In any circumstance, losing a loved one can be a painful experience. When a loved one’s death is due to another person’s negligence, it can be even more devastating. When a wrongful death occurs, the survivors of the deceased can bring forth a lawsuit against the negligent party or entity to recover damages that have arisen from the death of their loved one. When you find yourself in need of a Denver wrongful death lawyer, call on the help of the Firouzbakht Law Firm for your free consultation.
There are two types of wrongful death lawsuits that personal injury attorneys handle for the survivors of the deceased person. These wrongful death lawsuits are either due to intentional actions or by negligence caused by liable parties. In either situation, the need for a Denver wrongful death lawyer is required.
When a loved one’s death is due to someone who has deliberately killed or caused death, this is called a wrongful death in civil law. In criminal cases, this would be considered murder or manslaughter, depending on the circumstances. Even with criminal charges ongoing, the family’s survivors can hire a wrongful death attorney to file civil charges for monetary damages from the responsible parties.
Some wrongful deaths are not caused by intentional acts but by the negligence of a person or non-human entity. Negligence occurs when someone doesn’t show care towards another person that a reasonable person would take in the same circumstances. It is often a negligent act or the failure to take action that causes the death.
Common types of negligence cases in this area include:
When you are looking to prove negligence occurred in a wrongful death claim, it becomes necessary for your Denver wrongful death lawyer to prove that the negligent party breached their duty of care. This breach resulted in the wrongful death of your loved one, leaving you with medical expenses, funeral expenses, and other financial burdens. The skilled wrongful death attorney on your case will help take on the insurance companies when they are involved in these cases.
The lawsuit must be filed by the personal representative of the estate for the decedent. In most circumstances, this equates to an heir or family member. It is the obligation of the personal representative to get a consensus of the heirs, or in matters of dispute, bring the issue to probate court.
Colorado limits those who can bring a wrongful death claim forward.
Within one year of the decedent’s death:
In two years after the decedent’s death:
If no spouse or children exist, then the parents of the deceased can file a claim within two years of the death.
A statute of limitations is the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit against a defendant in a civil matter. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the person's death that the plaintiff is filing the suit for. If a lawsuit fails to be filed within the two-year time limit, the case is considered lost, and no person can file a claim once expired.
In Colorado, the plaintiff in a Denver wrongful death lawsuit may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the damages that can have a quantifiable amount assigned to them. The non-economic damages are harder to assign a monetary amount.
Economic damages may include:
Non-economic damages may include:
The purpose of a survival action is to recover damages suffered by the deceased person between the injury and the loss of their life. This type of suit is different from wrongful death action because it aims to collect monetary compensation for the now-deceased person's survival period.
Like wrongful death, a survival action may be filed by the representative of the deceased person's estate. The difference is that the damages are paid to the estate and not the survivors of the decedent. In most cases, these are two different lawsuits. However, some courts may consolidate them together under mitigating circumstances.
The recoverable damages in a survival action are economic. The loss of earnings before death, medical bills, and other economic damages accumulated before death are admissible for survival action recovery. Unfortunately, damages such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of profits after death, and other non-economic damages may not be recovered in this type of legal action.
Filing a wrongful death claim can be done without an experienced attorney by your side. However, it is not recommended. The process begins by filing a complaint in the correct court system, which must also be served to the defendant in the complaint. There is specific information that must be included within your initial complaint, or a judge may dismiss the case, requiring you to refile later.
A Denver wrongful death lawyer is experienced in navigating the legal system. These professionals know when to file the appropriate paperwork and what is needed to see the case to court. They also know that the other party often offers wrongful death settlements in these cases.
When you try to handle the case on your own, the defendant or their insurance company may try to take advantage of you – being on your own. They often try to settle for amounts much lower than required to settle up the bills accrued from the death of your loved one. When you have a lawyer on your side during these cases, you will often find that settlement amounts are higher. The other side is less likely to try and take advantage of you or the situation.
The best part of hiring a wrongful death attorney is that they do not get paid unless you get paid. You don’t have to worry about owing another person because they work on contingency. The contract often states that if your case does not win, they do not get anything.
Handling the death of a loved one is something that no one should have to go through alone. This is especially true when that loved one's death was at the hands of another person. Wrongful death damages are something that you may be entitled to in these situations. People often avoid bringing forward lawsuits in their time of grief. Hiring a Denver wrongful death lawyer during this time to handle your lawsuit could be just what you need.
Firouzbakht Law Firm represents those in Denver and the surrounding Colorado areas to help recover the financial compensation they are entitled to in a wrongful death case. If you have lost a loved one at the hands of another or in a tragic accident, call us for your free consultation.