Losing someone close to the heart in the family can be quite detrimental and the pain of loss can be tragic if caused by negligence of a third party.
However, the state of Colorado gives you a chance to sue for damages against a person in a wrongful death lawsuit in order for you to achieve compensation to ease your own suffering when losing a loved one because of the reckless actions of others.
The bitter aspect of the law dictates that there is a limit to the time that a party can file a wrongful death suit in Colorado, and further dictates who is actually eligible to file a claim in the first place.
Who Makes the Claim?
A suit for wrongful death falls in the ambit of a civil case and can be filed either by the family of the deceased or the direct personal representative. The difference between a civil and criminal case is that the criminal case is filed on behalf of the state and the punishment is often imprisonment or probation with a fine, whereas in a civil case the guilty is often penalized in terms of monetary damages.
In the State of Colorado, a surviving spouse is eligible to file a claim in the first year after the death of the loved one. However, during the second year, both the living or legal partner as well as the children of the deceased person are eligible to file a wrongful death suit.
In the circumstance there is no living spouse or children, the parents of the deceased person can file the claim. Moreover, the representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a claim to recover damages for certain types of losses to the estate.
This claim is known as a “survival action” and governed by statute; this kind of action revolves around the emotional and psychological suffering of the deceased person rather than the grief and financial loss that the family has suffered because of the wrongful death of the decedent. In further complexities, these claims have the potential to recover damages that relate to the pain and suffering caused to the family and their medical bills. This is the crucial aspect that is quite similar to those provided by the personal injury lawsuit if the deceased had survived. The financial compensation is then dispersed through the deceased person’s estate rather than distributed directly to surviving family members.
Under the Colorado statute, there are numerous damages that can be recovered by way of a wrongful death lawsuit through a wrongful death lawyer. However, there is a $250,000 limit on non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and the emotional distress of losing a close companion. Furthermore, funeral expenses and medical bills, loss of the loved one’s earnings, and loss of household duties are fairly easily calculated and recoverable.
In the state of Colorado, damages are assessed by the judge if there is no jury. Each case is unique and differs in facts; however, generally the family members who make a claim may seek compensation for the following:
- Life insurance
- Salary of the deceased that he or she would have earned
- Medical bills incurred after the tragic accident
- Funeral expenses
Even though the void left in the heart can never be filled by bringing back the deceased, a suit for wrongful death provides adequate financial compensation to lift the burden off the family of the deceased.