Denver Wrongful Death Lawyers

The Top Six Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Colorado

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action brought by the member or members of a deceased person’s family for compensation. Wrongful death is a death that is caused by another person or company’s negligence, recklessness, willful disregard of the law, or the breach of a standard of care. For the basics of wrongful death lawsuits in Colorado, click here. The wrongful death of a family member is always a tragic event, and can often cost thousands of dollars in medical bills and property damage, funeral and burial expenses, not to mention the resulting emotional harm.

The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Alhasoon, Glidden and Glidden regularly deal with the following as the most common causes of wrongful death in Colorado:

Car Accidents

In Colorado, over 4,094 people died in car accidents in 2017 alone. This is the result of three factors.

  1. The first is a variation of reckless or negligent conduct by a driver. Things such as texting and driving, speeding, disobeying traffic laws, or driving under the influence of alcohol are common causes of injury or death to pedestrians.
  2. The second factor that lends to serious injury or death are defective road repairs or construction defects that cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and become involved in a car accident.
  3. The third factor is an automotive defect to the operator’s vehicle. Certain mechanical defects may cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and cause harm to themselves and others on the road.

Truck Accidents

Although trucking accidents are often similar to car accidents, they are placed in a different category for wrongful death lawsuits due to the specialty of care and skill required to operate and maneuver the size and weight of large vehicles, such as semi-trucks. Consequently, truck drivers are held to a different standard of care than regular vehicle drivers. Regardless of the heightened standard of care, truck drivers can be held liable for negligence, recklessness, and drunk driving. Driving under adverse weather conditions that are riskier for semi-trucks or driving with an overweight load is an example of negligence. Doing such things that are against the norm for truck drivers is referred to as breaching the standard of care, because it may put themselves, and others in harm’s way.

Motorcycle Accidents

Because motorcycle drivers are very exposed and have limited protection, motorcycle accidents often result in very serious brain, back and spinal injuries, and sometimes even death. Similar to car accidents, a few causes of serious injury may result from defective helmets and riding gear, mechanical issues in the motorcycle, or most commonly, from distracted or reckless auto drivers.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice results from negligence by medical professionals breaching their standard of care. Such negligence may result from a misdiagnosis, pharmaceutical errors, birth injury, improper treatment, medical device defects, or surgical errors. A breach of that standard of care can result in serious injury or death to a patient and may be grounds for medical malpractice or even a wrongful death action.

Defective Products

Defective products vary from the small to the large – from a design defect in a faulty motorcycle helmet, an air bag defect in your vehicle, a defect in your child’s toy, or the food and drinks you consume. Product defect lawsuits are a very important tool for holding manufacturers and companies accountable, as they sell and profit from goods sold to public consumers.

Workplace Accidents

In certain industries, such as manufacturing and construction, it is important for the company to observe certain laws, rules, processes, and standards of care for employees that work in hazardous or dangerous workplaces. For example, a worker on a heavy construction site should always be required to wear their hard hat to avoid the potential that objects may fall on them from above. If a company fails to enforce such safety standards, they can be held liable for not providing direction in the workplace. It is particularly important because the employer and the company have the knowledge, ability, and the duty to prevent known injuries to workers and employees.

Of course, a wrongful death lawsuit is not limited to the above listed causes. There may be more nuanced causes of serious injury or death that were preventable. Wrongful death lawsuits are important for holding individuals and companies accountable for their actions. If you are suffering from the loss of a loved one because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, we extend our deepest condolences. Call the experienced Denver wrongful death attorneys of Alhasoon, Glidden and Glidden for a free consultation on your options for pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the responsible parties accountable. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve for the loss of your loved one.

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Suing for the Wrongful Death of a Loved One

A wrongful death occurs when someone is killed because of the wrongful, careless, or negligent conduct of another party.  Although in some instances, a criminal suit can be brought against the responsible party for the decedent’s death, family members may file a lawsuit in civil court to establish the liability of a company or individual for the death of a loved one.

Examples of when family members of the decedent can file a wrongful death lawsuit include, but are not limited to the following:

– when a criminal action has failed or is not attempted,

– a death is caused by a drunk driver,

– reckless or careless driver,

– deaths cause by dangerous or defective products,

– medical malpractice,

– negligent, careless, or wrongful conduct

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Colorado, the Wrongful Death lawsuit is controlled by Colorado statute (CRS 13-21-201), which dictates specifically who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit.  In the first year of the decedent’s death, the surviving spouse has exclusive rights to bring the lawsuit.  After the first year, the surviving spouse or the children of the decedent have standing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.  If there is no spouse or surviving children, then any of the surviving parents of the decedent may bring a claim. In addition to surviving family members, the individual representative of the decedent’s estate may file a claim for a “survival action” to recover damages for certain losses to the estate.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

From the date of death of the decedent, any of the above individuals have two years to file a claim for a wrongful death. You should not wait – consult the experienced wrongful death attorneys at Alhasoon, Glidden and Glidden immediately to discuss your claim, ensuring you provide adequate time to prepare your case.

What Can You Recover?

In Colorado, the law provides that survivors of the decedent can recover economic and noneconomic damages. Monetary damages are assessed by a jury, and if there is no jury, by a judge. The specific damages awarded in a wrongful death suit will depend on the particular facts of the case. The types of damages that survivors can recover for a Wrongful Death lawsuit include, but are not limited to:

– Monetary damages,

– Loss of salary or wages of what the decedent would have earned had he or she been alive,

– The loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection or care suffered by the survivor of the decedent,

– Pain and suffering,

– Lost benefits, such as life and health insurance,

– Funeral and medical bills

Additionally, if the conduct of the responsible party was willful, reckless or wanton, the survivors may also recover punitive damages.

If you have lost a loved one unexpectedly due to negligent or reckless conductAlhasoon, Glidden and Glidden extends its deepest condolences. Wrongful death cases are almost always emotionally difficult for family members and is not a matter our attorneys take lightly.  If your loved one died unnecessarily due to someone’s carelessness conduct, call the best wrongful death attorneys in Denver – Alhasoon, Glidden & Glidden – for a free consultation to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your loss.