A wrongful death occurs when someone is killed because of the wrongful, careless, or negligent conduct of another party. Although in some instances, a criminal suit can be brought against the responsible party for the decedent’s death, family members may file a lawsuit in civil court to establish the liability of a company or individual for the death of a loved one.
Examples of when family members of the decedent can file a wrongful death lawsuit include, but are not limited to the following:
– when a criminal action has failed or is not attempted,
– a death is caused by a drunk driver,
– reckless or careless driver,
– deaths cause by dangerous or defective products,
– medical malpractice,
– negligent, careless, or wrongful conduct
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Colorado, the Wrongful Death lawsuit is controlled by Colorado statute (CRS 13-21-201), which dictates specifically who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. In the first year of the decedent’s death, the surviving spouse has exclusive rights to bring the lawsuit. After the first year, the surviving spouse or the children of the decedent have standing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. If there is no spouse or surviving children, then any of the surviving parents of the decedent may bring a claim. In addition to surviving family members, the individual representative of the decedent’s estate may file a claim for a “survival action” to recover damages for certain losses to the estate.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
From the date of death of the decedent, any of the above individuals have two years to file a claim for a wrongful death. You should not wait – consult the experienced wrongful death attorneys at Alhasoon, Glidden and Glidden immediately to discuss your claim, ensuring you provide adequate time to prepare your case.
What Can You Recover?
In Colorado, the law provides that survivors of the decedent can recover economic and noneconomic damages. Monetary damages are assessed by a jury, and if there is no jury, by a judge. The specific damages awarded in a wrongful death suit will depend on the particular facts of the case. The types of damages that survivors can recover for a Wrongful Death lawsuit include, but are not limited to:
– Monetary damages,
– Loss of salary or wages of what the decedent would have earned had he or she been alive,
– The loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection or care suffered by the survivor of the decedent,
– Pain and suffering,
– Lost benefits, such as life and health insurance,
– Funeral and medical bills
Additionally, if the conduct of the responsible party was willful, reckless or wanton, the survivors may also recover punitive damages.
If you have lost a loved one unexpectedly due to negligent or reckless conduct, Alhasoon, Glidden and Glidden extends its deepest condolences. Wrongful death cases are almost always emotionally difficult for family members and is not a matter our attorneys take lightly. If your loved one died unnecessarily due to someone’s carelessness conduct, call the best wrongful death attorneys in Denver – Alhasoon, Glidden & Glidden – for a free consultation to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your loss.