4 Types of Wrongful Death Cases
4 Types of Wrongful Death Cases

4 Types of Wrongful Death Cases

A wrongful death lawsuit arises when someone dies due to the negligent action of another person.
  • Denver Personal Injury Lawyers® has over six decades of experience helping injured people. We have a proven track record of success for our clients. Our law firm has been around for a long time because we get great results and don’t take advantage of people.
  • Our lawyers are featured in The Best Lawyers of America 2024 Edition for Personal Injury is an honor that reflects our excellence in the field. This recognition is based on a rigorous peer-review survey, where leading attorneys evaluate the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. Other lawyers in the field confirm our reputation for delivering outstanding legal representation to our clients.
  • Our personal injury lawyers have achieved a 10.0 AVVO rating, the highest possible score, signifies our attorneys’ substantial experience and successful track record. This rating considers various factors, including years of practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements, and peer endorsements. Attorneys with a history of winning complex, high-stakes cases are more likely to achieve this rating, which serves as a benchmark of excellence and reliability in the legal profession.
  • Our attorneys are members in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious acknowledgments a trial attorney can receive. Less than 1% of attorneys in the United States are members of this elite group, which is reserved for those who have won million-dollar or multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements. This exclusive membership demonstrates our lawyers’ exceptional skill and success in handling significant personal injury cases.

Denver Personal Injury Lawyers® stands out due to our commitment to client success and our extensive expertise in personal injury law. Our attorneys have consistently secured favorable outcomes for clients, earning reputations for diligence, compassion, and legal acumen. Simply put, they are the toughest around, but also fair. Our firm is dedicated to providing personalized service, ensuring that each client receives the attention and support they deserve throughout their legal journey. You can count on Denver Personal Injury Lawyers® to have your back.

A wrongful death lawsuit arises when someone dies due to the negligent action of another person. The death may have been a result of intentional or accidental action. The surviving family members of the deceased person’s estate can then file a wrongful death lawsuit. They may recover damages from the case, including the decedent’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering before their death, if there was any. Some examples of wrongful death accidents include:

“Damages” are anything the deceased victim’s family can recover from a lawsuit. In a personal injury cause, damages are anything the plaintiff can claim as a loss. The two categories of damages are compensatory and punitive—most states, like Colorado, award compensatory damages to surviving family members.

What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?

Each state has its wrongful death statute. In Colorado, the wrongful death statute is explained under the Colorado Revised Statutes 13-21-201 through 12-21-204. It’s also known as the Colorado Wrongful Death Act. Under this act, family members of the lost victim can bring a suit against the party that is liable for their family member’s death. However, family members of the victim can only file a wrongful death suit if the victim would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived.

For a case to qualify as a wrongful death lawsuit, the following elements need to be present:

  • The death of a person
  • The person’s death was caused by another person’s negligence or intentional harmful act.
  • The family members who survived after the victim’s death have suffered financial loss due to the decedent’s death.
  • The decedent’s estate has a personal representative.

Common Examples of Wrongful Death Cases

Car Accidents

In 2020, there were 611 fatalities from motor vehicle accidents in Colorado. After such car accidents, injured drivers, passengers, and families might be left to struggle with overwhelming and unexpected medical bills. They could also face lost wages or reduced incomes due to losing a loved one in a car accident. Car accidents are typically caused by:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Rain
  • Traffic violations
  • Driving while there is poor visibility
  • Vehicle defects
  • Tailgating
  • Wrong-way driving
  • Improper turns

Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are still caused by a motor vehicle but are different from typical car accidents due to the sheer size and weight of the truck. Semi-trucks and commercial trucks cause far more significant and more severe damage than a collision with two smaller cars. If a vehicle hits a smaller car, the passengers in the smaller car will likely suffer serious injuries or death.

When it comes to wrongful death, truck accidents can happen from many different causes, some of which include:

  • Driver error or negligence
  • Aggressive driving or extremely high speeds
  • Driving in inclement weather conditions
  • Having an overweight cargo load on the truck
  • Mechanical or technical defects
  • Truck company negligence
  • Driving under the influence or while intoxicated

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents usually happen when drivers fail to notice a motorcycle rider. By failing to check lanes before switching, drivers inadvertently cause accidents with motorcyclists. Motorcyclists involved in car accidents can be left with the following injuries:

  • Brain injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cords injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Burn injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Or death

Motorcycle accidents usually require legal assistance because many driver insurance policies do not cover injuries to the degree suffered by motorcyclists.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents that involve traumatic impact from being hit by a car or run over can lead to death. Usually, this happens while walking, running, or jogging. The injured person will need immediate medical attention as many injuries from this type of accident can be internal and thus not visible but fatal. In addition, physical injuries from being hit by a car or truck can lead to death. In that case, the litigation would become a wrongful death lawsuit. The compensation would go to the deceased person’s surviving family members.

How to File a Wrongful Death Suit in Colorado

Find Out if You are Entitled to File

According to Colorado’s wrongful death statute, only the spouse can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the first year after a victim’s death. If the deceased had no spouse, the children could file in the first year.

During the second year, both the children and the spouse can file a claim and any designated beneficiary. If none of the above family members survive, the deceased’s parents are entitled to file.

The estate representative can also file a survival action for certain types of compensation on behalf of the decedent. The estate representative should do this immediately after death.

Determine Whether the Death Was Wrongful

Just because your loved one passed, it doesn’t mean you can automatically sue. Under Colorado law, a wrongful death lawsuit is only viable if a loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or other wrongful action. Intentional acts to deliberate harm are also accepted as the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. Your best course is to consult an experienced Colorado wrongful death attorney who can review the evidence and decide on whether the death was wrongful.

File Within the Statute of Limitations

Colorado’s statute of limitation for bringing a wrongful death claim is two years. Therefore, family members have two years from the death of their loved one to file a lawsuit. If you miss that deadline, you will forfeit your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit for your lost loved one.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Colorado

A lawsuit begins with the family members filing a complaint and then serving the complaint to the defendant. You will usually sue in whatever district your loved one’s death occurred or where the defendant resides. You might file in federal court if the defendant lives in a different state. A complaint must contain certain information. Without all the requirements, a judge will dismiss the case. It’s advisable to seek expert legal advocacy to avoid having to refile later. As the law is very technical, it’s best not to handle your case independently.

Contact an Experienced Colorado Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If you do not bring a lawsuit within the Colorado wrongful death statute of limitations, you may forfeit your right to recover damages. So please don’t risk your case – get the skilled legal representation you deserve.

Losing a loved one is hard enough, so you shouldn’t try to go it alone. While money cannot replace a loved one, it can help you rebuild your life and deal with the hardships. We will be there for you every step of the way and fight for the fair and full amount you deserve. Contact an experienced Colorado wrongful death attorney today for a free consultation.

Sharing is Caring....

Free Consultation

Fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Find What You're Looking For

    Denver Personal Injury Lawyers®

    Tel: 720-500-HURT
    Tel: 720-500-4878
    Fax: 720-265-9998

    Denver Office
    1001 Bannock St #8
    Denver, CO 80204

    Arvada Office
    5610 Ward Rd #300
    Arvada, CO 80002

    Centennial Office
    9200 E Mineral Ave #100
    Centennial, CO 80112

    Lakewood Office
    355 S Teller St #200
    Lakewood, CO 80226

    Free Consultation