Denver Wrongful Death Attorney
Seeking Justice on Behalf of Families Throughout Colorado
When a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct, the surviving family members may have a wrongful death action against the person or party who caused the death. Wrongful death claims often arise out of car and other motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, train and bus accidents, and other incidents involving negligence. In Colorado, as in other states, there are specific laws regarding who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit, when such actions are permitted, and what types of damages can be recovered.
If your loved one was tragically killed in an accident or died as a result of another person, company, or entity’s negligence, we at Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C. express our deepest condolences. We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time in your life, and you need answers. Our Denver wrongful death attorneys work tirelessly to secure justice on behalf of you, your loved one, and your entire family. We know that no amount of compensation can undo the loss you have endured, but a successful claim can allow you to handle unexpected financial burdens and have the space you need to heal.
What is Wrongful Death?
When a family member dies as the result of the negligence of another person, the surviving family members may have a Wrongful Death action against the person or parties who caused the death. The death could be caused by an automobile accident, train accident, trucking accident, bus accident, defective or unsafe products, inappropriate medical care or treatment, or careless and reckless conduct. There are specific laws in each state related to these types of claims, whom can file such claims, and limits on what damages may be recovered by family members.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?
In Colorado, the Wrongful Death Act (C.R.S. 13-21-201) identifies the surviving spouse as the individual having the right to bring a claim within the first year of the death. If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased’s children may then file the claim. If there is no surviving spouse and no surviving children, a designated beneficiary may file the claim.
The law also provides that, under certain circumstances, the surviving spouse, children, beneficiary, and/or heirs of the deceased may bring a claim after the first year. If no such person exists, the surviving parent(s) of the deceased may file a claim within two years of the date of death. Any claim, however, must be brought within two years of the death or the family will lose any right to make a wrongful death claim.
When Can Someone File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Designated individuals may file a wrongful death claim in Colorado under specific circumstances. Essentially, if someone acted wrongfully and it resulted in an individual’s death, the deceased’s eligible surviving family members or beneficiaries may bring a claim.
“Wrongful actions” that constitute grounds for a wrongful death claim in Colorado include:
- Criminal acts
- Acts of violence
- Intentional acts
In the event that someone dies as a result of a criminal act, a wrongful death action is entirely separate from any criminal proceedings brought by the state against the person/party who caused the death. The outcome of a criminal case does not necessarily have any bearing on the outcome of a wrongful death civil lawsuit.
What Damages Are Available in Wrongful Death Claims in Colorado?
In addition to who can bring a wrongful death claim, the Colorado Wrongful Death Act also limits the type and amount of damages that can be recovered in such an action.
While damages vary depending on the specifics of a situation, many wrongful death claims involve the following damages:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of income and/or the value of household services provided by the deceased
- Loss of expected inheritance
- Loss of love, companionship, guidance, and support
For more information about the types of damages and any limitations on damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death action, please contact one of the experienced Denver wrongful death attorneys at Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C.
Wrongful Death Claims vs. Survival Actions
In Colorado, there is a distinction between wrongful death actions and survival actions. While a wrongful death claim is one that is brought essentially on behalf of the family members of the deceased, a survival action is brought on behalf of the deceased. A wrongful death action allows surviving family members to seek compensation for their losses they have endured as a result of the death, whereas a survival action seeks damages for any pain and suffering the deceased endured prior to death. Simply put, a survival actions works much in the same way as a personal injury claim would have worked if the deceased had survived.
Damages in a survival action may include:
- Medical costs associated with the deceased’s final treatment related to the injury that caused his or her death
- Lost wages or income sustained by the deceased
- Expenses associated with personal property damage and repairs
Both a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action can be filed concurrently in the state of Colorado.
Let Our Firm Fight for You & Your Family
If your family member was the victim of wrongful death caused by someone else’s negligent, reckless, or unlawful behavior, contact an experienced attorney at Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C. We can immediately assist you in investigating the claim and ensuring that your right to seek compensation is not lost due to missed deadlines.
At Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C., we treat our clients not as case numbers but as real people. We know that you are going through one of the most difficult and challenging times in your life, and we want to help you get through to the other side. Let us handle the legal aspects of your claim and fight for the much-needed justice you and your family deserve.
Contact us today at (303) 622-5858 to schedule a completely free consultation. Se habla español.