Todd is very thorough, diligent and knowledgable in his litigation skills and also exhibits professional decorum with clients and defense counsel.
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We knew after our first contact with Todd and his team that we could just focus on getting better. The office staff there was wonderful to work with
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They worked tirelessly on our behalf with the insurance company to make sure that my daughter and I were more than fairly compensated.
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Boulder Wrongful Death Attorneys
Regardless of the circumstances, experiencing a wrongful death can be devastating. When a person you love has been killed due to someone else’s actions, you want justice. Not only that, your family may be crippled by medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, and other expensive needs in the aftermath of the death.
If someone you love has passed away as the result of a wrongful death, contact a personal injury lawyer at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, today at (303) 665-2929. We’ll help you get the legal support you need to proceed with your case.
Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-21-201 discusses who can bring a claim of wrongful death, who is liable for paying damages, and the statute of limitations for such cases.
Who is entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death?
The surviving spouse of the deceased, or the parents of the deceased (if he or she was unmarried) have the primary right to bring a claim within the first year following the death. After that, there are other relatives who can bring a wrongful death claim.
How long do I have to bring a claim for wrongful death?
The time limits vary depending on the cause of death. In other words, the statute of limitations for auto accidents would apply if the wrongful death occurred in a car crash. Generally, survivors are allowed to seek both economic and non-economic damages for up to two years following the death. However, the relative with "first priority" must file within a year of the date of death, regardless of the nature and/or cause of the wrongful death.
Who can be found liable?
In most cases, the individual or company that engaged in negligent behavior leading up to the accident is held responsible for any resulting death. Maybe it was a truck driver. Maybe it was a group or organization overseeing the property where the death occurred. Working with the police and with a lawyer is the most effective way to ensure that you’re targeting the individuals who are truly responsible for the death of your loved one, and that you aren’t missing any important details or deadlines pertaining to your case.
C.R.S. § 13-21-202 – 13-21-204 address several other important things everyone should remember when filing their wrongful death claim. Under Colorado law, if your loved one’s death was such that, if they had not died, they’d be entitled to file a personal injury claim, then the defendant is liable for damages caused by the victim’s death.
A wide range of potential injuries can result in a wrongful death. Our law firm see people pass untimely due to:
- Automobile accidents, especially those in which the other driver was speeding.
- Criminal activity.
- A job that exposes an individual to harmful substances or activities; for example, construction accidents.
- Medical malpractice.
Because a wrongful death case is a civil suit, rather than a criminal case, the plaintiff is only required to provide a "preponderance of evidence," rather than proving "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the actions of the defendant caused the death of the plaintiff’s loved one. In most cases, it’s the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove these things:
- The defendant had an obligation to provide some level of care to the deceased. For instance, in the case of an automobile accident, the defendant had a responsibility to obey traffic laws and drive safely.
- The defendant was negligent in this duty of care. If a business has a wet floor and fails to set up signs, warning of a possible slip-and-fall risk, this would be an example of such negligence.
- The negligence was a direct cause of the victim’s death. For instance, your loved one suffering a fatal injury due to a fall when there were no warning signs nearby, or died in a car accident due to the defendant drinking and driving.
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Fatal Auto Accident Case
Car Crash Death Case
There are limitations under Colorado law for what is recoverable in a wrongful death claim. Damages for non-economic losses are capped at approximately $436,000, but there is no cap on economic damages. Damages may be increased if the death was the result of a felony, or if a claim for punitive damages exists.
Often, a wrongful death can lead to maximum payouts from the insurance policies involved in the case, which are meant to cover:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Financial injuries, including expected support and earning potential of the deceased individual
- Medical expenses
- Any interest accrued from the date of the individual’s death
The biggest financial loss from a wrongful death case usually stems from losing the income that the deceased individual provided. This can include potential earnings, insurance, and other payments that they may have been expected to provide. In some cases, the jury may make adjustments to their award based on earning potential, perceived financial hardships, and other important criteria.
Insurance companies will pursue a variety of tactics to avoid paying their share of any damages. First and foremost, they may try to offer you a settlement that’s significantly lower than what you really deserve. In other cases, those responsible for the death may also attempt to deflect responsibility. For example, a defendant may try to establish that your loved one was responsible for his or her own death. Defendants may even lie outright about the circumstances surrounding the accident in an attempt to prevent taking responsibility. In these cases, it’s vital to have proper legal representation to help uncover the truth and secure the compensation that you deserve.
If you’ve lost a loved one to a wrongful death, you may be struggling emotionally, physically, and financially. If you want help understanding your claim and seeking justice, contact the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, as soon as possible. We’ll schedule a free consultation to assess the validity of your case and discuss your options. In many cases, we’ll be able to work on a contingent fee basis, which means we only recover attorneys’ fees if we successfully secure compensation for you. Financial need won’t stop you from getting the settlement that you and your family members deserve.
In the past, the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, has been able to acquire substantial settlements for clients in wrongful death cases. While this monetary recovery won’t replace your loved one, recovering compensation will allow you to move forward with your life with a higher degree of financial freedom.
If you’ve had a loved one involved in a wrongful death, don’t delay! Contact us today at (303) 665-2929, or online. Whether you’re simply negotiating with insurance companies to ensure that you receive just compensation, or you hope to take your wrongful death case to court, we are here to help.