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CO injury lawyerLosing any loved one due to someone else’s carelessness can be emotionally devastating. You may be experiencing a lot of grief and anger about the death, and eager to seek damages from the responsible party. Colorado, like most states, limits who has the standing to file a wrongful death suit. These claims are reserved for those immediate family members most likely to be affected not just emotionally, but financially, by the loss. The goal is to make sure those most harmed are compensated. If you have lost a close relative because someone was careless about their safety, speaking to an attorney is the first step to recovering damages.

Which Relatives Are Eligible to File a Larimer County Wrongful Death Action?

If the decedent was married, Colorado grants his spouse the exclusive right to sue for wrongful death during the first year after the fatal accident, although the spouse can join others if she chooses. This makes quite a bit of sense. Spouses often depend on one another, both financially and in other aspects of life. When a person loses their spouse unexpectedly in an accident, they are the one most likely to suffer financially as a result and to have expenses associated with the death. If there are young children involved, it is most frequently the surviving spouse who now bears all of the childrearing responsibility.

Only if the spouse does not file within a year do others become eligible. For others who might have a claim if the spouse does not file, a year can seem like a long time to wait. However, it can genuinely take that length of time for a survivor to get things organized to file. There can be extensive investigation and gathering of information that must take place, especially if it is not immediately clear who the responsible party is. It can also take time to emotionally prepare for litigation after the death of one’s husband or wife.

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CO wrongful death lawyerLosing a loved one unexpectedly can be a devastating and confusing time in a person’s life. When a loved one loses their life in an accident, their family may face many unforeseen expenses and the loss of their loved one’s wages may severely affect their livelihood. If you are considering filing a wrongful death claim after the death of a loved one, you should understand the laws that must be followed in order to seek compensation effectively.

Defining Wrongful Death in Colorado

In the event that an individual loses their life to another party’s wrongful act or negligence, a wrongful death claim may be pursued by the appropriate parties. Wrongful death claims are applicable in situations where the victim would have been able to bring an injury claim against the at-fault party, had they survived the accident. Wrongful death may result from numerous types of accidents including car accidents, defective products, and medical malpractice.

Both economic and non-economic damages may be available during a wrongful death case. In Colorado, economic damages may include funeral expenses and loss of compensation the victim would have earned had they survived, among other losses. Alternatively, noneconomic damages involve less tangible damages such as grief, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.

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Fort Collins fatal truck accident lawyerColliding with a large truck like a semi or 18-wheeler often results in devastating outcomes. Being some of the heaviest vehicles on the road, tractor-trailers can cause very dangerous accidents. Because of this immense threat, truck drivers have a higher level of responsibility behind the wheel. However, Colorado continues to see fatal truck accidents every year, many of which are the result of truck driver negligence. Colorado law provides families the right to pursue a wrongful death claim if their loved one was lost due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company.

Semi-Truck and Pickup Collide in Weld County

One recent crash serves as an example of just how dangerous truck accidents can be. On the morning of Wednesday, July 21, a pickup truck and semi-truck collided. The Colorado State Patrol reported to the scene of the crash, where two women were pronounced dead. The fatalities were the two passengers of the pickup truck who were both wearing seatbelts. It was also reported that the semi-truck driver was conscious and walking after the accident, though it is possible minor injuries were sustained.

Colorado Truck Accidents Leading to Fatalities

Accidents involving commercial truck driver negligence are frequently caused by the truck driver running out of the travel lane, losing control of the truck, or rear-ending another vehicle. These events are more apt to occur if the driver is fatigued, distracted, or speeding. Other factors that regularly contribute to truck accidents include prescription drug use, alcohol use, and truck maintenance problems.

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Fort Collins CO wrongful death lawyerColorado Springs police issued a report of a child who was taken to the hospital after a near-drowning incident on July 15 at the Hotel Elegante. Police have not released any other information, including the child’s age or current condition, but the incident is perhaps notable in light of a drowning that occurred at the same hotel several years ago. In that case, the family of the child who drowned later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hotel, as well as several other parties. These cases raise the question of who may be liable for drowning accidents.

Allegations of Negligence

After the previous drowning incident, which happened in December 2017, the victim’s family alleged that the hotel was liable due to a failure to provide adequate warning of a steep drop-off between the shallow end and the deep end of the pool, as well as a failure to enforce a rule requiring children entering the pool area to have adult supervision. The family also sought damages from the grandmother of the victim’s friend, who the family alleged was responsible for the victim’s supervision at the time.

Colorado Premises Liability Laws

Colorado premises liability laws apply in many drowning incidents. According to these laws, property owners owe a duty of care to lawful visitors to keep the property reasonably free of hazards. When there is a failure of that duty and a person is injured as a result, the victim can pursue a premises liability lawsuit against the owner for the losses they suffer because of their injuries. If the victim dies from their injuries, their family may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner, like the family of the young girl who drowned.

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Larimer County wrongful death attorneyA tragic accident in Iowa has made national news and serves as an important reminder of how vulnerable children are to accidental injury and death at amusement parks, playgrounds, and other recreational locations.

The accident occurred over the Fourth of July holiday weekend at the Raging River ride at Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa. The water ride pushes rafts through “faux river rapids” using a conveyor belt. The 11-year-old victim and five other people were on the ride when the raft they were in flipped over. One other child was listed in critical condition and two others suffered minor injuries.

History of Accidents

The ride had just opened for the first time for the summer season the day before the fatal accident following an inspection and approval by the Iowa Division of Labor. The ride has been a popular attraction at the park for almost 40 years; however, this is the second fatal accident in just five years. In 2016, a 68-year-old employee was killed when he fell because the ride suddenly started moving as he was helping riders on and off the rafts. The family of the employee who was killed on the ride later settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the park.

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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Greeley, Colorado 80634 |
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