you lost your loved one in a car accident or due to a defective product, you need an experienced Colorado Springs wrongful death lawyer.
Several instances can lead to a person’s death by negligence, thus justifying a wrongful death case, including:
- Medical malpractice
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Defective product accidents
- Criminal acts
Wrongful Death is Different From a Criminal Prosecution
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases rather than criminal cases. There are several differences, such as that civil suits usually involve a settlement or award for compensation, while criminal cases will include fines or time in prison as part of a state-mandated sentencing process.
The plaintiff is also different in wrongful death cases compared to criminal cases. In a criminal case, the state is the plaintiff bringing the charges against the defendant for committing a crime. In a civil suit, an injured party brings a claim against the negligent party responsible for their injuries. In a wrongful death claim, the injured party is the decedent, and their eligible spouse, heirs, or parents must bring the claim against the defendant.
The amount of evidence required is also different between civil claims and criminal cases. In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove their statements against the defendant with a “preponderance of the evidence.” In a criminal case, the plaintiff must prove the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” with their evidence.
To bring a wrongful death claim against someone is not to punish them with criminal charges but to offset your losses through compensatory awards after the death of a loved one. Your wrongful death lawyer can help you determine the value of your loss in your case based on the expected future contributions your loved one would have made.
Losses That May Be Recoverable for a Wrongful Death
You may recover certain losses in your wrongful death claim. A knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer can help you pursue economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses for injuries leading to the death of the decedent
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the decedent’s earnings
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of guidance
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
If your loved one survived their injuries for a time before succumbing, the decedent’s estate might pursue a survival action against the negligent party. The personal representative of the estate must be the one to file a survival action.
If you find yourself in this situation, then you need to work with a wrongful death law firm to guide you as you move forward. These cases can be as complicated as they are emotional, and there are important implications for the future that hinge on the actions you will take. At The Foley Law Firm, our lawyers can help your family determine the appropriate compensation to pursue in your wrongful death claim.
Wrongful Death Requires Immediate Action
The Colorado statute of limitations to bring a wrongful death case forward is only two years from the date of the decedent’s passing. Additionally, there are restrictions on who may file a wrongful death claim.
Only a surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim in Colorado in the first year after the decedent’s passing. If there is no surviving spouse, only the decedent’s legal heirs or designated beneficiaries may file the claim.
The parents may file a claim if the decedent had no spouse or heirs.
In the second year, any class of eligible family members may file the wrongful death claim, including a surviving spouse, heirs, or other named beneficiaries.
Determine the Next Steps for Your Wrongful Death Case
Wrongful death cases can be particularly complex. They are also often a family’s only chance at remuneration for losing their loved one.
Contact The Foley Law Firm in Colorado Springs, CO. Call today at (719) 757-1182 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation for your wrongful death claim.
Why Choose The Foley Law Firm?
We can put your life back together. Unlike other law firms, we remain accessible to answer your questions and help you navigate important decisions from the moment you contact us until your case is resolved.
- Caring and compassionate advocacy to pursue your financial recovery in coordination with your physical recovery
- Community-minded service in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak area
- Consistent communication to effectively voice your interests on your behalf
- Personalized, neighborly treatment to allow you relief from stress
- We deal with the insurance company and your case details while you get better
- Free consultations for personal injury cases
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