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Distracted Driving and Wrongful Death – When Texting Kills

Distracted driving plagues city streets, highways, and interstates all across the United States. It is a dangerous activity that is responsible for many accidents every year. These accidents injure hundreds of thousands of people and are responsible for thousands of fatalities. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 9 people die every day in distracted driving accidents on U.S. roads.

Distraction can take many forms. Many people automatically think of texting or any use of a cell phone when they hear the term distracted driving. The reality, however, is that distractions can include adjusting the radio, eating, drinking, talking to passengers, shaving or applying makeup while driving.

All drivers have a legal duty to exercise care when operating a motor vehicle. This means that everyone must drive in the manner that a reasonable person would in the same situation. Anytime a driver fails in this duty and inflicts injury on others, those victims have the right to sue the driver for negligence. Which brings us to the connection between distracted driving and wrongful death claims.

Liability for a Car Accident Wrongful Death Claim

Losing a loved one so suddenly and violently is a traumatic event. Although nothing can bring their loved one back, laws have been established to help compensate aggrieved families.

Because no reasonably acting person would drive while distracted, any evidence showing that a driver was distracted can be used to demonstrate negligence. Once the authorities have determined that negligence was a factor in the collision, the concept of wrongful death becomes plausible.

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit filed against the negligent party by a surviving family member. In Colorado, there are restrictions on who can file a wrongful death claim and when they can do so.

In the first year after the death, the surviving spouse is the only one who can file a wrongful death claim. Both the surviving spouse and surviving children may file a claim in the second year following the death. The decedent’s parents may file a wrongful death claim if there is no surviving spouse or children.

A representative of the decedent’s estate is also eligible to file a claim for damages for certain kinds of losses to the estate. This “survival action” can be made in addition to a family member’s wrongful death claim.

Damages in a Car Accident Wrongful Death Claim

In a Colorado wrongful death claim, family members may be able to recover monetary damages for losses including:

  • Wages and additional compensation the decedent would possibly have earned,
  • Any benefits forfeited because of the death, including life insurance, and
  • Loss of love, companionship, assistance, and affection of the decedent.


Contact Our Experienced Broomfield Wrongful Death Lawyers

If someone you love has been killed by a distracted driver in a car accident in Broomfield, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, or anywhere in Colorado, it is important to contact our experienced wrongful death attorneys immediately. At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., our committed wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to the belief that everyone deserves justice. Contact us at (303) 423-1770 or (866) 385-3505.

Our wrongful death lawyers have extensive experience representing injured accident victims in Broomfield, Arvada, Superior, Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Brighton, Commerce City, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, Longmont, and throughout Colorado.

 

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At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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