A personal injury occurs when one party’s failure to exercise reasonable care or their intentional misconduct causes harm to another party. Under Colorado law, the victim of a personal injury has the right to file a civil suit against the party that harmed them, seeking accountability and compensation for the damages they suffered. When the victim of a personal injury does not survive, this can form the foundation of a wrongful death claim.
Experienced Wrongful Death Counsel in Douglas County, CO
A wrongful death action functionally replaces the personal injury claim the victim could have filed if they survived their ordeal. If your family has recently lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence or criminal misconduct, you likely have the right to file a wrongful death suit. You can hold the at-fault party accountable for the financial losses associated with the death as well as the emotional impact of the death on you and your loved ones.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has years of experience representing clients in all types of personal injury cases in Douglas County; we also handle wrongful death suits. We know the emotional weight these cases carry and how hard it can be for any family to approach complex legal proceedings while mourning the death of a loved one. When you choose our firm to represent your wrongful death case, you can rest assured we will do everything in our power to help your family maximize your case award and secure as much compensation as possible for your loved one’s death.
How to Prove Liability in a Wrongful Death Claim
Much like a personal injury case, proving fault is an essential first step in any wrongful death claim. The plaintiff needs to identify the defendant responsible for their loved one’s death and prove that their negligence or misconduct directly caused the death. A few of the most commonly reported causes of wrongful deaths in Douglas County include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Any vehicle accident has the potential to cause life-changing injuries to those involved, and some victims, unfortunately, do not survive these incidents. Our firm can help file an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver after a fatal accident, but this is unlikely to secure full compensation for a loved one’s fatal injuries. A wrongful death suit can help ensure complete accountability for your family member’s untimely death.
- Premises liability. All property owners in Douglas County must ensure their properties do not pose safety risks to lawful visitors. A slip-and-fall or similar incident that results in a fatal injury could leave the property owner liable for wrongful death under the state’s premises liability laws.
- Illegal misconduct. While most of the wrongful deaths reported in Douglas County are the result of negligence, it is also possible for intentional misconduct to cause fatal harm. If your loved one died because of another party’s driving under the influence (DUI), violent criminal misconduct, or any other intentional act, the at-fault party faces criminal prosecution along with their liability for a wrongful death suit from the victim’s family.
These are only a few possible causes of wrongful death. Ultimately, if any other party’s actions caused the death of a family member, you are likely eligible to file a wrongful death claim. The sooner you consult with a Douglas County wrongful death attorney, the more likely you are to succeed with the case.
Recovering Compensation for Wrongful Death in Douglas County
While the objective of a personal injury claim is for the victim to recover compensation for their damages, the goal of a wrongful death suit is to compensate the victim’s family. Your Douglas County wrongful death attorney can help you and your family hold the defendant accountable for the economic and non-economic damages associated with your loved one’s death.
Economic damages include the direct financial effects of the death on your family. These typically include funeral and burial costs and lost financial support provided by the deceased. It is also possible to hold a defendant accountable for losses to the deceased’s estate, such as their final medical expenses, life insurance, and other assets and investments that can no longer appreciate in value. Additionally, the family can hold the defendant accountable for the future income the deceased can no longer earn and/or the value of household services they can no longer provide.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and pertain to the family’s pain and suffering. The surviving spouse of the deceased can claim compensation for their loss of affection and consortium, and the other family members of the deceased can seek compensation for the loss of care, guidance, and moral support, as well as the emotional distress caused by the unexpected death. Colorado law limits non-economic damages in wrongful death suits and other personal injury claims, but hiring an experienced Douglas County wrongful death attorney can improve your chances of maximizing this aspect of your family’s case award.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal approaches every case we accept with the goal of maximizing our client’s recovery to the fullest extent possible under the law. While money can never replace a lost family member, a successful wrongful death suit can help your loved ones adjust to their new circumstances a bit more easily. The sooner you consult our firm for assistance, the more time we will have to build a compelling wrongful death suit on your behalf.
Personal Injury Law FAQs
Q: Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A: State law allows the beneficiaries of the deceased to file a wrongful death claim. During the first year following the death, only the victim’s surviving spouse has the right to file a claim, or they may allow the children of the deceased to file a claim, and they also have the option of joining the children in filing the claim. During the second year following the death, any other relatives or beneficiaries have the right to file a wrongful death suit. If the deceased named an executor or personal representative in their estate plan, this individual is typically first in line with the right to file a wrongful death suit.
Q: How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Douglas County?
A: Colorado enforces a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death suits. This means a claim needs to be filed within two years of the date of the death. Otherwise, the surviving family loses their chance to seek compensation from the party responsible for causing the death. Two years may seem like more than enough time, but it is advisable to speak with an experienced Douglas County wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to start building your case and have the greatest chance of success.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Wrongful Death Suit in Douglas County?
A: Most wrongful death claims and other civil suits do not end in litigation. Private settlement allows the parties involved in a civil claim to resolve the matter quickly, privately, and with more control over the final outcome. When a defendant’s liability is clear and the plaintiff has an experienced Douglas County wrongful death attorney representing them, it may only take a few weeks to resolve the case. However, if the wrongful death claim needs to be resolved through litigation, it could take much longer.
Q: Why Do I Need to Hire a Douglas County Wrongful Death Attorney?
A: You may not be legally obligated to hire legal representation for your impending wrongful death suit, but having legal counsel you can trust will make approaching your case easier and is likely to yield far better results than you could manage alone. Your attorney can handle the procedural side of your case on your behalf, so you and your family will not need to worry about meeting court filing deadlines. They will also uncover all available avenues of compensation so you can be confident in the quality of your final case award. You are more likely to win your case and maximize your family’s case award when you have a Douglas County wrongful death attorney representing your claim.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Douglas County Wrongful Death Attorney?
A: There is no reason to worry about legal fees when you choose the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal to represent your wrongful death suit. We take these cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not charge upfront or ongoing legal fees as our client’s case unfolds. Instead, we take a percentage of the final case award at the end, and only if we win the case. There is no fee at all if our team is unable to secure compensation on your behalf, eliminating any financial risk of hiring the legal counsel you need when your family needs it most.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has cultivated a strong professional record of successful civil cases on behalf of Douglas County clients due to our commitment to client-focused legal counsel. We know that no two cases are alike, and no two families will have the same needs and concerns as they navigate a wrongful death suit. Whatever your situation entails, you can rest assured that our firm will provide the compassionate and detail-oriented legal counsel you need to approach your case with confidence and peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Douglas County wrongful death attorney and learn more about how we can help your family recover.