Types of Wrongful Death Cases
The term “wrongful death” refers to a type of civil lawsuit that can be filed against someone who has wrongfully caused another party’s death, such as through negligent conduct. In Colorado, the Colorado Wrongful Death Act authorizes only certain family members to bring such a lawsuit, and Colorado law outlines who may sue, what damages can be recovered, who can recover those damages, and when must a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought.
Colorado’s wrongful death laws are detailed and complex, and experienced wrongful death lawyers, like those at Whalen Hersh, LLP, can help you understand the laws surrounding wrongful death.
The following is a brief look at the various types of actions that can form the basis of a wrongful death claim:
Generally, everyone has a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring others. Should we violate that duty and cause harm, the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit based on a theory of negligence. Motor vehicle accidents, boating accidents, slips and falls, nursing home neglect, defective products, and dog attacks are all examples of circumstances that can result in someone’s death and thus provide the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit.
Medical malpractice is when a doctor or other medical professional injures a patient by failing to abide by generally accepted professional standards. A medical care provider can violate the “standard of care” in various ways, such as by misdiagnosing a patient, failing to diagnose, prescribing the wrong medication, or committing a surgical error. Should an instance of medical malpractice cause a patient to die, a wrongful death claim against the responsible doctor or hospital may be brought.
An intentional tort is a wrongful act that a perpetrator carries out fully intending to harm someone else. An example of an intentional tort is battery, or the infliction of harmful or offensive contact on another person. Many intentional torts are also crimes punishable by jail or prison time, probation, community service, and the like. As with negligence and medical malpractice, an intentional tort that causes someone’s death can form the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit.
Damages Recovered In Wrongful Death
Various damages can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit, including economic damages (e.g., loss of the deceased person’s income, lost services, funeral expenses, and medical bills, etc.), as well as non-economic losses (e.g., grief, sorrow, loss of consortium, etc.). Other scenarios and issues can affect the nature of the wrongful death damages sought and allowed, so it is important to discuss your specific situation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer.
Contact Whalen Hersh LLP Today
Losing a loved one because of someone else’s negligent or intentionally harmful conduct is a terrible tragedy. In addition to having to cope with the emotional distress, you may have to deal with lost companionship, medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of the deceased’s income-earning abilities. At a time like this, you need honest and objective advice from an experienced wrongful death attorney. The wrongful death attorneys at Whalen Hersh are available to help you explore your legal options as they relate to initiating a wrongful death lawsuit.