Losing a loved one is a heartbreaking experience. Losing them because of the negligence of another person is a feeling that cannot be explained. If your loved one passed away through no fault of their own, you have the option of filing a wrongful death claim. There is often a lot of confusion about filing a claim, and knowing more about it can help you to make a decision.  

What Is Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim is a civil action filed against a party for causing a death, in lieu of criminal action or after criminal action has failed. What is considered a wrongful death may vary, but one thing that stands is that Colorado has its fair share of accidental deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the third leading cause of death in the state is accidents. 

An easy way to know if a wrongful death claim would be applicable is if the deceased would have had cause to file a personal injury claim if they had lived — for example, if they were injured in a car accident or because of medical malpractice. There is also the possibility of bringing a claim against a person who intentionally killed the deceased. This would have to be after failed criminal action. 

If you are unsure if you are able to file a wrongful death claim, contact a Colorado attorney for more information. Gama Law Firm offers initial free consultations and is always willing to answer your questions. 

Can I File a Claim?

If you are the deceased’s spouse, or if they were unmarried and you are their next of kin, you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. If there is no next of kin, a representative of the deceased's estate can file a claim. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing a claim is two years. 

Since the time to file a claim is so short, it is very important to find a wrongful death lawyer quickly and get the proper recourse. An attorney can tell you your options and help you decide which route to take. At Gama Law Firm, attorney Richard Gama is an experienced Aurora-based personal injury and wrongful death attorney who will be empathetic with you and your case but will fight for you in court or settlement proceedings.

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Proving Negligence

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care which results in harm to another person. Proving negligence only matters if your case goes to court. Most of the time these types of lawsuits are settled out of court, but if yours isn’t, there are a few things you need to know. 

If you go to court, there are three main things that need to be proven or provided to show negligence. They are duty of care, the breach of duty of care, and the cause of death. 

  • Duty of care is an obligation that you would need to prove the other party had. For example, in a car accident, it is widely regarded that the other party had an obligation to drive sober, carefully, and obey traffic laws.
  • A breach of duty of care shows that the above did not happen. For example, the fictional driver discussed drove imparied or distracted or ran a red light. Any of those actions would show a breach of duty of care. 
  • For the cause of death, you would need to prove that the breach of duty of care is what caused the death of your loved one. For example, if the other party ran a red light and hit the deceased, that would a possible breach of duty of care that might have led to the death. This creates a strong case. 

Finding this information should be easy if you have a police report and a death certificate. The cause of the accident should be on the police report, and the cause of death should be on the death certificate. The duty of care is something that a lawyer can help you determine. Even if you do not have this information it is still worth contacting an attorney to better know your options.

What Damages Will Compensation Cover?

The loss of a loved one leaves a big hole in your life, in more ways than one. A sudden death does not give the family any time to prepare for the costs that come with death. This is where compensation comes in. There are several things that compensation from a wrongful death suit may cover, a few of which are: 

  • Medical costs
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of love and companionship
  • Loss of income 

There is more that may be included to be covered with your case. Every situation is different. The court is aware of that, and your case will be treated accordingly.

At Gama Law Firm, taking care of you and your family is our first concern. From there we will fight for you either in court or in settlement negotiations. Losing a loved one before their time is something far too many people go through, but if you have the option to get some justice and ease the financial burden, it is a course you should consider pursuing.

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Denver Wrongful Death Attorney

If you and your family are faced with the decision to file a wrongful death claim, Richard Gama can help you. With compassion and a fierce desire to help, Gama Law Firm will fight for you and work to make sure you do not feel ignored in your time of need. Reach out today for a free initial consultation.