Denver Wrongful Death Attorney
If you recently lost a beloved family member, we at Jordan law want to extend our sincere condolences. We know what it’s like to lose a loved one, and don’t wish it upon anyone. When you have a suspicious feeling that someone else caused or contributed to a death, the loss can be even more difficult to accept. One form of legal action that could give you and your family closure and financial recovery for damages is a wrongful death claim. The Denver team at Jordan Law has decades of experience handling these types of claims for clients, and might be able to assist your family during this dark time.
How Jordan Law’s Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help
A conversation with one of our knowledgeable and experienced wrongful death attorneys can guide you through the stipulations of the law and answer any questions or concerns you might have about your claim. We can help you with every aspect of your claim, from gathering evidence of wrongdoing to bringing your official claim with the Denver civil courts. Start with a free case evaluation, in the form of an in-person or over-the-phone meeting with one of our personal injury lawyers in Denver. Call (303) 465-8733 to schedule yours today.
3 Important Colorado Wrongful Death Laws to Know
Colorado’s wrongful death statutes list many rules, restrictions, and regulations claimants must follow for successful lawsuits. Jordan Law excels at helping family members navigate the state’s laws to their greatest possible advantage. During a free case evaluation, we can help you understand which provisions of the state’s laws apply to your particular case, and when and how you should proceed with your claim. In the meantime, here are three of the rules we find most pressing:
What is Wrongful death?
- Colorado law defines a “wrongful death claim” as a lawsuit in which the claimant must establish the defendant’s “negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior” caused the incident. A rule of thumb is that if the deceased person could have filed a personal injury lawsuit had the accident not resulted in his or her death, surviving family members can likely file a wrongful death claim now.
Who can bring a wrongful death claim?
- Not just anyone in Colorado can pursue damages for the death of a loved one. In the first year following the death, the surviving spouse of the deceased person is the only party the law permits to bring a wrongful death claim. In the second year, the surviving spouse and children can file. If these parties do not exist, the decedent’s parents may file at any time. In addition, a representative of the decedent’s estate may file a survival action to recover damages for losses to the estate.
Are there Time limits for filing?
- A qualified claimant only has two years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death claim. There are limited exceptions to this rule, but for the most part the two-year deadline is strict. Missing the deadline to bring your claim can result in losing your right to secure any damages for the death. The sooner you speak to someone at Jordan Law, the lesser your odds of missing an important statute of limitations.
Wrongful Death Statue of Limitations
The Colorado Wrongful Death Act allows for a party to file a claim within two years, beginning on the date of the decedent’s death. However, there are quite a few exceptions that allow for the statute of limitations to be extended. Unlike other cases, such as medical malpractice or product liability, circumstances wherein the wrongful death occurred as a result of the use or operation of a motor vehicle allow the plaintiff three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. This three-year deadline may also be extended in cases where the timing of discovery of insufficient liability coverage hinders a plaintiff’s ability to file a claim within the deadline.
If the defendant engages in fraud or conceals facts relevant for the filing of a claim, which prevents discovery or knowledge of wrongful acts or negligence leading to the decedent’s death, the statute of limitations may run past its two-year deadline. Additionally, the statute of limitations may begin when the plaintiff is aware, or should be aware, of facts that relate to the wrongful death, rather than beginning on the date of death, particularly in cases where the discovery of facts may require more time. If a plaintiff has a disability that impacts his or her ability to take legal action within the designated legal timeframe, the date may be extended. The Colorado Wrongful Death Act specifies that a plaintiff may be the decedent’s spouse, children, designated beneficiary, or parents if the decedent is unmarried and childless. If the decedent’s spouse or children choose not to file a claim, the surviving parents may not file a claim. If the decedent’s only surviving beneficiary is a minor, the statute of limitations may begin on his or her 18th birthday if he or she chooses to file a wrongful death claim.