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Denver Wrongful Death Lawyers

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Denver Wrongful Death Attorneys

Losing someone you love in a fatal accident can be crippling.
It’s hard to move forward, difficult to know what to do, and knowing where to turn can be a challenge.

And if that death was the result of someone’s negligence — through a car accident, a fire, a faulty product or another type of fatal accident — your loss can feel insurmountable.

While no monetary award can bring back the love, affection and companionship another person provided you, it can give you justice for their loss and help make you whole after suffering such a profound experience.

The Lamber Goodnow injury law team, together with our partner firms throughout Colorado are sensitive to the victims of wrongful death cases. We work with grieving families each week, gently taking them through the process of filing a claim, fighting for their rights and gradually rebuilding their lives. We know a fatal injury does more than end a life. It can destroy a family. With our assistance, we hope to help you rebuild and restore.

“As an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Tucson, I’ve personally witnessed the deep-seated consequences these accidents can impose on victims and their loved ones. Our firm remains unwavering in our dedication to defend the rights of these victims, obtain the justice they rightly deserve, and advocate for improved bicycling safety measures to forestall additional tragedies on Tucson’s roads.”

Marc Lamber

marc lamber sq

What’s My Case Worth?

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Colorado

In Colorado, a wrongful death is considered when a person’s death occurs due to the negligence, recklessness, or wrongful act of another. This claim is distinct from any criminal charges that may be levied and is pursued as a separate civil action.

Distinguishing between Wrongful Death and Survival Actions

A wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the survivors’ loss, while a survival action seeks to recover losses the deceased might have claimed had they survived. They are two unique legal avenues with different considerations and implications.

Contexts in Which Wrongful Death Occurs

Wrongful death can occur in any scenario where negligence leads to fatality. Common contexts include car accidents, defective products, and unsafe property conditions, among others.

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FAQs: Wrongful Death Lawyers Denver

Q: Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit?

A: If a family member dies because of the accident, certain heirs may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. A wrongful death action may be brought by:

“(a) The spouse of the deceased,

(b) The heir or heirs of the deceased,

(c) By the decedent’s designated beneficiary, or

(d) If the deceased is unmarried and without descendants or a designated     beneficiary, [1] then the parents or parent of the deceased.”[2]

However, regardless of who brings the action, the judgment obtained is to be shared by such persons who are heirs of the deceased.

Q: How long do certain family members have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado?

A: All wrongful death actions must be brought within two years after the cause of action accrues.[3]  Further, a cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death.[4]

However, all statutes of limitations are subject to tolling provisions when the owner of the right of action is a person under disability at the time the right of action accrues.[5]  “Persons under disability include a minor under the age of 18 years and a mental incompetent.[6]  The statute of limitations will begin to run when the disability is ended, the person under the disability dies, the minor turns 18, or a legal representative first represents the person under disability.”[7]

Q: May I bring a wrongful death claim if my baby dies after birth?

A: Yes, parents may bring a wrongful death claim if their baby dies after birth as a result of prenatal injuries.[8]

Q: What may I recover in a wrongful death lawsuit?

A: In a Colorado wrongful death action, the heirs may receive compensatory damages.[9]  This includes economic and non-economic damages.  The pecuniary loss that the heirs may receive is equivalent to the monetary benefit that the plaintiff and heirs “might reasonably have expected to receive”[10] from the decedent, less the normal costs of consumption.[11]  When making this determination on economic damages, a jury considers the “age, health, and life expectancy” of the plaintiff and heirs, and the decedents “habits of industry,” “ability to earn money,” “disposition to aid or assist” plaintiff and the heirs and “the nature of the relationship” between the decedent and those that are seeking recovery.[12]

A wrongful death plaintiff may also recover non-economic damages.  Non-economic loss is “pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional distress, and impairment of the quality of life.”[13]

Q: If I have to prove someone was negligent in a wrongful death case what do I do?

A: In order to establish fault of the other party in a wrongful death lawsuit you must prove the party caused the underlying tort (the wrongful act). In most wrongful death cases the underlying tort is negligence.

In Colorado negligence is defined as “the failure to do what a reasonably prudent person would do under similar circumstances.”[14] In order to prove negligence, the plaintiff must prove: “(1) a duty recognized by law requiring a defendant to conform its conduct to a standard of care to protect others from unreasonable risks or harm; (2) a breach of that duty—that is a failure by the defendant to conform to the standard; (3) causation; and (4) damages.”[15]

Q: Do I have to file a lawsuit to get a positive result in a wrongful death situation?

A: No, not all wrongful death disputes result in a lawsuit being filed.  Your attorney may draft a demand letter, which presents facts about the wrongful death in order to persuade the at-fault party to provide adequate compensation. The demand letter is sent to the at-fault party, or their attorney (if they have retained an attorney) with supplemental documents, which the party will analyze and then respond with their settlement offer.

Q: What is Solatium?

A: Solatium is a type of damage that may be recovered in a wrongful death case in Colorado when the plaintiff cannot prove economic loss or when a plaintiff was estranged from the decedent at the time of death.

This is an alternative to putting proof of various categories of non-economic loss, and a plaintiff may elect in writing to sue for “solatium” in the amount of $50,000[16] to be awarded in addition to economic damages and reasonable funeral and burial expenses.[17]

    denver wrongful death lawyer

    Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Colorado?

    In Colorado, only specific individuals related to the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Initially, only the spouse can file a claim within the first year after the death. After the first year, both the spouse and certain heirs can seek financial recovery.

    Role of Relationship in Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

    Parents can file a lawsuit for an unmarried, childless deceased child. After one year of the accident, children can file a lawsuit for the loss of a parent. Unfortunately, Colorado law does not permit siblings, aunts, uncles, or cousins to pursue financial recovery.

    Deadlines and Statutes of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits

    Colorado law stipulates that a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death, regardless of whom the lawsuit is filed against or why.

    Exceptional Cases and Extended Deadlines

    An exception to this rule applies when a hit-and-run accident results in vehicular homicide. In such instances, the statute of limitations extends to four years.

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    Understanding Damages in Colorado Wrongful Death Lawsuits

    Economic and Non-Economic Damages

    Under Colorado law, a wrongful death lawsuit can recover both economic and non-economic damages. These may cover funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of earnings, loss of services, pain, suffering, emotional loss, and loss of companionship.

    Exploring Loss of Companionship and Loss of Consortium

    Loss of companionship and loss of consortium are types of non-economic damages. They consider the emotional toll on family members and their lost relationship benefits due to the wrongful death.

    Situations Where Punitive Damages May Apply

    If the party responsible for the death acted willfully or recklessly, it is possible to seek punitive damages in addition to compensatory ones.

    Role of a Wrongful Death Attorney in Your Claim

    How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

    A wrongful death attorney can provide valuable advice regarding your rights under Colorado law, guide you through the complicated legal process, and work diligently to ensure you receive just compensation.

    The Value of a Timely Consultation with an Attorney

    Adhering to strict deadlines is crucial in wrongful death lawsuits. Contacting a wrongful death attorney promptly can protect your rights and maximize your chances of financial recovery.

    Discuss Your Case With A Lawyer Now


    [1]  Col. Rev. Stat. § 15-22-103(1).

    [2]  Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-201(1).

    [3] Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-102(1)(d).

    [4]  Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-81-102(1).

    [5]  Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-81-103.

    [6]  Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-81-101(3).

    [7]  Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-81-103.

    [8]  Pizza Hut of American, Inc. v. Keefe 900 P.2d 97 (Colo. 1995).

    [9]  Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-203(1).

    [10]   Colo. Jury Instr., 4th Civil 10:3 and 10:3A.

    [11]   Mosley v. Prall, 158 Colo. 504, 408 P.2d 434 (1965).

    [12]   Colo. Jury Instr., 4th Civil 10:3 and 10:3A.

    [13]   Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-102.5(2)(b).

    [14]   Matt Skorey Packard Co. v. Canino, 142 Colo. 411, 350 P.2d 1069 (1960).

    [15]  Id.

    [16]  Col. Rev. Stat. § 13020-203.7.

    [17]  Col. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-203.5.

    440+ Google 5 Star Reviews

    "My wife and I had occasion to use Mr. Lamber and his staff for a legal matter. The entire staff was wonderful. They kept us informed of every step and communicated quickly and effectively as things changed or progressed. We would highly recommend Mr. Lamber and his staff to anyone needing legal advice or assistance. They had a very high level of integrity and professionalism. It's too bad there are only 5 stars for their rating. They are excellent."

    David Sanford

    "I just got rear-ended today, but I'm thankful I found this firm. They take care of you in general, and if you don't make enough to cover your costs, they back you up 100%. Stephanie Ramos gave excellent and kind customer service by getting me in motion with the whole process. Attorney Donn Coolidge gave me the rundown of the situation very clearly, and I'm looking forward to working with him. I fully recommend this firm!"

    Jonathan Carrillo Lopez

    Denver Colorado

    1700 Lincoln Street #2400
    Denver, CO 80203