Denver Wrongful Death Lawyer Proudly Serving The State of Colorado
The loss of a loved one is tragic when you are preparing for their death (illness or old age), but it can be overwhelming when your loved one is ripped from your life because of someone else’s actions or inaction. The negligence of another person or entity can often lead to death, which is known as wrongful death. A Denver wrongful death attorney from Mandelaris Law can help you recover compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one.
Common Situations That Lead to Wrongful Death Claims
The most common situations that often lead to wrongful death claims in Denver include the following:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective or malfunctioning products
- Workplace accidents
- Birth injuries
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?
The surviving spouse can file a wrongful death claim in the first year after the victim’s death. If there was no surviving spouse, the heirs of the deceased or their personal representative can also file a claim.
In the second year after the victim’s death, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the following people, according to Colorado law:
- The victim’s spouse
- The deceased’s heirs
- The spouse and heirs of the deceased
- The designated beneficiary of the decedent
Parents of the victim can file a wrongful death claim if there is no surviving spouse or surviving children. The claim must be filed within two years of the victim’s death. If the victim of the wrongful death action was a minor, the parents can file a claim. Both of the parents will share equal claim when a judgment is issued. If only one parent remains, that parent will have an exclusive interest in any award issued by the court.
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Colorado is two years from the date of death. If the claim is filed after the statute of limitations expires, your claim is likely to be dismissed and you will lose out on the ability to recover compensation. However, there are exceptions, including if your loved one died in a car crash. You will have three years to file a claim if this is the case.
The statute of limitations can also be extended if the defendant tried to hide facts or evidence about the case or if the defendant engaged in fraudulent activity. No matter the circumstances of your case, you need to consult with a Denver wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing the statute of limitations.
What Must be Proven to be Successful?
In order to succeed in a wrongful death claim, the following must be proven:
- Your loved one was owed a duty of care by the defendant
- The duty of care was breached by the defendant
- The victim’s death was directly caused by the breach of duty of care
- The damages you are trying to acquire were caused by the victim’s death
Damages You Can Claim in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The surviving spouse, children, or parents of someone who died due to negligence can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses related to the injury or illness that caused the death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income and services provided by the decedent
- Pain and suffering, which is capped by statute.
- Loss of companionship and emotional loss, which is capped by statute.
There are limits placed on damages surviving parents can claim when their minor child dies due to negligence. The parents can only claim financial losses and not lost income, as a child does not have an income.
Colorado law also permits the recovery of punitive damages if the death was caused willfully or by reckless acts. Punitive damages are intended to punish the person responsible for the victim’s death.
Seek Compensation for Your Loved One’s Death
If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you can hold them accountable. You deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more. Call the Denver wrongful death attorney at Mandelaris Law at (303) 357-9757, or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation today.