Colorado Springs Wrongful Death Lawyers
At Bachus & Schanker, we understand what families go through when a loved one passes away due to a wrongful death. Our experienced Colorado Springs wrongful death lawyers stand ready to fight for justice and compensation for the family members left behind when tragedy strikes.
We believe in providing compassionate legal service by investigating possible negligence leading up to the fatal incident. We work diligently to recover financial damages that can ease your suffering during this difficult time as you face costly medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, emotional turmoil, and other damages associated with wrongful death losses.
We believe hardworking families deserve support, guidance, and compassion after a tragic loss and should not be re-victimized by having to deal with insurance companies or mounting financial concerns. The attorneys at Bachus & Schanker are committed to helping you receive the closure you deserve from any negligent or reckless act causing your beloved’s unexpected premature passing.
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Colorado Springs wrongful death lawyers
We understand taking the first step to get justice for your loved one can be challenging. You already have to deal with many unknowns, unanswered questions, and grief, which can make you feel overwhelmed and alone. However, you are never alone as our wrongful death lawyers and Victim’s Advocates through our Elite Litigation Group are here to provide the help, support, guidance, and access to the resources you require.
Common wrongful death causes in Colorado Springs
Some of the more common wrongful death causes in Colorado Springs include:
- Automobile accidents: Many wrongful death claims in Colorado Springs result from fatal car accidents involving cars, trucks, or motorcycles due to another driver’s negligence or recklessness on the road. Wrongful death claims can include third parties, such as an automobile manufacturer that sold defective parts leading to an accident or the mechanic that installed them knowing they were defective.
- Medical malpractice: If your loved one died from a preventable medical error due to improper diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or treatment, you might be able to pursue legal action against the negligent healthcare provider by filing a wrongful death claim in instances where their mistakes resulted in fatal consequences for your loved one.
- Workplace accidents: Employers are legally obligated to ensure employees have safe working conditions. However, some fail to do so, resulting in workplace deaths through hazardous working conditions, defective tools, and defective equipment.
- Drug-related deaths: Pharmaceutical companies may bear responsibility when their product causes reactions, complicates treatments, or results in the development of another illness resulting in death
- Product liability: When designers, manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, and distributors put consumers at risk, which leads to wrongful deaths, they can be held accountable. Dangerous products range from consumer appliances and toys to lawn and garden machinery and smartphones.
- Premises liability: Property owners and responsible parties are legally required to ensure their facilities remain safe. When visitors slip and fall, are exposed to hazardous conditions or fires, toxic substances, or experience fatal injuries from some other defect, they can be held negligent.
- Alcohol-related deaths: Store owners, bars, restaurants, and social hosts have a legal duty to prevent over-serving guests. If not, and the person drives while intoxicated and causes an accident resulting in fatalities, they could also be held accountable for wrongful death.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action filed against an individual, corporation, or entity that has caused the untimely death of another by their negligent or intentional act. This type of lawsuit seeks compensation for losses from the decedent’s death, such as lost income and medical expenses.
What is wrongful death liability?
Wrongful death liability refers to a defendant’s legal responsibility for damages or losses arising from their conduct. This type of liability can occur if a defendant was negligent in causing another person’s death or through intentional acts, such as assault and battery, homicide, or murder.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Colorado Springs?
The surviving spouse, children, or decedent’s heirs are typically permitted to bring a wrongful death claim against any party who is legally responsible for the death. Claims may be brought in the circuit court or district court under Colorado’s Wrongful Death Statute and may seek both economic and non-economic damages.
How is a survival action different from a wrongful death claim?
A survival action is a claim made on behalf of the decedent that seeks to recover for losses sustained before their death. These claims include lost wages, medical costs, and pain and suffering. The surviving family members or other beneficiaries bring a wrongful death claim, seeking damages for emotional pain and suffering and financial losses resulting from the untimely death.
While the two personal injury claims are related, some significant differences exist. As such, it is vital to consult with a qualified Colorado Springs wrongful death lawyer to determine which suit is the best option for your particular situation.
What damages can I recover?
The damages recoverable through a wrongful death lawsuit can include the following:
- Medical expenses: All medical expenses your loved one incurred before their death, including any attempts at keeping them alive
- Funeral and burial expenses: Any funeral and burial expenses are included in the claim
- Loss of wages: Wages your loved one lost, including future wages they would have earned if they had lived, are recoverable
- Loss of benefits: Benefits, like health insurance and retirement, can be included as a financial loss when you counted on your loved one to provide these
- Loss of companionship: Emotional losses suffered by surviving family members who have lost their loved one due to another’s negligence or wrongful act
- Loss of consortium: The loss of affection, support, guidance, and sexual relations between the deceased and the individual’s spouse is non-economic damages that can be included in a wrongful health claim
- Emotional damages and trauma: Emotional damages include pain, suffering, grief, mental anguish, depression, anxiety, and other psychological injuries resulting from the decedent’s untimely death. Trauma covers more severe instances of emotional distress or shock caused by witnessing a loved one’s death or its aftermath.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages are awarded beyond economic and non-economic compensation in a wrongful death suit. They are intended to punish the responsible party when they were reckless and grossly negligent, causing the decedent’s death.
Are damages capped in wrongful death cases in Colorado Springs?
According to Colorado law, non-economic losses in wrongful death cases, except medical malpractice, shall not exceed $250,000 unless the court finds justification to increase the amount. However, the maximum non-economic damages amount is capped at $500,000.
There is no cap on economic damages, provided the decedent has a surviving spouse, child, or parent. Otherwise, the cap is $250,000. In addition, any capped amount is adjusted for inflation.
In medical malpractice lawsuits resulting in death, Colorado Revised Statute 13-64-302 states that the total amount of damages (economic and non-economic) shall not exceed $1 million. However, non-economic damages are capped at $300,000 as of July 1, 2003.
What is needed to prove negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit?
In order to prove negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care and due diligence in preventing harm or injury, which they did not meet, resulting in an unreasonable risk of harm or foreseeable injury to another person. The plaintiff must also show that this failure directly or approximately caused the decedent’s death or that the initial injuries eventually led to their death.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Colorado Springs?
In Colorado, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of death. However, in hit-and-run cases, the law does set the statute of limitation to four years, allowing time to attempt to find and locate the responsible party.
Failure to file within the allowed time limit results in forfeiture of your rights to pursue compensation. While resolving the case may take longer to finalize, the initial documents must be formally filed with the court to protect your rights to seek compensation and damages.
How long does a wrongful death case take?
It is essential to remember the length of a wrongful death case will depend upon the complexity of the facts and circumstances leading to the decedent’s death. Additionally, the willingness of the defendant and their insurance company to negotiate and reach a settlement influences the duration of a case.
If they decide not to settle, the case must go to trial and be resolved in court by a jury. Keeping these things in mind, in general, reaching a wrongful death settlement can take between six months and 18 months. However, if the case has to proceed to trial, it can take one to four years to resolve fully.
Regardless of the time needed to reach a settlement or have the case decided in court, it should not deter or stop you from seeking justice and compensation for losing your loved one.
Colorado Springs wrongful death settlements
In one recent case, the state of Colorado and local police settled for $19 million in the shooting and death of Christian Glass. In another case, Mesa County Jail and the jail’s former medical provider settled for $2 million in the death of Tomas Beauford.
However, these cases should not be used as a determinant for your case. It is essential to remember the number of wrongful death settlements in Colorado Springs varies because each case is unique and has its own set of factors.
Therefore, settlements can range from tens of thousands of dollars to millions. To get an idea of how much compensation your wrongful death claim could be worth, you should consult with a Colorado Springs wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
Our wrongful death lawyers are right here in Colorado Springs
If you have lost your loved one due to another’s negligence, do not hesitate to obtain sound legal advice from the experienced wrongful death lawyers in Colorado Springs at Bachus & Schanker. While no amount of money can replace your loved one, our team is committed to being your advocate and guiding you through this difficult time. We promise to help you and your family get the financial compensation you deserve.
CRS 13-21-201. (2022).
Maass, B. (2023). $2M Settlement Reached in Death of Colorado Jail Inmate Who Had Developmental Disabilities: “I Feel Some Type of Justice,” Says Mother.Ray, S. (2023). Colorado Will Pay Record $19 Million Settlement to Family of 22-Year-Old Killed by Police.
Related Wrongful Death Resources
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