Mann &
Maximon

Colorado Wrongful
Death Attorneys

Wrongful Death Lawyers

Losing a loved one, a friend or a family member is a devastating and emotionally charged experience. When death is a result of someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence, the emotional burden is even greater and can change your life forever. 

Although no amount of money can ever replace the loss of life, those who caused or contributed to the “wrongful death” need to be held accountable. You can take legal action to hold the negligent party accountable by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The last thing you should have to deal with after experiencing a loss of life is a financial burden.

Our Colorado personal injury lawyers are here to help. Stuart and Josh, at Mann & Maximon, have been devoted to representing everyday people injured in Colorado for over 25 years. We represent everyday Coloradon’s hurt or killed in car accidents, slip-and-fall injuries, and bicycle accidents, as well as many other areas. We work with our neighbors, friends, and people in our community. We don’t represent insurance companies.

Consultations are always free, so you have nothing to lose by talking with us about your situation. If we end up working together, remember, we don't get paid unless and until you do.

Call us today at (720) 806-6407 or use our online contact form

Stuart Mann and Josh Maximon in front of office

What is Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit filed on behalf of an individual who has lost their life due to someone else’s negligence, misconduct, or wrongdoing. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against another person, business, or other entity that contributed to or caused the death. 

In Colorado, a wrongful death suit is a civil lawsuit that seeks to award “damages” (more below) to the people who have suffered as a result of the wrongful death.

Although every case is unique, below are some common questions we often discuss with our clients involved with wrongful death suits in Colorado.

FAQs

  • Who am I actually suing in a wrongful death claim?

    When you file a wrongful death (personal injury) claim, you’re making a claim against the wrongful party.  That said, it is often the insurance company that steps in to defend the wrongdoer. The damages that you’re asking for is often paid by the defendant’s insurance company and not the actual person who caused the harm.

    Dealing with insurance companies is a complicated and time-consuming process. From a legal standpoint, working with a wrongful death lawyer brings a lot of clarity to the situation and can help you recover the maximum amount of damages. 

  • What parties may be sued for wrongful death?

    Wrongful death suits can be brought against a wide variety of different people, companies, government agencies, and/or employees.

    As one example, in a car accident involving a poorly-designed or faulty roadway and an intoxicated driver, the defendants in a wrongful death claim might include:

    1. The at-fault driver.

    2. The at-fault driver’s employer (if he or she was in the course and scope of employment).

    3. The construction company responsible for the roadway design and/or maintenance.

    4. A government agent who didn’t provide proper signage or an appropriate road safety crew for a roadway hazard.

    5. The installer, distributor, and/or manufacturer of a dangerous or faulty component of the vehicle.

    6. The owner (or employees) of the establishment that provided alcohol to the impaired driver .

  • How do I pay for a wrongful death lawyer?

    Most personal injury lawyers, including us, work on a contingent basis. This means that if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. 

    Consultations are always free, so you have nothing to lose by talking with us about your situation. Call us today at (720) 806-6407 or use our online contact form.

  • What can a wrongful death attorney in Colorado do for me?
    • Talk with you about what happened, what your options are, and help determine if you have a valid claim.
       
    • If a valid claim exists, wrongful death lawyers can open a thorough investigation as to the basis of your claim by gathering and reviewing evidence. If necessary, expert witnesses can be hired to support your claim.
       
    • Determine who is at fault, to what degree, and why.
       
    • Determine the full extent of damages that you have suffered (more below).
       
    • Issue a demand letter outlining what happened, who’s at fault, and who owes what (what you’re asking for). 
       
    • Review any settlement offers and discuss them with you.
       
    • Negotiate with insurance companies about any settlement offers they might make.
       
    • Represent you in filing a lawsuit.
       
    • Represent you at trial, if it comes to that (more below).
  • What must be established for a viable wrongful death claim?

    ​​​​​Typically, in order to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, the following must be established:

    1. Breach of Duty
      • The defendant owed you or your loved one a duty of care and breached that duty. For example, anyone driving a motor vehicle owes everyone else a duty to drive safely, follow speed limits, and to obey traffic laws.
         
    2. Causation
      • The defendant’s actions must be directly related to causing the death of your loved one
         
    3. Damages
      • The death must have caused actual damages (more below) to you. These damages can include things such as loss of income, loss of companionship, hospital bills, burial costs, etc.
  • What are some common causes of wrongful death lawsuits?

    A wrongful death lawsuit may stem from accidental death such as an auto accident or a malicious act like a violent assault. Wrongful death lawsuits may also arise from, truck accidents, bike accidents, personal injuries, explosions, medical malpractice, construction accidents, dangerous conditions, drowning, and/or equipment failure.
     

  • Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

    Unlike other types of civil lawsuits in Colorado, a wrongful death claim can only be brought by the surviving family member(s) or designated beneficiaries of the deceased, and the claim must be filed within a set period of time.

  • How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Colorado?

    According to Colorado Law, a wrongful death claim may be invalid if not filed within a certain period of time. This is known as the statute of limitations.

    The statute of limitations varies depending on who is filing the lawsuit.

    1. A wrongful death lawsuit can only be brought by the following parties and must be filed within one year from the date of the wrongful death:

      1. The decedent’s spouse

      2. If permitted by the spouse, the decedent’s heirs

      3. If no spouse, the decedent’s heirs, 

      4. If no spouse, the designated beneficiary

    2. If the surviving spouse does not file a lawsuit or waives their right to do so within the first year, the following parties can file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the wrongful death

      1. Surviving children

      2. Parents of the decedent (if the descendant wasn’t married and did not have children)

      3. The designated beneficiary of the decedent

  • Who can be held liable for a wrongful death claim?

    According to Colorado Law, an individual, corporation, and/or government agency is liable for a wrongful death claim if the death was caused by the following:

    1. A wrongful act
       
    2. Negligence (failure to take proper care in doing something)
       
    3. The default of another (failure to do something required by duty or law)

    An individual who suffered a loss due to a wrongful death must be able to prove that the wrongful act, negligence, or default:

    1. Was the actual and proximate (directly related) cause of death

    2. Would have permitted the individual to recover from their injuries, had they not lost their life 

    3. Caused a monetary loss (resulting from the death)

  • What are damages?

    Compensatory damages are money awarded to a plaintiff (the party or person that filed the lawsuit) to compensate for damages, injury, or another incurred loss. Compensatory damages are awarded in civil court cases (like a wrongful death claim) where loss has occurred as a result of the negligence or unlawful conduct of another party. Compensatory damages can include medical bills and lost income. Heirs have economic damages that are calculated as the net pecuniary loss.


    Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, are damages assessed in order to punish the defendant for willful and wanton conduct and/or to reform or deter the defendant and others from engaging in conduct similar to that which formed the basis of the lawsuit. Although not extremely common in wrongful death claims, if the defendant’s actions are egregious, punitive damages can be sought.

  • What types of compensation can be awarded in a wrongful death claim?

    In wrongful death cases, monetary damages are paid to the survivors of the decedent (the plaintiff/s) by those who caused the harm (the defendant and their insurance company). These damages are calculated on what the injuries ‘cost’ from a physical, mental, and/or emotional standpoint.

    Typically, damages fall under two categories: Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages. Some common areas in which damages can be determined include:

    1. Economic Damages

      1. Medical and funeral

      2. Loss of the victim’s expected, future earnings

      3. Loss of benefits (medical insurance, pensions, etc.)

      4. Loss of an inheritance

      5. The value of goods and services that the victim would have provided
         

    2. Non-Economic Damages

      1. Mental anguish (pain and suffering) for the survivor(s)

      2. Loss of  protection, guidance, nurturing, and care from the deceased

      3. Loss of society, love, and companionship from the deceased

      4. Loss of consortium (from a deceased spouse)

  • How long will this process take?

    There isn’t one answer, and ultimately this can depend on you. Insurance companies almost always offer an initial ‘low-ball’ dollar amount to settle quickly. Many times, this amount isn’t even close to what is actually recoverable or what you deserve. 

    As your wrongful death lawyer builds up the case to request the full amount of recoverable damages, the defendant's insurance company will likely draw out negotiations with the hope that you will accept a low offer, because you’re tired of waiting. Frankly, this process can be tedious, and patience is key. The defendant wants you to settle for less than you deserve - that’s their job. Our job is to recover as much as legally possible, and sometimes that takes time.

    Remember, you are always in control of this process, and if you decide to accept an offer at any time, you have that right.
     

  • Does my case have to go to trial?

    In truth, most personal injury claims do not go to trial but settle outside of court. Although it may take some time to get an appropriate pre-trial offer for your case, part of a personal injury attorney's job is to negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company, as it’s usually in their best interest to settle before trial - more so if your case is especially strong. You have the final say on what offers you will or will not accept, and if you don’t accept any, your case is likely headed to trial. 

    It is EXTREMELY important to work with a wrongful death lawyer that has a reputation for taking cases to trial, even if you decide you don't want to. 

    If the defendant’s insurance company knows your lawyers usually settle without putting up much of a fight, they will absolutely try to take advantage of you. The insurance companies keep track of what firms are willing to go to trial and whether those firms have won big recoveries. Given that this firm has the largest verdict in the history of the State of Colorado, the insurance companies are well aware of our reputation
     

  • When would a case likely go to trial?
    1. If liability is contested, this can be an impediment to a settlement. Though, during the course of the litigation, it is common for the insurance company to reassess its position on liability and make an improved settlement offer. Although most cases settle, a dispute regarding liability may lead to a trial.
       
    2. Sometimes the parties cannot agree on the type and/or amount of your damages. For example, maybe the decedent had a pre-existing condition that makes the insurance dispute causation. Again, most cases settle but one of the reasons for trial may be a dispute about the amount of damages.
       
    3. The defendant’s insurance company will almost always make ‘low-ball’ offers hoping that you’ll accept less money than you deserve for your injuries. It’s their mission to settle cases for as low as possible. It’s your wrongful death lawyer’s job to recover as much as possible to compensate you for your loss.

Wrongful Death Law Firm 

We realize the thought of calling a wrongful death lawyer might raise questions, or maybe you’ve worked with a subpar attorney before. Most often, the defendant’s insurance company is the one responsible for paying for the wrongful conduct. Their lawyers want to settle your case for less than it’s worth because that’s part of their job.

If you decide to work with a reputable Colorado wrongful death lawyer, their job is to maximize the value of your case and be prepared to go to trial, if it comes to that. We’ve been doing this at Mann & Maximon for over 25 years. Our adversaries recognize and respect us as lawyers.  They are aware that we prepare every case as if it were going to go to trial. This alone gives us a competitive advantage over many of our peers. Insurance companies know how to spot vulnerability on the plaintiff’s side and will do everything they can to exploit that and pay you less than you deserve. 

Hire a Colorado attorney that you trust and feel good about and one that has a proven track record of competing with (and defeating) large insurance companies and their lawyers. 

Call an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Colorado today - it’s always free to discuss your case, and we never get paid until and unless you do. We’re here to help you get what you legally deserve.

Call us today at (720) 806-6407 or use our online contact form.

Contact Us

We understand this is an extremely difficult time for you and your family. Our wrongful death lawyers understand that you need time to grieve and that associated expenses are the last thing you want to deal with. We'll work tirelessly to help you obtain justice for your loss and your family. We producly serve the entire state of Colorado, including Denver and the Front Range.

Call our Boulder office at 720-806-6407 or use our online contact form.