Denver Wrongful Death Attorney
Finding out that someone you love has passed away is earth-shattering. The more you learn about the circumstances surrounding the death, the more you may suspect negligence or foul play. If you believe that the careless or wrongful act of another person is what caused your loved one’s fatal injury or illness, it can be even harder to cope with the loss and move forward with your life.
At Cannon Law, we understand what you’re going through and are here to help. Our Denver wrongful death attorneys are committed to seeking justice, answers and fair financial compensation for family members who are left behind. We will carefully guide you through the legal process of a claim in Colorado to ease the burden on you and your family. Our goal is to make sure that you have everything you need to heal.
Start your wrongful death claim with a free, no-obligation case review from one of our attorneys in Denver. Call (970) 471-7170 today.
Denver Wrongful Death Legal Resources
- Why Choose Us?
- What Is a Wrongful Death?
- What Damages Can Surviving Victims in Colorado Recover After a Wrongful Death?
- What Is the Statute of Limitations to File Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado
- Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?
- What Are Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths?
- How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?
- Contact Us
Why Choose Us?
- We have decades of legal experience assisting injured accident victims and surviving family members in Colorado with their legal needs.
- Our attorneys are committed to helping surviving victims recover what was lost. We are prepared to go to trial in Denver, if necessary, for maximum financial compensation.
- Cannon Law accepts all wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you’ll only pay us if we win, and only ever as a percentage of the settlement or jury verdict collected.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
The definition of wrongful death in Colorado is when one person dies from an injury or illness resulting from the negligence, unskillfulness or criminal intent of another person. Negligence is the failure to meet the reasonable duty of care toward others. Unskillfulness often refers to incompetence on a professional level, such as a physician who is lacking in the skill or proficiency needed to care for a patient. Criminal intent means malicious intent to harm someone, such as the crimes of physical assault or homicide.
A wrongful death claim is a civil case brought on behalf of the deceased person’s estate and/or surviving family members in pursuit of financial compensation from the person or party at fault for causing the death. Typically, if the fatally injured accident victim would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit had he or she survived, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed after a death in Colorado. To find out if you have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one, consult with an attorney Cannon Law.
What Damages Can Surviving Victims in Colorado Recover After a Wrongful Death?
“Damages” is the legal term for the financial compensation that may be awarded in an insurance settlement or civil lawsuit in Colorado. State law determines what damages are available to surviving loved ones after a wrongful death. They can include both economic and noneconomic damages. Combined, these two categories reimburse survivors for the financial side of wrongful death as well as the personal or intangible aspects of losing a loved one.
If your wrongful death lawsuit is successful, your family could receive damages for all the following losses, and more:
- Income and employment benefits the deceased individual (decedent) likely would have earned had he or she lived.
- Employment or other benefits lost as a result of the decedent’s death, including life insurance, inheritance and retirement savings.
- An amount suitable to pay for the decedent’s final medical bills from the date of the accident to the date of death.
- The decedent’s funeral and burial expenses, up to a reasonable amount.
- Pain and suffering damages, including surviving family members’ mental anguish, grief and emotional distress.
- Loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, care, guidance, parental advice, spousal intimacy and household services (loss of consortium).
As is the case in many states, Colorado has a damage cap on wrongful death lawsuits. A damage cap is a statutory limit on the amount of money that can be awarded. According to Colorado Revised Statute Section 13-21-203, the damage cap on wrongful death compensation is currently $571,870 for noneconomic damages. This has not been changed since it was updated in 2020. If a solatium amount is chosen in lieu of traditional noneconomic damages (an amount that is awarded without requiring proof of noneconomic damages), the cap is $114,370.
What Is the Statute of Limitations to File Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado
A statute of limitations is a legal deadline for filing a claim. Statutes of limitations are different in every state. They also change according to the type of case and – in some cases – the circumstances. In general, a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado must be brought within two years of the date of the decedent’s death. This may or may not be the date of the accident that ultimately took the victim’s life.
The two-year filing window might change, however, if the claimant qualifies for an exception. The deadline may be extended, for example, if it is not discovered that negligence or malpractice took the decedent’s life until later. The statute of limitations can be shortened, on the other hand, if the defendant named in the case is a government agency. In Colorado, claims against the government must be brought within just 180 days.
The Colorado courts take statutes of limitations seriously. If a claimant attempts to file a wrongful death lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the courts will most likely refuse to hear the case. Even if the case is filed, the defendant will bring up the missed statute of limitations as a defense and most likely file a motion to dismiss the case on this grounds.
Two years may seem like a long time, but it can pass quickly. Waiting too long also comes with the risk of losing key evidence that can support your case. For example, eyewitnesses’ memories may fade and no longer be reliable. This is why it is crucial to contact a wrongful death lawyer in Denver as soon as possible. A lawyer can quickly and efficiently file the required forms to initiate your claim before the deadline.
Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?
State law restricts who may file a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado based on their relationship to and financial dependence on the decedent. According to Colorado Revised Statute Section 13-21-201, filing privileges are determined based on how much time has passed from the date of the decedent’s death. In the first year following the death, these parties have the right to bring a tort action for wrongful death:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- The heir or heirs of the deceased, by written election of the spouse
- The spouse along with the heirs, by written election of the spouse
- The heir/heirs or the designated beneficiary, if no spouse exists
In the second year following a wrongful death, the right to file a lawsuit is extended to:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- The heir or heirs of the deceased
- The spouse along with the heirs
- The designated beneficiary
Written election by the surviving spouse is not necessary for the heir, heirs or designated beneficiary of the decedent to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the second year after the death. If the decedent is an unmarried minor without descendants or an unmarried adult without descendants and no designated beneficiary, the parents of the decedent may file, instead.
What Are Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths?
Every year, thousands of people lose their lives in preventable and avoidable accidents. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental and unintentional injuries are the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. Accidental injuries accounted for nearly 201,000 deaths in 2019. The three leading causes of unintentional injury death were falls, motor vehicle accidents and unintentional poisoning.
Many different causes of unintentional injury deaths can lead to wrongful death lawsuits in Colorado and throughout the country, including:
- Big rig accidents. Fatal truck accidents take thousands of lives every year. Truck drivers, trucking companies, cargo companies and others involved in the trucking industry have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their trucks as much as possible.
- Car accidents. Drivers are at fault for many fatal traffic accidents, including deadly pedestrian and bicycle accidents. A driver can be held liable for a crash caused by speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors.
- Medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can be deadly when a physician or health care provider falls short of the standard of patient care, such as through a fatal misdiagnosis, surgical error, birth injury, anesthesia mistake or medication error.
- Premises liability accidents. Property owners have a duty to properly maintain and use their premises. Falling short of this duty can make the landowner liable for a visitor injury or death due to a property defect.
- Product liability cases. Defective products such as auto parts, medical devices, children’s toys, e-cigarettes and medications can inflict fatal injuries on unsuspecting consumers. In these cases, survivors may be able to sue the product manufacturer.
- Work injuries and accidents. If a worker dies on the job in Colorado, surviving family members may be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits and/or compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit.
All of these fatal accidents can be traced back to human error and negligence. At Cannon Law, our wrongful death attorneys in Denver have the knowledge and experience to litigate any type of fatal accident case. We have gone up against powerful defendants and won in many different practice areas. We secured a $1.25 million settlement, for example, in a fatal car accident case on behalf of the victim’s mother. We achieved another $660,000 award in another wrongful death claim involving a fatal fall.
How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?
A wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated. To successfully hold someone accountable for the loss of your loved one’s life, you will need to navigate Colorado’s related laws. These include claims filing requirements, statutes of limitations, the burden of proof and – potentially – a wrongful death trial in Denver County. You should not have to deal with a claim alone while you’re also grieving a death in your family. Hiring a wrongful death attorney allows you to mourn in peace while your attorney takes care of the complicated legal process for you.
The right wrongful death lawyer can help you and your family in many ways during the claims process, including:
- Explain your legal rights and options under Colorado law.
- Investigate the fatal accident for signs of fault or negligence.
- Identify the defendant(s) responsible for your loved one’s fatal injury or illness.
- Preserve and collect evidence to support your wrongful death case.
- File the forms and paperwork required to initiate a claim before Colorado’s deadline.
- Go up against an insurance company in pursuit of fair compensation on your behalf.
- Help your family recover damages for pain and suffering in addition to economic losses.
- Bring a lawsuit and represent you during a wrongful death trial, if necessary.
At Cannon Law, you won’t have to pay your lawyer out of your own pocket, win or lose. This is because we charge our fees only as a percentage of the settlement or jury verdict attained for you, and only if we win. If we don’t secure compensation on your behalf, you won’t pay us a dime – guaranteed. If we do, you’ll pay our attorney’s fees as a percentage of the amount obtained rather than us billing you directly. With this payment arrangement, the cost of a lawyer doesn’t have to stop you from benefiting from high-quality legal representation.
We are here for you after the tragic loss of a loved one. At Cannon Law, we always put our clients first. We will listen to your family’s story and treat your case as if it were our own. Our goals are your goals: fighting for justice for wrongful death, pursuing fair and full compensation from the at-fault party, and helping your family move forward.
We will provide individualized care and attention to your case every step of the way. Most importantly, we will give your loved one a voice in the civil justice system and hold a wrongdoer accountable, helping your family find closure during this difficult time. Speak to one of our Denver wrongful death lawyers today about a case. Request a free case consultation by calling (970) 471-7170 or contacting us online.