When a loved one dies in an accident through no fault of his or her own, the law provides for recourse for the victim’s family. This recourse comes in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. Unfortunately, wrongful death occurs every day across the country, and Colorado is no exception.
In order to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado, you will need to consult with an attorney who handles these types of cases. It is also helpful to understand a bit more about what constitutes a wrongful death and whether your case may qualify.
How an attorney can help in wrongful death
An attorney can help you determine whether your case qualifies as a wrongful death lawsuit and then take your case to court. The case must meet specific requirements in order to qualify. The victim must have a surviving spouse, children or dependents who have suffered monetary damages as a result of the death. What makes a death “wrongful”, broadly speaking, is if another person caused it due to negligence or misconduct.
One example of this in Colorado is a case in which a man backed his vehicle into a pedestrian crossing the street. The pedestrian died, and his widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. The judge in that case dismissed charges because the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk when he got hit. This shows that every case is different, and an attorney can help you determine the feasibility of your case if it were to go in front of a judge.
How wrongful death occurs and limitations
There is a long list of ways a person can die due to the negligence of another or due to misconduct or a wrongful act. While motor vehicle and bicycle accidents are among the most common, victims of wrongful death also include falls, drowning, fires and deaths due to dangerous conditions. The law sets forth specific limitations regarding how long you can wait before you file a case. It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible following the death so you can ensure the most possible time for taking your case to court.
The first step toward understanding whether or not you have a viable wrongful death lawsuit is to contact an attorney who works with these types of cases. An initial consultation can help you strategize your next moves.