Wrongful Death Lawyer in Colorado
If a loved one died because of another's negligence, Curtis Walton Law will fight for your family!
The death of a loved one takes an unimaginable toll on a family. Everyone is aware that an unexpected death brings a tidal wave of grief and pain. What isn’t as well known, however, is the economic impact such a tragedy can leave in its wake.
At Curtis Walton Law, we know that there is nothing anyone can do to make the wrongful death of a loved one right. Our attorneys understand grief, and will fight tirelessly for you so that you can focus on the things that really matter like family, friends, and healing.
Unfortunately, the law provides a limited time frame for a victim’s family or estate to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. Call Curtis Walton Law today at 720-339-5952 to speak with Founding Partner Wade Walton about your wrongful death lawsuit today.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is when someone is killed as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another, including murder. Wrongful death lawsuits allow the victim’s family or estate to collect money from the at-fault party. While it is common for a wrongful death lawsuit to follow a criminal trial, this is not always the case. Survivors can file a wrongful death suit regardless of the outcome of a criminal trial. Even if the at-fault party is not convicted of a crime associated with a wrongful death, they can still be liable for civil damages.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?
The survivors or representatives of an estate can file a wrongful death claim. For example, when a motorcycle accident victim is killed as a result of the another's negligence, the law provides that their next of kin and the deceased’s estate may file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. Similarly, family members and an estate can collect against employers in a workers’ compensation claim.
What Are The Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In order to bring a wrongful death cause to action, the following elements must be met:
The death of a human being, usually caused by another's unintentional negligence.
The survival of family members who are suffering monetary and emotional injuries as a result of the death
A wrongful death claim may arise out of a number of circumstances, including, but not limited to:
Medical malpractice that results in death
Automobile or motorcycle accident
Occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances
Criminal behavior (assault / murder)
Death during a supervised activity
What are Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Pecuniary, or financial injury is the main measure of damages in a wrongful death case. Courts have interpreted "pecuniary injuries" to include the loss of support and services, as well as the loss of prospect of inheritance, medical, and funeral expenses. Most laws provide that the damages awarded for a wrongful death shall be fair and justly compensate for the pecuniary injuries that resulted from the decedent's death. If the heir-at-law paid or is responsible for the decedent's funeral or medical care, he may also recover those expenses.
How is Pecuniary Loss Determined
There are several factors that are considered in determining pecuniary loss, including the deceased’s age, character, earning capacity, life expectancy, and health.
What Damages Can I Recover In a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Funeral and burial expenses
Loss of income earnings for the length of deceased's entire expected lifespan had they not died
Medical expenses prior to death- Statistically, most of your medical expenses will be incurred during the last months of your life. Check out Forbes for more information.
Loss of household support
Loss of child rearing support
Loss of medical and retirement benefits
Non-economic damages: such as loss of support, companionship and affection.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado?
Actions for wrongful death must be filed within two years after the death. However, there is a list of exceptions that go along with this including if the party is underage or mentally impaired.