Mintz Law Firm
Wrongful Death Lawyers in Denver
An accident can happen in the blink of an eye, but the effects can last for a lifetime. A wrongful death lawsuit, in simple terms, is a legal means to pursue justice for a deceased loved one and obtain compensation for your family’s losses. Of course, dealing with a wrongful death lawsuit is understandably difficult for those who must endure the loss of a loved one. It’s crucial, in this case, to have an experienced and sympathetic wrongful death attorney in Denver, CO who understands the effect that this can have on a family.
The death of a loved one at the hands of another at-fault individual often goes beyond grief, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. However, while no amount of money can replace a loved one, a successful wrongful death lawsuit can offer some sense of justice and help cover costs such as medical or funeral expenses, lost wages, and other forms of compensation. If you believe your family is entitled to compensation, an experienced Denver wrongful death lawyer at Mintz Law Firm may be able to help.
What Is Wrongful Death?
When a loved one dies as a result of another party’s negligence or intentional acts, surviving family members may be eligible to file what’s known as a wrongful death lawsuit. In order to win a wrongful death lawsuit, you must establish several key elements. First, you must prove that the at-fault party owed your loved one a duty of care and breached that duty. Likewise, it must be clear and evident that the defendant’s actions directly caused your loved one’s death. Additionally, your loved one’s death must have led to actual damages like loss of income, burial costs, hospital bills, and loss of companionship.
It’s not uncommon for a death to result in both criminal charges and a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, a drunk driver who instigates a fatal accident may be sued in a wrongful death lawsuit and also charged with vehicular homicide. The criminal charges and civil lawsuit proceed independently. While criminal prosecution is intended to punish a wrongdoer, a wrongful death lawsuit is a distinct civil action filed by the survivors to garner monetary compensation.
Understanding Colorado Laws Surrounding Wrongful Death Cases
Colorado’s wrongful death statute, C.R.S. 13-21-201 states that survivors may file a claim or lawsuit within two years of the accident. The goal is to offer financial relief to the decedent’s heirs and dependents. Financial compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit may include direct expenses, loss of pay and benefits, and loss of companionship, which comprises money that the decedent would have contributed emotionally to the relationship with the plaintiff. It’s important to note that non-economic damages like pain and suffering are capped and adjusted for inflation unless the death was caused by murder or manslaughter.
Likewise, there’s an order of priority for filing wrongful death claims in Colorado. In the first year, only a surviving spouse may file a wrongful death lawsuit. In the second year, the surviving spouse and any surviving children may file a wrongful death claim. If there’s no surviving spouse or children, the parents of the deceased are then permitted to file a lawsuit. The personal representative of the deceased, in addition to surviving family members, may file a “survival action” as a way to recover damages for certain losses in the estate.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims can be an excellent way for families to find monetary support after losing someone they love. These claims can also help bring closure and hold responsible individuals accountable for their negligent actions. However, there is a statute of limitations of two years for filing a wrongful death or other personal injury claims.
There’s also an order of priority for filing wrongful death claims in Colorado, meaning only specific individuals are permitted to file a claim. In the first year, only a surviving spouse may file a wrongful death lawsuit. In the second year, the surviving spouse and any surviving children may file a wrongful death claim.
If there’s no surviving spouse or children, the deceased’s parents are then permitted to file a lawsuit. The deceased’s personal representative and surviving family members can file a “survival action” to recover losses for certain damages to assets and the estate. A survival action is different from a wrongful death claim, and you will be limited in what compensation you can receive with this route. This personal representative is generally the executor of a will or trust that the lost individual appointed before their death.
Who Should Work With a Wrongful Death Attorney?
After losing a loved one and trying to win compensation, we strongly suggest you retain support from a wrongful death attorney in Denver who serves your area. A Denver wrongful death attorney can speak on your behalf, complete and file paperwork, collect and analyze evidence, organize or join investigations, and build arguments on behalf of you and your family.
Whenever you file a wrongful death claim, we suggest you refrain from representing yourself during this challenging time. Self-representation can easily result in a severe loss of compensation you would otherwise qualify to receive, mainly because it can make mistakes far harder to avoid. A Denver wrongful death attorney can help you avoid these mistakes, represent you fairly, and obtain the compensation you need to recover after your loss.
Contact the Expert Denver Wrongful Death Attorneys at Mintz Law Firm
No amount of monetary compensation will ever replace your loved one, but it can help you stay financially afloat during a difficult time while bringing the responsible parties to justice. Let us help you recover some of your losses by allowing us to fight for you. The experts at Mintz Law Firm will make this process easy for you. With our experience and passion, we may be able to thoroughly investigate the accident and provide evidence to prove that another party was responsible for your loved one’s death so that your family can be fully compensated
With over 150 years of combined experience, the wrongful death attorneys at Mintz Law Firm understand the ins and outs of Colorado wrongful death law and will help you achieve the best results possible based on the circumstances of your loved one’s case. Our team of Denver wrongful death lawyers has the compassion to empathize with those suffering from harm done by others and will work tirelessly to protect your rights. For a free consultation with a Denver personal injury attorney, give us a call at (303) 462-2999 or complete our online contact form today.