A wrongful death lawsuit is usually filed on behalf of an individual whose death was caused by a wrongful act or someone else’s negligent behavior. A spouse, parent, child, or the estate of the deceased are usually the first to bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit. In order for any of the parties listed above to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado, they must first establish that the decedent would have had the grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived the incident [Source: Colorado Revised Statute §13-21-202].
Examples of When a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Might be Filed
To help individuals gain a better understanding of what a wrongful death lawsuit is, below are a few examples of when a family member might decide to file one on behalf of their deceased loved one.
- Driver negligence. Drivers who operate their vehicle while intoxicated, distracted, or in a reckless manner can be sued if their actions cause a fatal accident to occur. In some cases, if the accident was caused by a truck driver, his/her employer may also be included in a lawsuit as most trucking companies are responsible for the accidents their drivers cause.
- City negligence. For example, if Denver city workers failed to ensure roadways were properly marked and sufficiently lighted, the City of Denver could potentially be held liable if a fatal accident was caused by mismarked roads or poorly lit streets.
- Medical negligence. A doctor who fails to provide a patient with the standard level of care and causes their death as a result of it could be sued for wrongful death.
- Property owner negligence. Properties in Colorado should be free from unsafe or hazardous conditions that could cause harm to someone who enters the premises. If a public or private property owner or even a construction company that is in the process of constructing a building leave the premises in an unsafe condition, either party could be held liable if their negligence leads to someone’s death.
How much is generally paid out for wrongful death lawsuits?
A wrongful death lawsuit could result in a family walking away with $500,000 in damages or even $5 million. It all comes down to how the incident occurred and how the loss has impacted those bringing forth the lawsuit. Generally, the plaintiff in a wrongful death case may be awarded the following damages given they are entitled to them:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses, if the decedent received care for their injuries before passing away.
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional stress
- Burial expenses
If a family in Colorado recently lost someone they love and their death was caused by a wrongful act or someone else’s negligent behavior, they are encouraged to contact Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC to speak with a Denver, Colorado wrongful death attorney. The CO wrongful death lawyers at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC can help a family understand what their legal rights are and obtain justice for their loved one’s death.
Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC can be reached at:
333 W. Hampden Avenue, #420B
Englewood, CO 80110