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We’re Here To Help With Your Wrongful Death Claim
Losing a loved one brings a tremendous amount of emotional pain, grief and many types of new stress due to medical expenses, funeral expense and processing wrongful death claims to help the surviving family members. You may be wondering, what is a wrongful death claim, how do I go about handling it, who can help you with your claim and tons of other questions. That is what we are here for.
As a wrongful death lawyer, Our goal is to make the wrongful death claims and legal process as easy as possible on you while getting you the maximum amount of compensation available so you can get back to life as normal as fast as possible.
As experienced lawyers who have worked with many grieving families of wrongful death victims, we know the consequences of these cases all too well.
We are here for you in this time of need and will help you through the process the entire way. Don’t try to navigate a wrongful death lawsuit yourself, get in touch with our attorneys right away for best results with your claim.
Our El Paso County wrongful death attorneys at Rector Stuzynski LLC are dedicated to getting you what you deserve from the responsible parties of your wrongful death claim. Whether you are the deceased’s surviving spouse or children of the victim, we will fight for you and make sure your legal rights are being upheld throughout your case. If there is someone at fault for your family member’s death and you are pursuing a wrongful death action, call us today for a free consultation and our compassionate team of attorneys will be happy to help you.
What Are Common Causes?
According to the law or more specifically, wrongful death law, wrongful death is a legal term that means any death caused by default, negligence, or wrongful act of a third party. A wrongful death occurs when someone dies in a situation where they would have been entitled to damages from a personal injury claim had the victim actually survived the accident. These situations are typically from situations involving negligence, willful misconduct, dangerous premises, criminal acts, carelessness, defective products and more. Some of the most common wrongful death causes are as follows:
While there are many different types of wrongful death lawsuits listed above, this is not an exhaustive list. If you believe a family member or loved one has had a fatal injury where someone else is at fault, get in touch with Rector Stuzynski LLC today and we will look over your El Paso County wrongful death claim for free.
What Qualifies As A Valid Claim?
Claim Timelines & Who Can File
In El Paso County, we have a very specific way of dealing with wrongful death lawsuits. Our law firm is dedicated to helping the family members and loved ones get the best possible outcome for your fatal injury case on a contingency fee basis. Below you can find some commonly asked questions about the wrongful death claim process.
The individuals that may file a wrongful death claim within the first year of the death are the spouse or the heirs with the spouses consent, children of the deceased if there is no spouse, or the designated beneficiary. During the first year, the spouse holds the primary power to start the lawsuit and may allow the children or beneficiary to join the suit within the first year after death, however adding them to the lawsuit is not required.
During the second year after death, the spouse, children of the victim or designated beneficiary is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit if it has not already been started within the first year. Parents are also entitled to damages when there is no spouse, children or designated beneficiary of the deceased person. The parents, whether still married or not, are entitled to equal shares of the damages unless only one of the parents is still alive, then they would receive the entire share of monetary damages received.
After the second year post death, the rights to file a wrongful death lawsuit are no longer valid according to the statute of limitations on these types of cases as per local law. If no case is filed within two years, any cases brought after that time may be dismissed and any right to damage claims will be lost. Don’t let this happen to you, get in touch with our wrongful death attorneys right away to ensure you are able to receive any rightful damages owed to you by the at fault party of your loved one’s death.
What Damages Can Be Claimed?
When filing a wrongful death suit in El Paso County, there are numerous different types of damages that you may be able to receive monetary compensation for. Some of these are listed below:
- Loss Of Victim’s Future Earnings
- Loss of Companionship, Grief, Sorrow, Pain, Emotional Distress & Mental Stress
- Punitive Damages (In Some Cases)
The state of Colorado allows for economic as well as non-economic damage compensation related to the death of a family member. Economic damages refer to losses that have an actual dollar value such as lost income, medical expenses, funeral expenses and expected inheritance. Whereas non-economic damages would be considered, pain & suffering, loss of guidance/companionship and sometimes punitive damages when the death was due to gross negligence and recklessness. Wrongful death damage claims are very complicated and need to be handled by an experienced wrongful death lawyer so call Rector Stuzynski LLC right away if you think your loved one’s fatal accident was caused by negligence.
How Can You Prove Wrongful Death?
Proving wrongful death is not always an easy task and there are multiple different aspects that need to have occurred to bring on a valid wrongful death lawsuit. These are common across most cases involving negligence, so let’s take a look at some of these items.
Duty Of Care – When filing a wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove that the defendant had a Duty Of Care, such as the duty to operate a motor vehicle safely and within local laws. This could also mean a property owners duty to keep their customers from harm by properly taking care of the property.
Breach Of The Duty – Once you have established that there was a duty of care that needed to be met, you have to also prove that the defendant breached that duty and in turn caused the death of the other party. This means any sort of negligence or careless acts by the liable party such as driving through a red light or finding out your building has structural issues and allowing customers or tenants into the building when it is not safe.
Causation – After showing that the breach of their duty to care happened, you must now show how their negligent action caused the death of the plaintiff. If you are not able to show the link between their negligence and the death occurring, then the defendant isn’t responsible for paying damages.
Damages – The last part is to prove that the plaintiff actually felt real world losses due to the death of their family member. This could mean lost wages, lost income, emotional distress, funeral costs, medical bills and more.
How Long Does It Take To Settle A Claim?
The amount of time it takes to settle a wrongful death claim can vary drastically based on many different factors. First, how soon after the death you file can change whether you are able to file a claim or not. Make sure you file your claim within a timely manner or the statute of limitations may keep you from being able to file. If you are within the limits of the law when you file, then you will need to go through and gather all of the information necessary to get to your attorney. Once they have all of that information, they have to go out and do their due diligence on every aspect of the claim to ensure they are going into the negotiations with all the evidence they need to support your claims and get a fair settlement right away.
Most of the time though, the lawyer’s investigation can take weeks to months depending on who else they have to deal with and get information from. Then when you send out demand letters, the other party will typically have their lawyer or insurance company negotiate a lower settlement amount. With a good lawyer and a strong case, you can get a much higher compensation package, so don’t rush your lawyers or it could end up costing you a lot of money.
Most cases are settled without having to go to trial and will be fully settled in a few months, however there are some cases where the defendants lawyers will not accept the claims made and decide to take to case to trial where each side of the case will need to be presented in court until a determination can be made on liability. If your case goes to trial, it can end up becoming a year-long process or longer, so be prepared to have to wait for a settlement unless your case is easy to prove.
Who Will Be Held Accountable?
When filing a wrongful death claim, the person or company held liable for the damages is the one who is ultimately responsible for causing the event that led to the wrongful death. In some cases that will be a person and in other cases that can be a company. Let’s look at some examples to clear this up.
Motor Vehicle Accidents – Car, auto, truck and motorcycle accidents are extremely common causes of wrongful death. If the cause of the accident was from negligent driving behavior, the driver that caused the accident would be held liable. However, if the vehicle had a malfunction that caused the accident and was not the driver’s fault, such as a brake failure due to faulty manufacturing, then the company that built the car would be held responsible. There are many other factors that need to be examined in each case to determine these things, but this gives you a good idea of how to determine fault in a general sense. Remember, even though most motor vehicle accident cases have a 3 year statute of limitations, there is a 2 year statute of limitations for all wrongful death actions.
Pet Accidents – If a pet ends up attacking someone or causing some other sort of incident that leads to a fatal injury, the owner of the pet would be held liable for the wrongful death claim as they are responsible for keeping their pet from being able to pose a threat to others.
Defective Products – If a product malfunctions and causes a fatal injury, such as a heating blanket that doesn’t have a safety shutoff ends up catching fire and burning a house down with people inside it, the company that produces that product would be the one held accountable. The company had a duty to make sure their product was safe for consumers and failed to do so, which led to the accident so they are responsible for compensating the victims.
Why You Need An Expert Lawyer
If your loved one has been the victim of a fatal injury due to another person or company’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation from the at fault party, so you need an expert lawyer to help you file a wrongful death claims and recover compensation.
Our El Paso County wrongful death lawyers at Rector Stuzynski LLC specialize in wrongful death accident lawsuits and we will fight to get you the maximum amount of financial compensation possible for your case.
It is important that you don’t try to settle your wrongful death case on your own as you will most likely receive a fraction of what you should get, especially when dealing with the insurance companies and outrageous medical bills.
Our team knows exactly how to make sure you are getting a fair amount of compensation from insurance companies as well as any other parties that are involved. We have decades of experience handling accidental death cases in the El Paso County area and we would be happy to represent you so that you can get what you deserve out of your claim. Here are some of the main things our law firm does for our clients in wrongful death and other injury claims:
How Much Is Your Claim Worth?
What non-monetary losses were incurred? There will also be some losses that don’t have an explicit price tag on them, which will need to be valued individually and usually is done with a certain formula that the insurance companies use to value non-monetary damages such as loss of companionship, loss of consortium, loss of services and more. There is also a cap for non-economic damages for all wrongful death cases, though there is no cap for economic losses.
Contact Our Law Firm For Help With Your Case
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Areas We Serve
We serve clients injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Falcon, Calhan, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.
At Rector Stuzynski LLC, we help wrongful death clients all over the state of Colorado. Here is a detailed list of the areas we serve:
We also serve clients injured in the following zip codes: 80907, 80909, 80918, 80917, 80931, 80932, 80933, 80934, 80935, 80936, 80937, 80941, 80942, 80946, 80947, 80949, 80950, 80960, 80962, 80977 ,80995 ,80997 80901, 80912, 80904, 80915, 80905, 80910, 80923, 80922, 80919, 80920, 80916, 80939, 80914, 80951, 80924, 80927, 80938, 80906, 80840, 80829, 80902, 80809, 80841, 80911, 80908, 80929, 80819, 80921, 80925, 80132, 80926, 80913, 80863, 80817, 80831, 80133, 80930, 80860, 80814, 80813, 80118, 80106, 80928, 80866, 80816, 80808, 80104, 80116, 81008, 80864, 80135, 81240, 81007, 80109, 81290, 80107, 80108, 80425, 81215, 81221, 80117, 80827, 81212, 80134, 80835, 81003, 80131, 81226, 81001, 80138, 80125, 81002, 81009, 81010, 81011, 81012, 80124, 81244, 80126, 80820, 80130, 80163, 80433, 80129, 80833, 80112, 80832, 81025, 81005, 81223, 81006, 80470, 80127, 80122 and beyond.