Did you lose a loved one in a fatal accident in Lakewood, CO? Your family deserves justice. While you focus on getting back on your feet, an experienced Lakewood wrongful death lawyer can help you fight to recover compensation for lost financial support, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
At Matos Personal Injury Lawyers, we have 39 years of combined experience. We’ve been fighting to protect families like you since the day we opened our doors–and we’ve already recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
Contact our law offices in Lakewood, Colorado, at (720) 912 7274 to schedule a free consultation today. We’ll listen to your story, evaluate your legal options, and start fighting for every dollar you deserve.
How Can Matos Personal Injury Lawyers Help With a Wrongful Death Claim in Lakewood, CO?
Thousands of families are forced to grieve the loss of loved ones due to preventable accidents each year in Colorado. In 2022, 741 people in Colorado died in traffic accidents, and 1,125 people died in fall accidents.
When others are responsible for these deaths, they should be held accountable. Often, pursuing financial compensation is the only remedy. While you may have the right to compensation, however, don’t expect the at-fault party to step up and admit blame.
An experienced Lakewood personal injury attorney can stand up and protect you.
When you hire Matos Personal Injury Lawyers, your attorney will:
- Investigate to determine the cause of your loved one’s death
- Locate all responsible parties
- Calculate the fair value of your wrongful death claim
- Consult experts who can help prove various elements of your case
- Negotiate with the insurance companies and responsible parties for full compensation
We know how important money can be to your future. Contact our Lakewood personal injury law firm today to learn more about the benefits of securing quality legal representation.
Overview of Colorado’s Wrongful Death Laws
Under Colorado wrongful death laws, a “wrongful death” is defined as a death caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default of another”.
Wrongful death lawsuits seek to hold at-fault parties accountable when the victim’s death prevented them from filing a personal injury lawsuit for damages. Survivors have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit for compensation instead.
Wrongful death cases are handled in civil court. Most wrongful death cases are based on accidents. When people are careless or reckless, those injured can seek financial compensation.
However, even if the defendant is facing criminal charges, you can sue for financial compensation. You can also sue for damages if no criminal acts were involved–or even if the defendant was acquitted in criminal court.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Colorado?
Colorado laws provide complex rules for who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In the first year after the decedent’s death, only the surviving spouse has the right to file a lawsuit. However, the surviving spouse can elect to have the decedent’s children file the claim–or can elect to join the surviving children and file the lawsuit together.
If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased person’s children or designated beneficiary can file a lawsuit.
In the second year after the deceased person’s death, the following parties can file the lawsuit:
- A surviving spouse
- The surviving spouse and children
- The decedent’s designated beneficiary and children
In situations where the decedent’s children file the lawsuit, the surviving spouse and/or beneficiary have 90 days to join the lawsuit.
The decedent’s parents may have the right to file a lawsuit if the deceased person was not married and had no children or designated beneficiary.
What Is My Lakewood Wrongful Death Case Worth?
The loss of a loved one is devastating. Money can never fully make up for that loss. However, it can help secure your family’s future. To get a fair settlement, you’ll have to understand how much your case is worth.
Multiple factors are relevant, including:
- The cost of your loved one’s medical care prior to death
- Your loved one’s age and future life expectancy
- Your loved one’s anticipated future earnings, considering work history, education, and prior earnings
- The identity of the decedent’s survivors, including dependent children and family members
- The circumstances of your loved one’s death
- The identity of the at-fault party and the nature of their actions
Our lawyers understand that attempting to put a dollar value on your loss is painful. To get the quality legal advice you deserve, call our local wrongful death lawyers in Lakewood for a free case review today. You can also use our online contact form.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Victims of Wrongful Death in Lakewood?
Like any personal injury victim, survivors in an action for wrongful death can seek compensation for their own economic and non-economic losses.
Some examples of damages in a Lakewood wrongful death case include:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of employment-related benefits, including retirement and health benefits
- Funeral expenses and burial costs
- Medical expenses incurred by the deceased person prior to death
- Expenses associated with estate administration
- Loss of the value of household services and childcare provided by the decedent
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of the deceased person’s companionship and guidance
- Loss of consortium
There is no limit on the amount of economic damages your family can recover.
However, Colorado law places a cap on the amount of non-economic damages that survivors can recover in a wrongful death case. The maximum amount is adjusted for inflation every two years.
Under current law, the cap on non-economic damages is $598,350. The cap is lifted in cases involving felony murder or manslaughter.
What Is a Survival Action and What Types of Compensation May Be Available?
Wrongful death lawsuits compensate survivors for their own losses–both financial and non-financial.
The decedent’s personal representative may also have the right to file a survival action. Survival actions allow the estate to recover damages suffered by the deceased person between injury and death, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
What Happens to My Compensation Award if My Loved One Was Partially Responsible for Their Own Death?
Under Colorado comparative negligence laws, injury victims are still entitled to a reduced compensation award if they were less than 50% responsible for their own injuries.
The same rule applies in wrongful death cases. For example, if your family member was 20% responsible for the accident that caused their death, your family is entitled to take home 80% of your settlement or verdict.
However, once your loved one’s share of fault reaches 50% or more, you’re barred from recovering any damages at all.
What Causes Most Deadly Accidents in Lakewood, Colorado?
At Matos Personal Injury Lawyers, we handle all types of wrongful death claims, including those involving:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
Any type of fatal injury can give rise to a valid wrongful death lawsuit. Do you suspect your loved one was killed due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful acts? To schedule a free consultation with a Lakewood wrongful death attorney, contact us today.
How Do I Prove I Deserve Compensation if I Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Accident?
Like any personal injury case, you must first prove that someone else was responsible for your loved one’s death to recover compensation. Wrongful death cases are typically based on negligence or strict liability theories.
Negligence cases are most common, and require proof of:
- The defendant’s legal duty of care
- A breach of duty
- Causation, or proof that the breach directly caused the death
- The damages your family suffered
Fatal accidents often happen in the blink of an eye. Even if you were there, you might not know exactly what happened. Our wrongful death lawyers in Lakewood are here to help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case.
That evidence may include:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photos of the accident scene
- Video surveillance footage
- Results of drug and alcohol testing
- Police reports and traffic citations
- Medical records
- Expert witness testimony
- And more
Don’t hesitate to reach out for the legal advice you deserve. We’re ready to start building your case, so call our wrongful death attorneys today for a free case review.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Fatal Accident in Colorado?
Under state laws, the statute of limitations in most wrongful death cases is two years. You’ll have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a claim for compensation.
However, if your loved one was killed in a hit-and-run vehicular homicide, you have four years to take legal action. There are other exceptions as well in some cases; it is best that you contact us as soon as you can to confirm the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit.
Contact a Lakewood Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Grieving the loss of a loved one takes time. Our team at Matos Personal Injury Lawyers is prepared to handle the legal battle. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a trusted Lakewood wrongful death lawyer who can help your family through this difficult time.
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Visit Our Personal Injury Law Office in Lakewood, CO
The Matos Law Firm, LLC
550 S Wadsworth Blvd STE 300
Lakewood, CO 80226
(720) 912 7274