When to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
As a wrongful death lawyer Denver CO trusts, we know that sadly, the death of a loved one may not be due to natural causes. Sometimes, they pass away in an avoidable accident or due to the negligence of someone’s actions. Sometimes it’s due to malpractice by a physician or nursing home. It can happen because of a careless driver on the road. These are examples of wrongful deaths. For the surviving family members of victims whose deaths were avoidable, legal action may be possible in the form of a wrongful death suit.
Common Examples of Wrongful Death Suits
If you lost someone due to another’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a suit, though a wrongful death lawyer Denver CO relies on should review your case to see what kind of compensation you may be entitled. Some of the most common scenarios when a wrongful death lawsuit is filed include;
- When a child dies in a school bus accident. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, four percent of the total number of crashes that occurred between 2004 and 2014 involved school buses or buses ferrying children to festivals or competitions. All too often, children die in accidents that are a result of the driver’s negligence. It can also be due to failure of the school or bus company to safely maintain their buses. A wrongful death lawyer Denver CO parents trust can help your family get justice.
- When a patient dies in a hospital due to poor hygienic conditions or lack of proper care. A patient’s death can be caused by a lack of sanitary conditions in a hospital. It can even occur from something as simple as contaminated linens.
- When a person suffers a dog bite. Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure that their animal will not hurt anyone. Most of the dog bite deaths that occur every year in the US affect children and teenagers. In addition to pain and suffering from the loss, the death of a loved one can result in a loss of income for the family. This is especially true if the deceased was an adult breadwinner for the household.
- When someone drowns in a swimming pool accident. Every swimming pool that is accessible to the public, even when located on private property, must have safety measures in place. If a child drowns in a swimming pool, the owner may be held liable, even if the child had trespassed onto the property. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filled by the child’s parents with the help of a wrongful death lawyer Denver CO turns to.
- When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle. Pedestrians die every year, even when they are walking on a designated foot path. Vehicles can run off the roads and kill innocent passersby. If the police and the first responders establish that the pedestrian was not at fault, then the owner of the vehicle that caused their death may be held responsible.
A wrongful death claim must be filled by a close family member of the diseased and approved by the court. It’s important to remember that you can only file this lawsuit if you have lost a loved one, and that you can prove you have suffered emotional and economic pain. Also, you must have clear evidence showing how the accused defaulted in following procedure or protocol. Contact a wrongful death lawyer Denver CO can count on who can review the circumstances of your case and help you make a decision about how to proceed.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit and Legal Terms to Know
If you believe a loved one passed away due to the recklessness or carelessness of another person or party, then it is advised to consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer Denver, CO relies on. Our understanding group of personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard J. Banta, P.C. have experience with wrongful deaths, and will review any evidence that may prove that the death of your loved one was the direct result of negligence. Once a wrongful death lawyer in Denver, CO has determined whether or not you might have a successful case for a wrongful death, then you may choose to file a lawsuit against the party responsible.
Listed below are general terms that will be used in a wrongful death lawsuit, and our attorneys will gladly assist in teaching you various legal terminology that will be necessary for the case.
Decedent – The person that died due to the negligence of another person or party.
Personal Representative – The person that handles the estate of the decedent. If the decedent did not already have a personal representative before passing, then one must be appointed to file the wrongful death lawsuit. Normally the personal representative appointed is an immediate family member of the decedent. Once the lawsuit has been filed, the personal representative essentially becomes the plaintiff. Handling the estate of a decedent may become complicated for the personal representative – a Denver, CO wrongful death lawyer is prepared to handle the most challenging of estates with the utmost respect to all family members involved.
Plaintiff – The person who files the wrongful death lawsuit.
Defendant – The person or party that is being held responsible for the death of the decedent due to negligence.
Dependent – A dependent is someone who is cared for by another person, and cannot sustain themselves without the assistance of another. In cases of wrongful death, dependents are usually the children of the decedent. If the decedent claimed their child as a dependent, then the child may be awarded compensation for the loss of their parent.
Distributee – In wrongful death lawsuits, distributees (sometimes called beneficiaries) refer to those that inherit assets from the decedent. Distributees may be awarded compensation for the loss of potential inheritance from the premature death of the decedent. If funeral or medical fees were paid by the distributee, the court will normally recover those expenses.
Damage Awards – Compensation that may be awarded to the family of the decedent. The compensation may be awarded due to either financial loss or non-financial loss.
Pecuniary Loss – Pecuniary loss is financial loss that is incurred due to the death of decedent. Compensation may be awarded to the plaintiff, any dependants of the decedent, or distributees, after the courts decide the overall financial loss that will be suffered due to the death. When taking financial loss into consideration, the courts may award compensation for the loss of income, loss of inheritance, medical expenses, or funeral expenses. Pecuniary loss is the main form of compensation awarded by court.
Non-Financial Awards – Non-financial awards may be granted as compensation for emotional trauma or suffering due to the loss of the decedent. Usually this form of damage award is given when a child has been killed due the negligence of the defendant. Non-financial compensation is much less likely to be awarded by the court, and often times tend to be very small awards. All states have various laws regarding non-financial awards, though. So if your child has been the unfortunate victim of a wrongful death, please contact a wrongful death lawyer in Denver, CO to discuss whether or not filing wrongful death lawsuit would provide compensation for emotional trauma.
Contact the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. Today
Please contact our team of personal injury attorneys if you have any questions regarding wrongful death lawsuits, or would like to set up a consultation. The Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. understands that financial compensation is never going to be enough after the untimely death of a loved one, but we are dedicated to helping families regain some form of compensation and justice following a wrongful death. Call a wrongful death lawyer Denver, CO relies on, today.