Wrongful Death Compensation Lawyer in Colorado Springs
The loss of a family member is devastating. No one is ever fully prepared for it. However, losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligent actions can make the experience even harder to process.
A family member’s untimely passing deprives you of the person’s love and care. Meanwhile, you may face the challenge of losing an income your family relied upon. To make matters worse, you may be left with your deceased family member’s medical bills and funeral costs at a time when your grief is overwhelming.
Nothing can fill the hole in your life left behind by a deceased family member. But a wrongful death claim can provide financial relief and a sense of justice. The Colorado Springs wrongful death lawyers at Earl & Earl, PLLC, can help your family pursue the justice you deserve during this difficult time. Contact us today to talk to one of our trusted wrongful death lawyer for free.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Colorado law defines wrongful death as any death caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional act of another person or entity. In some ways, a wrongful death lawsuit is like any other personal injury case, in that it’s designed to help you recover compensation for the financial losses and other harm someone has suffered due to another party’s negligence.
The key difference between wrongful death claims and other personal injury cases is that wrongful death claims are brought by another party on behalf of the person who died.
Some of the common causes of wrongful deaths in Colorado include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Premises liability injuries (including slip-and-fall accidents)
- Intentional acts of violence (such as assault and battery)
If you have lost a family member and want to discuss your legal options, please contact us now to speak with an experienced wrongful death compensation lawyer in Colorado Springs.
Who Is Eligible for Wrongful Death Compensation?
While someone’s death may ripple out to affect their family, friends, and acquaintances, not everyone impacted by the death is eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Colorado law makes it clear that only certain family members are entitled to claim compensation.
In the first year, the deceased’s surviving spouse has first priority to file a wrongful death claim under Colorado law. The spouse may elect to have the deceased’s children file the claim or file the claim with them. If there is no spouse, the deceased’s children or a designated beneficiary may bring the wrongful death claim.
Once a year has passed after the death, the deceased’s surviving parents may be eligible to file a claim if there is no surviving spouse or children.
Lastly, another type of legal action that can be taken on behalf of the deceased is known as a survivor’s action. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate can bring a survivor’s action. The goal is to recover compensation for losses the deceased suffered after being injured but before death.
Types of Compensation in a Wrongful Death Case
Here are some of the things for which you can be compensated through a wrongful death claim:
- Medical costs – Depending on the situation, an accident victim may have dealt with severe injuries for weeks or months before death. When this happens, the deceased’s family is left with the remaining medical bills. A wrongful death claim can help the family recoup these costs.
- Funeral and burial expenses – Funeral and burial costs have skyrocketed in recent years, placing a serious financial burden on grieving families. In cases involving a wrongful death, surviving family members can seek funeral and burial costs from whoever’s liable for the death.
- Loss of earnings – When someone dies prematurely, they’re no longer able to provide for their family. If the deceased died relatively young, their family would lose out on years of potential earnings to help them cover their living expenses. This can have devastating financial consequences. A wrongful death claim allows surviving family members to pursue the resources they need.
- Loss of love, affection, and care – Perhaps the most devastating result of a wrongful death is the loss of the family member’s love and care. This loss cannot be measured in dollar amounts. But surviving family members deserve compensation for this grievous loss, nonetheless.
- Mental pain and suffering – Grief produces strong emotional reactions in surviving family members, including depression, anger, anxiety, and more. The psychological toll of a wrongful death can be severe, and surviving family members can seek compensation for the harm they’ve suffered through a wrongful death claim.
- Punitive damages – Punitive damages are awarded in rare cases where the liable party either intentionally injured the deceased or acted in an especially reckless or negligent manner. This type of compensation is awarded solely at the discretion of the judge or jury. It is intended to punish the at-fault party.
How Is Wrongful Death Compensation Paid Out?
Any compensation recovered through a wrongful death claim is awarded directly to the surviving family members. If any compensation is recovered through a survivor’s action, that money goes to the deceased’s estate and is then distributed to the beneficiaries.
Is a Wrongful Death Settlement Taxable?
As a general rule, personal injury settlements are not taxable as long as they are related to some kind of physical injury. However, wrongful death claims do not generally entail physical injuries to the party who filed the claim, as they’re brought by surviving family members on behalf of the deceased.
This means that some types of compensation from a wrongful death settlement, especially punitive damages, may be considered taxable income by state and local authorities. Wrongful death attorneys can answer any questions you may have about whether your wrongful death settlement is taxable.
Talk to a Wrongful Death Compensation Lawyer Now
It may be difficult to think about waging a legal battle when you’re grieving a lost family member. But while you may be hurting now, it’s essential to think about your future and how you will provide for yourself and your family.
A wrongful death claim won’t ease the pain of your loss. But it can help you pursue the resources you need to heal and take care of your family. Contact us now for a free consultation with a Colorado Springs wrongful death compensation lawyer at Earl & Earl, PLLC.