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Denver Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one is already painful enough. Trying to recover compensation for your losses can add to the trauma after a wrongful death. Fortunately, your Denver attorney can work to give your family the guidance, comfort, and justice you need.

Denver families may find themselves grieving recently because of a death in the family. You may have lost a loved one because of a careless driver, a negligent property owner, an unsafe product, a reckless mistake by a doctor at a Denver healthcare facility, or even a personal attack. These losses can feel overwhelming.

When you believe that someone was at fault for these losses, it adds another layer of grief. Unfortunately, juggling mourning and a lawsuit isn’t easy, which is why your family could use a Denver wrongful death lawyer. At Roberts Accident Law, we understand how difficult dealing with your grief is, so we’ll help you work to get the closure you deserve.

What is Considered Wrongful Death

A death in the family is always brutal for everyone involved. However, one that comes unexpectedly can feel even worse. Add in the potential for wrongful death, and it can be heartbreaking with the knowledge that if something was done a little differently, they could still be alive with their family today.

Learn more about what is considered wrongful death by the courts and what you can potentially expect if you suspect that misconduct or negligence was involved in the incident that resulted in your loved one’s death.

What is Wrongful Death?

According to the courts, wrongful death involves another person or an entity performing an action that can be deemed negligent or against the typical conduct expected, which resulted in the death of a person. This action that shouldn’t have been allowed to occur, such as not performing proper upkeep on a party bus that resulted in a fatal crash, is directly linked to the accident. Had the maintenance been completed, the accident may not have happened in the manner that it did.

Examples of Wrongful Death

Some examples of wrongful death include:

  • Deaths that occur during the commission of a crime
  • Instances of medical malpractice
  • Improper manufacturing of an item
  • Fatal car accidents

This list is not complete, and it’s highly recommended to speak with a legal professional about a particular situation that occurred to your loved one due to the burden of proof in these cases.

How is Wrongful Death Proved?

Proving a wrongful death case is not always easy. First, it’s necessary to verify that the negligent actions that occurred directly resulted in the individual’s death. For instance, with the party bus example, it can be said that the person responsible for the upkeep of the vehicle had a standard of care towards the paying passengers, and by not fixing the brakes, which resulted in a fatal crash, is a direct link to the death of the passenger.

If you believe that your loved one’s death was the result of misconduct or negligence and want answers. Contacting the knowledgeable attorneys at Roberts Accident Law is a great first step.

What Qualified as a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A death in the family can be crushing to deal with, but what happens if there is some doubt about the way that the person died? It can be even more devastating when an intentional or negligent act results in death. Learning more about what qualifies as wrongful death and whether or not a wrongful death lawsuit can be pursued can help you and your family start to get closure during the grieving process.

Understanding Duty of Care

Duty of care is important when it comes to a wrongful death lawsuit. You can’t just argue that a person caused your loved one’s death. Instead, you must demonstrate that the person had a duty of care that they ignored or didn’t follow.

An example of a breach in duty of care that can help illustrate this concept is getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. When doing so, you have the duty of care not to be impaired while driving due to drinking. Drunk drivers can be shown to have breached their duty of care towards other drivers and the community because they are not exercising reasonable care and are acting recklessly. During a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s then necessary to show how their breach of care in driving while intoxicated resulted in the death of your loved one.

Another example would be in a situation where a dog attacks a person and results in their death. The owner of the animal had a duty of care in keeping their dangerous animal away from the public. If the dog escaped and attacked a person, the owner would have breached their duty of care regarding the animal.

Wrongful Death Circumstances

There are a variety of circumstances when a wrongful death lawsuit can be pursued:

No Criminal Charges?

You may ask yourself, what happens if the person isn’t charged with a crime? While a criminal charge where the person is found guilty can certainly help with a civil wrongful death lawsuit, there is no need for the person at fault to be charged in the criminal courts. A Colorado wrongful death suit can stand on its own merit in situations where the person isn’t charged or is found innocent of the charges brought against them in a criminal court. As there are many differences between how criminal and civil cases are pursued, don’t be discouraged if there are no criminal charges being brought against the person.

Are you in a situation where a loved one died, and you believe that their death was the result of a breach of duty? It’s vital that you reach out to Roberts Accident Law as soon as possible to find out more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Every situation is different and gathering evidence early in the process can often help determine if you have a case to go forward with and the next steps. Contact us today to discuss your loved one’s circumstances.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

The death of a loved one is always difficult, but for some, it comes too soon because of a willful, careless, or negligent action taken by someone else. Learning more about the common causes of wrongful death can help you to understand whether or not you may have a wrongful death case to pursue for your family member.

Automobile Accident

One of the most commonly thought of causes of wrongful death is automobile accidents. A driver causing an accident due to drunk driving, texting while driving, or other distracted driving means that their negligent behavior to get behind the wheel of a car, truck willfully, or another vehicle placed the public in danger. Their direct actions resulted in the accident that caused the death of your loved one.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents involving vehicles and people outside of other cars are often devastating. As with automobile accidents, if the driver was involved in a careless or negligent action that caused them to strike a pedestrian, there is the potential for a wrongful death case against them.

Aviation Accidents

Plane accidents may not be as prevalent as car or truck accidents, but they can occur. Due to the very nature of flying, these accidents can often result in fatal consequences. Pilot error and mechanical issues are two areas where the death may be more than just an accident but was the direct result of someone’s negligence.

Medical Malpractice

Another common cause of wrongful death is medical malpractice. Some instances that can be considered medical malpractice include medication mistakes, birth injuries, surgical errors, defective medical devices, and similar health care issues. Physicians are kept to a high standard of care when treating patients for a good reason.

Product Liability

Manufacturers can be held liable when their products result in the death of a person using the item. In these cases, there is typically either a problem with the design or a problem with the material used to make the item. Product liability can also include when manufacturers don’t notify the public of a defect promptly to recall the item.

Workplace Accidents

Everyone is entitled to work in a safe workplace. While accidents that occur due to the fault of no one can happen, there are times when workplace accidents could have been prevented but occurred due to s negligent or careless action. Some examples include employers not providing the right safety equipment, an employer not providing proper training, and other activities that put employees at risk that resulted in a death.

Criminal Acts

When a person commits a criminal act that results in the death of a person, they were negligent and can be found to be responsible for their untimely death.

Nursing Homes

Often overlooked due to the victim’s age and health, nursing home abuse and negligence can also be considered a case of wrongful death when the staff at a nursing home don’t follow through on their duty of proper care.

If you believe that the death of your loved one was the result of one of these common causes of wrongful death, it’s essential that you speak to a legal professional. They can guide you toward the steps that you need to take as we advance with legal action. It can be beneficial to seek out legal assistance as early as possible in this situation. Contact our staff today to discuss your potential case.

Finding the At-Fault Party

When a loved one is killed in an accident, knowing who’s responsible is key. Unfortunately, it can be tough, too. You may not have even been present at the accident, and if the responsible person was at work, it can be even more complex.

Fortunately, that’s where your attorney in Denver comes in. We understand that finding liability can be a challenge. That’s why we’ll start by going over the evidence for your claim and reviewing any accounts of the fatal injury. That way, we should be able to determine who caused this wrongful death and who is responsible for it.

Determining Negligence in Wrongful Death

Going through a wrongful death lawsuit can be hard on the person’s loved ones. One of the most challenging elements of the lawsuit is determining negligence, as without proof of the person being negligent, there is no case. Let’s discuss how the courts assess negligence regarding wrongful death cases and what you can expect.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

There are four elements of a wrongful death lawsuit that play a part in whether or not a case is possible. These elements include negligence, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

Negligence means that a person’s action or inaction was careless or reckless and resulted in the death, such as not answering a call light at a nursing home. They acted in a manner that they shouldn’t have in the circumstance.

Breach of duty means that the person had the responsibility towards the individual, such as getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol. A lawsuit needs to show that the person had to abstain from a bad action or provide a positive action and that they were duty-bound to do so.

Causation is the linking between negligence and breach of duty to the death of the individual. It’s showing that these actions or inactions caused the death to occur, such as an accident with someone driving impaired on a day when the weather didn’t contribute to the accident. It’s necessary to prove that the death was directly due to negligence and the breach of duty rather than some other circumstance.

The final element is the damages that occurred due to the death. That element relates to any damages that are created by the wrongful death, such as hospital bills from the accident that caused the death or the funeral costs. As the death of a family member often has damages that aren’t as easily seen as a hospital bill, damages can also be awarded to make up for the loss of this person to the family.

Proving Negligence

A wrongful death lawsuit needs to be able to string each of these elements together to paint a picture of how the person’s negligent action or inaction was a breach of duty towards the victim where it directly caused their death and that there have been damages that occurred due to their death. While it can seem easy to pinpoint each of these elements in your particular case, a lawyer can go through and ensure that each component is supported enough by the rules of law.

Are you in a situation where you believe that a loved one’s death occurred due to someone’s negligence? One of the best things you can do is speak to a professional familiar with wrongful death cases right away. Getting legal advice early on can be beneficial when it comes to gathering evidence for your case. In addition, you can learn more about the laws surrounding wrongful death lawsuits and learn more about your specific situation and whether or not a wrongful death case is suitable in your circumstances.

Who Can File For Wrongful Death

A wrongful death occurring in the family can be a stressful time. There are often so many unanswered questions, swirling emotions, and painful tasks to be handled. One question that can come up often is who can file the paperwork for a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado. Depending on the family dynamics, it can be a touchy subject, but Colorado law helps narrow down your options when it comes to the individuals that can start the paperwork.

Determining Who Can File

In Colorado, the timing of the lawsuit plays a significant role in determining who can file it.

1st Year

During the first year following the wrongful death, several individuals have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado. The current spouse is the primary individual to file. The children of the individual can file during the first year if they have permission from the spouse. In some cases, the spouse and children can file jointly.

In the situation where there is no spouse or children, two other parties are also able to file. The parents of the deceased may file on behalf of their child that has passed. The designated beneficiary of the deceased individual can file the wrongful death lawsuit, as well, in cases where no other family members are available.

2nd Year

The critical difference between the first year and the second year and who can file the lawsuit is when it comes to the children of the deceased. Everyone that can file in the first year can also file during the second year.

However, the requirements for filing in the first year, the children have to have permission from the spouse to file a wrongful death suit. During the second year, the children no longer need this permission to move forward with a lawsuit. Therefore, they can file independently without any input necessary from the spouse after the first year has passed.

Individuals Not Eligible

In Colorado, some individuals are not eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and friends cannot file unless they are legally the beneficiary of the individual that passed.

Waiting Too Long

Keep in mind that while only some parties are eligible to file in the first year and others in the second year, waiting too long can be an issue. A statute of limitations is put into place to create timelines for determining when too long has passed for legal action to take place. In the case of wrongful death, the statute of limitation is limited to two years. Once two years have passed since the death, it’s too late for anyone to be able to file. The only exception to this rule is in instances of hit-and-run accidents where the statute of limitations is extended to four years.

A wrongful death lawsuit can be a complicated and stressful event after an already hurtful occurrence. Have questions and concerns about a wrongful death case in Colorado? Not every case is the same. It can be beneficial to speak with an educated attorney at Roberts Accident Law about your particular case for specifics on moving forward with a lawsuit.

Compensation Offered for Denver Families

Once you’ve found whether you’re eligible to file a fatal accident claim, you’ll need to know what your claim is worth. Your family deserves compensation for all the losses suffered, both financial and emotional.

The economic losses you’ve suffered will typically cover any funds you’ve lost through the situation. For example, if your loved one passed away because of a car accident, the vehicle may have been totaled. That leaves you struggling with those property losses on top of everything else.

However, you’re primarily also grieving. You lost a family member, and that can take an emotional toll. The damage to your enjoyment of life can be serious, so you’ll need a wrongful death attorney in Denver to help you find how much these kinds of intangible losses are worth.

If you’re dealing with a wrongful death claim, you may be eligible for the following damages:

In addition to these losses, the estate’s representative can also seek other damages. They may also ask for compensation for the deceased’s final hospital bills, as well as the costs for a funeral and burial.

Colorado Laws Affecting Your Fatal Accident Claim

You’ll also need to speak to your lawyer not just about getting your full compensation but about protecting your claim. Colorado law can dismiss your claim if you’re not careful, leaving you struggling to overcome your losses without resources.

For example, you may already know that there are certain time limits for an injury claim in Denver. You will only have two years total to file your claim after the accident. If you’re a child of the deceased, that means you’ll essentially have one year to file your claim, so let your lawyer know quickly about your case.

Denver Wrongful Death FAQ

What is the difference between the civil and criminal cases that can be brought regarding the death when someone dies?

A civil case generally will have to do with a dispute between individuals or organizations where there is a disagreement over the rights and duties owed to each other. A criminal case occurs when the government seeks to punish an individual for a crime. During a criminal case, the burden of proof is higher, and the punishment sought is imprisonment. During a civil case, the penalty is generally a monetary judgment.

Can I bring a wrongful death action if my spouse didn’t contribute to our family’s monthly income?

Yes, even if your spouse does not have a job, they contribute to your family in other ways. For example, if your spouse is a stay-at-home mother or father, they contribute service, nurturing, and guidance to the family; these contributions are classified as “pecuniary losses.”

Can you sue for the pain and suffering of the decedent?

Yes, if the decedent suffered prior to their death, the family can recover damages for their pain and suffering.

Talk to a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Denver

When you’ve lost a loved one, the impact can be severe, both emotionally and financially. A lawsuit may not bring your loved one back, but it can help you recover your losses and focus on your grief, not on your finances.

If you’re ready to file a Denver wrongful death claim, get started with a free consultation. At Roberts Accident Law, we want you to know that we’re the right law firm for you before you begin. That’s why we’ll review your claim first, showing you what you need to know and how we’ll handle your case.

When you’re ready for your free consultation, your Denver wrongful death lawyer is waiting for you. To begin, reach out by calling 720-515-7058 or by filling out the online form below.

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