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Grand Junction Wrongful Death Attorneys

What Is a "Wrongful Death" in Colorado?

There are few pains as great as losing someone you love, especially due to someone else’s negligence, inaction, or purposely wrongful act. If you have lost someone you love due to a negligent act, then you understandably want justice to be served.

Fortunately for citizens of Colorado, state law protects the families of wrongful death victims. But when left to insurance companies, a family may have a hard time getting fair compensation. Most insurance companies are less concerned with doing what’s right than they are with protecting their bottom line.

That’s where we can help. The tenacious legal team at Peters & Nolan, LLC, is dedicated to protecting victims and holding the negligent accountable. We’re not afraid to take on the biggest insurance firms. After a tragedy, the last thing you want to think about is going to court. Our compassionate Grand Junction wrongful death lawyers will advocate on your behalf, so you can concentrate on your family. For the help that you need, call our firm at (970) 243-4357 and speak with a member of our legal team.

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How Wrongful Deaths Happen

The key component of a wrongful death is that the deceased party would not have died if it weren’t for another person’s negligence. As such, there are a number of accidents that could end in a wrongful death. Some of the most common include:

Wrongful deaths are not only heart-breaking, but they can leave a family in a dire financial situation, which is why a proper investigation into the cause of death is so important.

This investigation, such as in the case of a drunk driver, could lead to criminal charges against the at-fault party. However, it is important to keep in mind that even if the investigation does lead to criminal charges, this does not mean the victim’s family will be compensated. Some criminal sentences do require a guilty person to pay fees to the family, but not always. That’s where a civil lawsuit comes in.

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Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?

In Colorado, filing wrongful death claims can be very complicated. Only certain people can file, and there are also time constraints placed on when they can file.

Outside of family, a representative of the deceased’s estate may also make a claim in order to recover any damages for losses to the estate. This is known as a “survival action”.

Within the first year after the death, those who can file the claim include:

  • The deceased’s spouse
  • The deceased’s children if there is no living spouse
  • The designated beneficiaries of the estate if there is no spouse or children
  • Remaining heirs of the deceased so long as they have the consent of the living spouse

Within the second year after the death, eligibility opens up to:

  • The deceased’s children
  • The designated beneficiaries of the estate
  • Remaining heirs
  • The deceased’s parents if there is no living spouse or children

This may seem complicated to you, and it may leave you even more confused about whether or not you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Thankfully, a skilled attorney can walk you through the process, helping you determine exactly what your options are. That being said, there are time constraints on wrongful death claims, which means you should seek out an attorney as soon as possible.

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Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death

Wrongful death claims must be filed within the statute of limitations, or within two years of the date of death. A statute of limitations is essentially a legal time limit. Once it has run out, you are no longer allowed to take legal action in civil court. Two years sounds like a long time, however, the mourning process, from putting together the funeral to trying to move on from your loved one’s death, can eat away at your time until suddenly the two years have already passed.

While it can be very difficult to face the prospect of court proceedings after losing a loved one, it’s important to realize that time is not on your side. The sooner you consult a lawyer, the sooner he can start gathering evidence and building a case, and the better chances you’ll have of success. The most important thing to keep in mind is your family’s financial stability, and making sure that it is secured.

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What Damages Can a Family Get?

The most important purpose of a wrongful death claim is to make sure the family of the deceased is able to recover financially. Death can cost a great deal, from medical bills, to funeral costs, to lost wages. If you are on the fence about whether a wrongful death claim is right for you, keep in mind your family’s financial struggles.

Generally, under a wrongful death claim, you can hope to receive compensation for:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial costs
  • Medical bills
  • Lost insurance or retirement benefits
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of services, such as housekeeping and childcare
  • Grief and sorrow
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

In many cases, the insurance company representing the guilty party will come forward after the incident and offer a cash settlement. It might be tempting for the victim’s family to accept this offer, avoiding a drawn-out procedure. However, this amount will almost certainly be less than the amount you are entitled to. You should always elect to have the offer looked at by an attorney first, who can help you determine whether or not the amount is fair.

In most instances, our wrongful death attorneys will be able to negotiate a fair sum without needing to go through a lengthy trial. We will just be negotiating with the insurance company of the at-fault party. But rest assured, if the insurance company is proving uncooperative, the attorneys at Peters & Nolan, LLC have the resources and determination to see your case through.

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Offering the Legal Help You Need

If you lost a loved one due to the someone else’s negligence, we can help. No amount of money can fill the void of a loved one, but it can help your surviving family members get back on their feet. Our Grand Junction accident lawyers take wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, so you do not need to worry about paying attorney fees upfront - we only take payment if we recover compensation for you. Contact us today at (970) 243-4357 to schedule your free consultation.

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Additional Information

Contact us today for a Free Consultation

Call Peters & Nolan, LLC at 970-243-4357 or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.

About Us

Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.

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