Lakewood Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death is a tragedy no family should have to endure. Unfortunately, careless actions of others can inflict fatal injuries on others. If you lost a family member in an accident, contact our Lakewood wrongful death lawyers.
Acts of negligence carry consequences for their victims. Sometimes victims pay the ultimate price due to fatal injuries. Our Lakewood wrongful death attorneys help families pursue justice for their loss. Contact Front Range Injury Attorneys for a free case review of your family’s wrongful death claim under Colorado law.
Front Range Injury Attorneys is your trusted choice
At Front Range Injury Attorneys we care about helping our clients throughout their cases. Our Lakewood wrongful death attorneys understand your family’s loss is irreversible and no amount of money will make it right. We help our clients seek justice by holding the responsible party accountable for the loss your family suffered due to their carelessness or recklessness. Contact our law firm to learn more about how we can help your family.
What is wrongful death?
According to Colorado Revised Statute Section 13-21-201, wrongful death occurs when a person passes away as a result of an injury caused by the negligence, carelessness, or criminal intent of another person or party. A person, business, employer, or other organization who committed a negligent conduct that resulted in the death of your loved one may be held financially liable. Accordingly, that party can owe your family or the estate of the deceased money to make up for consequential damages.
In Lakewood, there are numerous different kinds of accidents or occurrences that may have been avoided and resulted in wrongful death. Any time someone disregards the proper standard of care or deliberately tries to hurt someone, the result could be the unnecessary death of a victim. Automobile accidents, slips and falls, property accidents, industrial accidents, faulty products, medical negligence, violent acts, and crimes are frequent causes of wrongful death lawsuits.
Negligence and wrongful death claims
A criminal charge brought against someone for causing the death of another person and a wrongful death lawsuit are two different things. It is not necessary to prove malicious intent in order to establish wrongful death. Instead, it is sufficient to demonstrate that the victim was careless or negligent, which led to the fatal damage. The majority of wrongful death lawsuits in Colorado are based on negligence. The failure to act with the degree of care that a reasonably sensible person would in the same or similar circumstances is referred to as negligence in civil law. Four components make up negligence:
- Duty. Duty means an obligation of care not to cause injury to other people.
- Breach of duty. A breach occurs when the person possessing the duty fails to act in reasonable compliance.
- Causation. The breach of duty is the actual and proximate cause of the fatal injury or illness.
- Damages. Damages are the compensable losses suffered by the victim.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Depending on how much time has gone from the date of death, different parties may legitimately bring a wrongful death lawsuit with the courts in Colorado. Only the surviving spouse may file a lawsuit during the first year after the decedent’s passing, unless that spouse expressly chooses in writing to permit an adult child to do so instead.
The surviving spouse, children, or any qualifying designated beneficiaries of the deceased may file in the second year. If the decedent was not married at the time of death, these parties may file within the first year. The decedent’s parents may bring the wrongful death claim in their place if none of these parties are present.
What damages can I recover in wrongful death case?
One of the primary distinctions between a criminal case and a wrongful death lawsuit is that the former may result in compensation for the estate or surviving family members. A wrongful death claim might result in civil culpability, whereas a criminal action against a defendant may result in jail time or other punishments. If a case is successful, qualifying beneficiaries may get monetary compensation for the following losses:
- Medical bills incurred due to the injuries that resulted in fatality
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and employment benefits
- Life insurance or inheritance
- Family members’ grief and mental anguish
- Loss of the family member’s care and companionship
Our Lakewood wrongful death attorneys at Front Range Injury Attorneys are aware that obtaining financial recompense is not the sole reason families file wrongful death lawsuits in Colorado. A civil case can also bring closure to mourning loved ones and justice to those who were wrongly killed. One of the most important steps in the healing process can be holding one or more parties responsible for a preventable loss of life.
Proving wrongful death in Colorado
The plaintiff bears the burden of proof when bringing a claim for wrongful death. The party making the allegation must support the basis for it with evidence. You or your Lakewood wrongful death attorney must provide sufficient proof to establish the defendant’s guilt with at least a 50% degree of certainty. A preponderance of the evidence applies in this situation. In your wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney can assist you in obtaining adequate proof of liability, such as:
- Medical records and bills
- Employment records and paystubs
- Financial records
- Autopsy report
- Evidence of property hazards
- Traffic accident reports or other records of the accident
- Eyewitness statements
- Surveillance footage
- Photos and videos
Your attorney may rely on information from an associated criminal investigation or criminal case against the offender if your wrongful death claim is not the result of negligence but rather malicious intent. A police report, an interrogation by the police, forensic evidence, arrest records, and a criminal conviction may all be included in this evidence (if applicable). During your litigation, a Lakewood personal injury lawyer from Front Range Injury Attorneys can assist you in gathering proof and presenting it convincingly to an insurance company, judge, or jury.
Colorado wrongful death laws
A viable wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado requires that you adhere to all applicable local, state, and federal laws. Otherwise, the defense lawyer for the defendant may submit a move to dismiss the case due to a legal or administrative mistake. Several laws, including those pertaining to premises or product liability, may be relevant to your case, but three of the most significant are as follows:
Statute of limitations
You must adhere to this deadline in order to avoid the possibility of the courts declining to consider your case. States have different statutes of limitations. A cause of action may be brought in Colorado no later than two years after the decedent’s passing. There is an exception, though, in which the plaintiff has four years to pursue a claim for victims slain in hit-and-run vehicular homicides.
A damage cap is the most money that can legally be awarded in a civil proceeding. There are no damage caps in every state because they are frequently deemed unlawful. But there are still some limitations in place in Colorado. The maximum amount for noneconomic damages (such as pain and suffering) for claims filed between January 1 of 2020 and January 1 of 2022 is $571,870. For claims submitted on or after January 1, 2022, this cap will rise. Notably, this damage cap is lifted if a victim passed away as a result of felony manslaughter or murder.
Compensation distribution laws
The intestate succession laws of Colorado apply to these complex statutes. According to Colorado Revised Statute Section 13-21-201(2), financial compensation is generally subject to distribution, with additional considerations for parents who are divorced or separated. According to this rule, when a decedent dies without a will, the damages are distributed among the decedent’s heirs in a similar way to how real estate would be divided under state law. Every case is thoroughly examined before a decision is made.
The implications of these intricate state laws for you and your family in a wrongful death case don’t require you to be an expert. The ideal Lakewood wrongful death attorney can guide you through these laws and guard your interests at every turn. While you concentrate on getting better, a lawyer will help you avoid breaking the law and jeopardizing your potential to obtain financial compensation.
How to file a wrongful death claim in Colorado
The first step is to get in touch with Front Range Injury Attorneys if you think your family has a case for a wrongful death lawsuit following the untimely death of a loved one. We will designate a Lakewood wrongful death attorney to represent your interests and guide you through the litigation process. The claims filing procedure will be as easy, quick, and successful as we can make it. To file a claim, a person must adhere to a specified procedure at the Jefferson County civil courthouse. The steps consist of:
- Collecting information. You need information regarding the tragic occurrence and the defendant, including the defendant’s name and present address, in order to make a wrongful death claim. To find out what happened that led to the death and pinpoint the perpetrators, you might need to speak with a law firm.
- Setting up the estate. The decedent’s estate must be established in the county courthouse where the decedent resided in a wrongful death action. Going through probate may be necessary in this process if the deceased did not leave a will.
- Filing a claim. After you or your wrongful death lawyer has gathered facts about the incident, you will submit a claim to the at-fault party’s insurance provider. You might also inform the defendant in writing of your intention to sue.
- Entering into negotiations. Settlement discussions between your lawyer and the defense lawyer are possible, and they may involve alternate dispute procedures like mediation. Many wrongful death lawsuits result in settlements, which means the legal conflict is resolved at this point by a settlement agreement.
- Filing a civil lawsuit. Your wrongful death attorney can file the necessary paperwork to begin a lawsuit on your behalf if the person you are filing a claim against will not resolve the issue out of court. A Complaint or Writ of Summons is the first step, which your attorney can assist you with submitting by the due date.
- Going to trial. Even after a lawsuit is filed and up until the day the trial starts, a wrongful death claim may still be settled. If it doesn’t, a judge or jury will hear the case in court. The courts will render their decision based on the information, proof, and testimony offered, and an award may be given to the decedent’s estate (or heirs).
Keep in mind that Colorado’s statute of limitations may prevent you from receiving compensation if you don’t move swiftly enough. The best approach to safeguard your family’s right to financial compensation from one or more negligent parties following a deadly accident in Lakewood is to speak with a wrongful death attorney straight away. We will walk you through the process of making a claim, demanding justice, and negotiating for the highest possible settlement.
How long will a wrongful death claim take to settle?
Only an attorney who has knowledge of the specifics of your case will be able to provide you with an accurate response to this query. There are too many variations in wrongful death case deadlines for an online estimate to be reliable. Some are successfully settled by insurance companies within a few months. Others require protracted discussions or lengthy wrongful death cases, which can take one, four, or many years to conclude.
Settlement vs. trial, the number of defendants, whether there is a question of liability, and the length of the investigation into the tragic incident are all variables that might impact how long a wrongful death lawsuit takes to complete. You can resolve your case as quickly as possible without accepting a subpar settlement by working with legal professionals.
Do you need to hire a wrongful death lawyer in Lakewood?
For bereaved family members, filing a wrongful death claim is difficult and frequently traumatic. The best method to handle your case and get beyond any obstacles that come up is with an attorney’s help. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney will be familiar with the laws of Colorado, how they apply to your claim, and how to obtain the best outcomes for your case against any defendant. Your attorney will collaborate closely with you to develop a strong legal strategy that will help you win your case. A wrongful death attorney can also see to it that your family has everything it needs to proceed after a distressing and unanticipated death.
Speak with an experienced Lakewood wrongful death attorney today
Our community has confidence in the legal representation provided by Front Range Injury Attorneys and our experienced Lakewood wrongful death attorneys. We’ve handled these complex matters for years, and we’re committed to fighting for our clients’ rights. For a free case evaluation and to learn how we can help your family with this kind of claim, please contact us right away. In order to meet your legal needs, our attorneys will go above and beyond. We are here to help.