Beneficiaries’ rights may allow family members who lost a loved one to continue a personal injury action (if one existed prior to death) in the form of a wrongful death claim after the victim’s death. An Aurora injury attorney can help Colorado families convert the original injury claim into one for wrongful death.
How a Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claim Differ
A personal injury claim will start out seeking compensation for the victim’s expenses and losses both economical and non-economical. A wrongful death claim may seek to recover similar damages, though beneficiaries’ rights allow their own losses or expenses to also be considered in such cases.
Damages may be distributed based on the losses of each beneficiary. For help exercising or understanding beneficiaries’ rights to compensation and pursuing damages, family members who have lost a loved one may consult an Aurora injury attorney for help with a Colorado case.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
The types of damages that may be recovered may be different than what was being sought under a personal injury claim. In some cases it might even mean a higher amount will be recovered, since there will be different losses addressed.
Let’s say the victim had been seeking compensation for his/her medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. The victim’s estate may still seek to recover medical expenses incurred prior to death, and the family may also be entitled to funeral/burial costs.
There could also be compensation recoverable in the way of lost wages of the deceased. While the victim may have been seeking lost wages in the personal injury claim, such losses may now be distributed to survivors who are without these wages and benefits the deceased would have otherwise provided.
While the deceased might have been seeking pain and suffering damages in his or her personal injury action, the surviving family members could now be eligible to recover compensation for other noneconomic losses such as emotional stress, grief, and loss of companionship.
Keep in mind that there are damage caps that apply to wrongful death claims. Economic losses are not capped and surviving family members may recover whatever economic damages are incurred. But noneconomic losses are generally capped at $250,000. Beneficiaries should go over these rights to noneconomic damages with their Aurora injury attorney who can help further evaluate damages under Colorado law.
Seeking Legal Counsel with an Aurora Injury Attorney When Continuing a Colorado Personal Injury Action upon Death
It may seem that moving into a wrongful death claim would be seamless, but that isn’t always the case as there are other damages and considerations to make when filing the claim. This is why it’s advantageous to seek legal advice with an Aurora injury attorney who can help with these complex Colorado cases.
D.J. Banovitz can help handle wrongful death cases and understands the complex issues that can arise, even when legal action had already been started prior to a loved one’s death. Call 303-300-5050 to set up an appointment regarding beneficiaries’ rights when converting a personal injury claim to one for wrongful death.