If the actions of others caused you to lose a loved one, you might want to file a claim for wrongful death. Family members file wrongful death claims when an individual dies due to a negligent, reckless, or intentional act by another.
We understand that filing a claim may be the last thing on your mind while dealing with grief. But filing a claim can allow you to recoup medical expenses and other damages that can help you financially. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., our team can help you to prove each element of wrongful death.
What Are the Steps to Prove Wrongful Death in Colorado?
There are several steps to proving wrongful death in Colorado. Typically a wrongful death claim is due to negligence. So you will have to prove the four elements of negligence. These elements are the duty of care, breach, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care
The first element of negligence is the duty of care. The duty of care means that a person has an obligation to act as a reasonable, ordinary, prudent person. You will have to establish that the other party owed a duty of care to your loved one. For example, a doctor owes a duty of care to a patient. The doctor must act as a reasonable, ordinary, prudent physician with the same amount of experience. And a physician owed a duty of care if your loved one was a patient making and attending appointments with the physician or otherwise under the physician’s care.
Breach of Duty
A breach of duty is the next element of negligence. A breach means that the other party failed to meet the appropriate standard of care towards your family member. In other words, the responsible party did not act as a reasonable person would act. One illustration of a breach in medical malpractice would be a surgical mistake. A surgical error that causes the death of your loved one could justify a wrongful death claim.
Causation is the third element of negligence. This means that the death must have resulted from an act of negligence. In other words, if it had not been for the defendant’s breach, the plaintiff’s injuries would not have occurred.
An example is a doctor making a surgical mistake; because of this mistake, your loved one died. While the element of causation can be complex (usually requiring expert testimony), seasoned lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton are ready to help you at every turn.
The last element of negligence is damages. Under this element, the plaintiff must have sustained damages or losses to recover for negligence. If there are no damages, then there can be no claim of negligence.
In addition to the death of your family member, there are other potential damages. For example, lost wages of the deceased are possible damages in a wrongful death claim. Contact our attorneys for further advice if you have any questions.
What Situations Might Lead to Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death claim can have numerous potential causes. Some of the reasons that a wrongful death claim might arise are below. If one of these situations applies to you, our attorneys can help you gather evidence of wrongful death.
A birth injury that proves fatal could justify a wrongful death lawsuit. This would apply if your baby died because of the negligence of a medical provider. One way that a birth injury may cause the death of an infant is by a doctor not responding to fetal distress.
A fatality caused by a defective product can also warrant a wrongful death claim. In addition to compensation for your injuries and lost wages, you may be able to recover for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses. A few potential ways a product can be defective are if they have a manufacturing defect, design flaw, failure to warn
Nursing Home Abuse
You might be able to file a lawsuit against a nursing home or other parties if your loved one died due to negligence. Nursing home staff have a duty to provide reasonable care to their patients. If employees breach their duty of care, such as giving residents the wrong medication or failing to provide standard medical care, they could be responsible.
Medical malpractice is another situation that may justify a wrongful death lawsuit. Medical professionals must meet their appropriate standard of care. Contact our lawyers for help getting started filing your claim. For decades, we have provided high-quality representation to clients throughout Colorado. You do not have to go through this alone.
Occupational hazards may also cause an employee’s death, leaving another party possibly liable. If you believe your loved one died due to an employer’s negligence, you should discuss this with our attorneys. This may happen if the employer did not provide proper equipment or if they did not adequately train the employee.
How Our Attorneys Can Assist You
At Gerash Steiner Blanton, we are here to represent you if you have lost a loved one due to another’s negligent or intentional act. We believe in dedicating individual attention to each client. Our lawyers are ready to advocate for you.
Our attorney Eric Steiner, M.D., has 17 years of experience as a cardiac anesthesiologist. Furthermore, Eric has 20 years of experience practicing law and brings to our firm a critical understanding of medical conditions. And our attorney Michael Blanton has handled more than 80 appeals all over the country. Michael has allowed our clients to recoup over $40 million over 20 years of practice. All of our top-notch lawyers continue the work of the legendary attorney Walter L. Gerash. Allow us to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.