Wrongful Death Attorney in Denver, Colorado
Losing a loved one due to someone else's negligence is unimaginably difficult and painful. We, at the Law Offices of Malcolm B. Seawell, deeply understand the emotional toll that it takes on families. We're here to provide support and guidance during these challenging times. Our empathy extends to those who have suffered such a significant loss.
Our firm fervently believes in holding the responsible party accountable for their actions. This step can prevent similar tragedies from happening to other families. While filing a wrongful death claim won't bring back your loved one, it can offer a sense of justice and closure. We proudly help clients in Denver, Colorado, and throughout the Denver Metro area including Aurora, Golden, Lakewood, Arvada, Boulder, Brighton, Englewood, Castle Rock, Littleton, and Highlands Ranch.
Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Filing a wrongful death claim is not about replacing the person you've lost. Instead, it's about seeking justice and ensuring that the responsible parties are held accountable. When someone's actions or negligence lead to a tragic loss, they should face the consequences. This accountability can deter similar incidents in the future, protecting other families from experiencing the same pain.
Moreover, a successful wrongful death claim can provide much-needed financial support during this challenging time. The costs associated with losing a loved one can be overwhelming, especially when they're unexpected. A wrongful death claim can help cover funeral expenses, burial costs, and lost income, among other related expenses.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Colorado?
In Colorado, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the "wrongful act, neglect, or default of another" person or entity. It covers situations where the deceased person could have filed a personal injury claim if they had survived. At its core, a wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of the deceased person.
It's crucial to note the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Colorado. Typically, the claim must be filed within two years of the date of the person's death. However, if the death resulted from a hit-and-run vehicular homicide, the claim must be filed within four years.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?
The eligibility to file a wrongful death claim in Colorado is dependent on the relationship of the deceased person to the potential claimants. If the deceased person was married, had children, or named a designated beneficiary, the following individuals can file the claim:
The surviving spouse
The surviving children
The surviving spouse and children together
The eligible designated beneficiary and children
If the deceased person was unmarried and had no children or designated beneficiary, the claim can be filed by the deceased person's parents.
What Needs to Be Proven to Constitute Wrongful Death?
In a wrongful death case, it's not enough to simply assert that someone else was responsible for your loved one's death. Specific elements must be proven to establish that the death indeed qualifies as a "wrongful death" under Colorado law.
To constitute a wrongful death, the following must be proven:
Negligence or Recklessness: The first thing to establish is that the defendant was negligent or reckless. This means showing that they acted (or failed to act) in a way that a reasonable person wouldn't have, given the same circumstances.
Causation: Next, it needs to be shown that the defendant's negligence or recklessness caused the death of your loved one. In other words, if not for the defendant's actions, your loved one would still be alive. This is often the most challenging part of a wrongful death case, as it requires solid evidence and expert testimony.
Damages: Finally, you must demonstrate that you have suffered damages as a result of your loved one's death. These can include both economic damages (like lost income and funeral expenses) and noneconomic damages (such as grief, loss of companionship, and emotional distress).
It's also essential to remember that Colorado law has a cap on noneconomic damages in most wrongful death suits, currently set at $571,870. This is why it's so important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you receive the maximum compensation available under the law.
In wrongful death cases, there are two main types of damages that can be awarded: economic and non-economic. Both types aim to compensate for the losses suffered due to the untimely death of a loved one.
Here's a more detailed look at what these damages entail:
Economic damages represent the concrete financial losses associated with the death of a loved one. These can include:
Lost Wages: This is the income the deceased would have earned had they not died prematurely. It's calculated based on their age, health, life expectancy, occupation, talents, skill level, and other factors.
Lost Benefits: If the deceased was providing certain benefits like health insurance or pension plans, the value of these lost benefits can be recovered.
Funeral and Burial Expenses: The costs associated with laying your loved one to rest can also be claimed. This includes expenses for the funeral service, burial or cremation, and any related costs.
Remember, there's no limit to the amount of economic damages that can be awarded in a Colorado wrongful death case.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, compensate for the intangible losses suffered by the deceased person's family. These may cover:
Pain and Suffering: This refers to the emotional distress experienced due to the loss of a loved one.
Grief: The profound sorrow and heartache caused by the death can also be compensated.
Loss of Companionship: The loss of love, care, protection, guidance, and companionship that the deceased would have provided can also be factored in.
Emotional Distress: The mental anguish and emotional pain suffered by the family members can be compensated.
Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Denver, Colorado
When considering filing a wrongful death claim in Colorado, it is crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side. Our team at the Law Offices of Malcolm B. Seawell has extensive knowledge in handling wrongful death cases. We're dedicated to providing compassionate support and fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.