Wrongful death actions functionally replace personal injury cases when victims of personal injuries do not survive. In any situation in which a recently deceased individual would have had grounds to file a personal injury claim if they survived, their loved ones have the opportunity to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf instead. At the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal, we understand how devastating the sudden loss of a loved one can be, especially when you know that the death occurred because of another party’s carelessness or negligence.
We believe in holding those responsible for causing wrongful deaths accountable for their actions. As your Lakewood wrongful death attorney, Jeremy Rosenthal and his team can provide the legal counsel your family needs during this difficult time.
Why Choose the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal for Wrongful Death Representation?
Finding the right attorney to represent an emotionally distressful and technically challenging civil claim like a wrongful death action can be challenging. Look for an experienced Lakewood wrongful death lawyer with the skill and experience to handle your case successfully. Your attorney should have solid experience handling cases similar to your own and the availability to provide responsive communication throughout your case.
As your Lakewood wrongful death attorneys, the team at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal will clarify any concerns you have about your case and provide you with an honest, professional interpretation of your legal options. Most wrongful death claims settle outside of court. A strong initial complaint filed with the help of an experienced Lakewood wrongful death lawyer can compel a defendant to accept liability and agree to settlement negotiations swiftly. Our team will handle all your procedural filings with the court and manage your legal affairs on your behalf until your case reaches a conclusion.
Why Do I Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?
A wrongful death case may seem very straightforward. The reality is that any wrongful death claim involves complex legal statutes and the potential for many different types of complications. Colorado upholds very strict statutes when it comes to the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death action, parties eligible to file such actions, and the damages available from a successful wrongful death claim. Additionally, the type of wrongful death claim may also draw upon other specific statutes, such as compensation for wrongful deaths caused by medical malpractice or criminal behavior.
Navigating these issues on your own while also processing the emotional impact of your loved one’s sudden death is an incredible challenge, and any money you may save on attorneys’ fees will pale in comparison to how much more of a recovery an accomplished Lakewood wrongful death attorney can help you secure. Your legal counsel will know which avenues of compensation are available to your family and how to firmly establish the entire scope of your claimable damages to maximize your recovery.
What to Expect in a Wrongful Death Claim
The first step in any wrongful death case is determining the target of the legal action and ensuring the claim meets state requirements. Colorado state law allows the surviving spouse, children, or parents of a deceased person to file a wrongful death action on their behalf. If there are no such relatives, the next most eligible claimants would be anyone who can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased or holds a valid claim to the contents of the deceased’s estate. If a deceased individual had an estate plan in place with a designated beneficiary or personal representative, this individual would also be eligible to file a wrongful death action.
The party filing the wrongful death action also indicates the statute of limitations in which the claimant may file the suit. Colorado state law only allows a decedent’s spouse to file a wrongful death claim in the first year following the death except under certain conditions. This spouse has the option to include the deceased’s lineal descendants as additional plaintiffs in the claim. If the deceased was unmarried, the spouse cannot file a claim, and the deceased had no children, then the deceased’s parents would also have the right to file during this first year.
The second-year following the death in question would follow a different set of limitations. During this second year, spouses, heirs, children, and designated beneficiaries all have the right to file wrongful death actions separately or as a group. If one such party takes legal action, others have 90 days to join the suit as additional plaintiffs.
Possible Recovery From a Wrongful Death Claim
A successful wrongful death action can yield many of the same types of damages available from successful personal injury claims. For example, a plaintiff in a wrongful death suit could claim compensation for all the medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering the deceased experienced due to the defendant’s actions up until their death. Colorado state law also permits a wrongful death claimant to pursue compensation for damages caused to the estate. A few such damages could include funeral and burial expenses for the deceased, lost valuation on investments, and diminished returns on life insurance policies that did not reach full maturation.
Colorado state law also allows the surviving loved ones of a wrongful death victim to receive compensation for their pain and suffering. Colorado law acknowledges the loss of affection, care, guidance, and household services are some of the worst effects of a wrongful death. The amount of noneconomic damages a wrongful death plaintiff receives typically varies from case to case.
Ultimately, a wrongful death action could potentially yield a substantial recovery for the plaintiff and their family. Choosing the right Lakewood wrongful death attorney is one of the best ways to ensure a positive outcome from your wrongful death action. The attorneys at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal are ready and able to represent the most challenging wrongful death claims and provide our clients with the peace of mind they need after painful losses. Contact us today and schedule a complimentary review of your claim from an experienced and compassionate Lakewood wrongful death attorney.