No accident has a more devastating effect than the untimely death of a close family member. While adding a civil lawsuit to your plate right now might seem like a low priority, it could be vital to protecting surviving loved ones’ well-being and financial stability.
Having help from a compassionate Denver wrongful death lawyer in a situation like this could be vital to preserving your rights without causing you and your family additional heartache and stress. A dedicated personal injury attorney could build a strong case to hold negligent parties accountable and get justice for your departed loved one.
Colorado has complex rules regarding who has legal standing to file a lawsuit in a deceased family member’s name following a negligent act or professional malpractice resulting in wrongful death. According to Colorado Revised Statutes §13-21-201, a decedent’s spouse has the right to file a claim for a year following a wrongful death as long as they were married when the death occurred. However, if a spouse does not file, a decedent’s unmarried children can file, followed by their beneficiary, and parent(s).
In the second year after a wrongful death, a combination of the decedent’s spouse, children, or designated beneficiary may pursue litigation. Any parties not included in the initial filing have 90 days to join the claim afterward if they wish to do so.
However, once two years have passed since the incident, all parties will be barred from filing a claim under C.R.S. §13-80-102 unless a death stemmed from another person committing vehicular homicide, in which case the applicable deadline is four years. A skilled local attorney could determine who can file a negligent death claim and help gather pertinent evidence that supports their case.
In wrongful death claims, eligible family members and beneficiaries can demand financial recovery for losses they have experienced and are likely to sustain in the future because of their loved one’s death. Recoverable damages account for economic and non-economic losses, including:
Importantly, C.R.S. §13-21-102.5 caps maximum recovery for non-economic losses at $642,180 for most causes of actions arising after January 1, 2022. However, a court may be convinced through “clear and compelling evidence” to increase this cap to $1,284,370.
Furthermore, C.R.S. §13-21-203 states that no such caps apply to non-economic recovery if a wrongful death stems from a “felonious killing.” A skilled lawyer in Denver could identify the losses family members suffered after a negligent death and ensure plaintiffs recover the maximum financial recovery possible.
No one should lose a beloved family member due to another person’s reckless or careless behavior. However, if you have experienced the untimely death of a loved one, there may be legal options available to you. By filing a wrongful death suit, you and your family members could obtain the civil compensation you deserve for the losses you suffered.
A tenacious Denver wrongful death lawyer could discuss filing options in detail during a confidential consultation. Schedule yours by calling Roberts Markland LLP today.