Car Accidents and Wrongful Death Cases

A wrongful death claim or case is defined pursuant to Colorado law as a death because of the negligence of someone else. A common cause of a wrongful death in the state of Colorado (and elsewhere) is a negligent, careless or reckless motorist.

Certain family members possess the legal ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Colorado. For example, the surviving spouse of a person killed because of the negligence of a motorist is able to file this type of legal action. In fact, according to Colorado law, the surviving spouse is vested with the exclusive right to bring this type of lawsuit during the first year following the incident that caused the death of his or her husband or wife.

Colorado law permits a surviving spouse and living children the ability to pursue a wrongful death case, within the first year limitation described a moment ago. In the event that there is no surviving spouse or child, any living parent of the deceased possesses the legal ability to pursue a wrongful death case.

Colorado law establishes a very specific time frame in which a surviving family member is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Generally speaking, this type of lawsuit must be filed within three years of the car accident (or other negligent conduct or incident that resulted in death). The failure of a surviving family member to file a lawsuit within this three year period typically precludes that person from ever pursuing a wrongful death claim at any point in time in the future.

Wrongful death cases represent very complicated legal matters. In addition, insurance companies have established reputations for being aggressive in fighting these types of claims. Therefore, if you find yourself dealing with the death of a family member caused by a negligent motorist, you need to seriously consider retaining an experienced attorney.

If you are dealing with the aftermath of the death of a family member that occurred because of a negligent motorist, contact the law offices of Harding & Associates. Our legal team stands ready to schedule an initial consultation with you to discuss your rights when seeking compensation for the wrongful death of a family member. The attorneys at Harding & Associates do not charge for an initial consultation. You can schedule an appointment with us by calling 303-762-9500 or 800-878-7888, or emailing us at info@hlaw.org, to schedule an appointment.

Protect Your Rights after a Traffic Accident: Document the Scene

In this age of ubiquitous “image making” devices – including smart phones – little
excuse exists for properly documenting the scene of a traffic accident to
protect your rights and interests. Three important admonishments must be kept
in mind before focusing on the specific steps you must take to document the
scene of a traffic accident:

First, make sure that you get yourself and others out or harm’s way before documenting
the scene.

Second, do not feel rushed in taking photos or videos of the accident scene as well as
in collecting statements from witnesses to the incident.

Third, call law enforcement to the scene of the accident to ensure that an official
report is made of the incident.

In making a photographic or video record of the accident scene, thoroughly take
images of each vehicle involved in the collision, and of their relationships to
one another. This means making sure you take photos or a video of the vehicles
from all angles and perspectives.

Once you have completed the process of photographing or videoing the vehicles, take
images of the area surrounding the scene of the accident. This includes
everything from cross streets to traffic signs and signals. The fact is that
you can never take too many images relating to an accident scene. However, the
failure to take enough images can be detrimental to any claim for injuries or
losses that you make as a result of the accident.

Documenting the scene of a traffic accident does not end with taking photographs or making a video. Interview witnesses to the accident. Obtain basic information from
these individuals that includes their names and contact information, as well as
a brief statement of what they did or did not observe. Collect this information
from witnesses, whether or not their observations support
your position regarding the cause of the accident. Do not rely on insurance
companies or even law enforcement to obtain appropriate statements from
witnesses to an accident.

Once you complete the process of thoroughly documenting the scene of a traffic
accident, make multiple copies of the photos, video and statements. Do not
store all copies of these materials in one location. For example, keep a set at
your home and another in a safe deposit box at your bank.