Sometimes, families lose a loved one through unexpected and tragic circumstances. It can be hard to cope with a sudden loss, especially when there is a person or individual directly responsible for it. Negligent product design, drunk driving or inadequate property maintenance are all ways for one person or business to cause the death of an individual.
Under Colorado law, it may be possible to bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party for the benefit of surviving dependent family members. Fatal situations involving negligence, misconduct or defaults might qualify for a wrongful death claim. Pursuing such a claim can be a way for surviving family members to secure two different forms of justice.
The justice that comes from the courts assigning fault
Sometimes, a fatal incident doesn’t result in criminal charges or the charges don’t result in a conviction of the party who caused the death. Surviving family members who feel denied justice can pursue it through the civil courts instead or even file a civil suit after a criminal conviction.
Even if there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges or secure convictions in the Colorado criminal courts, the standard of evidence in the civil courts is lower. Your family may have enough evidence to connect the other party to the death of your loved one. Having the courts declare the other party ultimately responsible for your loss can offer your family emotional closure.
The justice that comes from economic compensation
It is not just your grief that negatively affects your family when someone dies. There is also the economic loss that results to consider. You have to pay for medical care and a funeral. Your whole family will miss out on a lifetime worth of employment income add benefits. There are also your loved one’s unpaid services around the house and companionship.
The courts can award you financial compensation for all of these losses. In fact, if you can prove that the death resulted from willful and wanton misconduct, malice or fraud, you may also qualify for exemplary damages. These damages don’t reimburse you for a specific loss but rather serve as a financial punishment for the party responsible.
Understanding the potential value of a wrongful death claim might convince you to file one.