There is nothing more devastating than finding out that one of your loved ones has passed away. The loss of a loved one is even more painful if it was caused by the carelessness or recklessness of another person. There is nothing that can bring your loved one back, but filing a wrongful death claim may help you get back on your feet after coping with this sudden, unexpected tragedy.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death is any death that was caused by the negligence of another person. Wrongful death can be caused by intoxicated drivers, reckless drivers, careless medical professionals, and negligent property owners, for example.
In the event of a wrongful death, the victim’s family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. A wrongful death claim is one type of civil lawsuit that attempts to show the defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s death, and therefore the defendant should compensate the victim’s family members. The family members may be able to recover various types of damages, including compensation for loss of companionship, lost wages, lost benefits, and funeral expenses.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Many people may be personally impacted by the loss of a loved one, but only certain people can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. The victim’s spouse is the only person who can file a wrongful death claim in the first year following the victim’s death. In the second year, both the spouse and the victim’s children are permitted to file a claim. The victim’s parents may file a wrongful death claim if the victim did not have a spouse or children. The state of Colorado only gives surviving family members two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death claim. This means you must move quickly and contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible so you don’t miss this deadline.
Civil vs. Criminal Cases
The person who caused the victim’s death may face both criminal charges and a wrongful death civil lawsuit as a result of his actions. For example, a drunk driver may face vehicular homicide charges for causing the death of another person. It’s important to note that the criminal and civil cases are independent of one another. If the person who caused your loved one’s death has been charged, this does not mean that you do not need to file a wrongful death claim. A criminal case is used to determined whether the defendant is innocent or guilty, while a civil case is filed to determine if the defendant should compensate the victim.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Contacting a wrongful death attorney after you have lost a loved one may be the last thing on your mind, but it’s important that you make this a priority. Our compassionate attorneys can fight on behalf of you and your family members to recover the compensation that you need to get through this incredibly difficult time. Schedule a free consultation with Reisch Law Firm to discuss your case by calling 303-291-0555 today.