Blogs » Legal Topics » Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Colorado

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Colorado

  • One of the most difficult things we experience in life is the loss of a loved one. Death is inevitable, but when your loved one’s life has been cut short due to the actions of someone else, you can demand justice. 

    Pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado can be complex, but when you understand what’s to come, you’ll be better prepared and feel more confident in your decision to move forward with your case. 

    Below, we go into further detail about what some of the key differences are between wrongful death claims and criminal charges, and how settlements are awarded in these wrongful death lawsuits. 

    Differences Between Wrongful Death Claims and Criminal Charges

    There are major differences between wrongful death claims and criminal cases. Both are designed to help get justice for deceased parties— but in different ways.

    To start, criminal cases occur when the state’s prosecuting attorney files charges against the party responsible for causing your loved ones death. Here, they’ll be seeking a guilty verdict and criminal penalties such as jail or prison time.

    But a wrongful death claim is usually brought forward by the decedent’s surviving spouse with the help of a wrongful death lawyer. These claims are not seeking criminal penalties but instead compensation. 

    The burden of proof is also different. Criminal court carries the greater burden of proof, having to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil court, your lawyer’s burden of proof is only based on a preponderance of the evidence. 

    Compensation in Colorado Wrongful Death Lawsuits

    Families seeking compensation in a Colorado wrongful death lawsuit can include restitution for ways their lives, and the deceased's was impacted by the wrongful death. This means the decedent’s medical expenses, funeral, and burial costs can be recouped if you win your wrongful death lawsuit.

    Other types of losses the family could recover in their wrongful death lawsuit include:

    • Loss of companionship and love
    • Loss of society, guidance, and support
    • Loss of protection, comfort, and assistance
    • Lost income and earning capacity
    • Benefits such as life insurance 

    Wrongful death claims leave the opportunity for families to seek punitive damages. However, Colorado courts will often only aware punitive damages if the actions of the liable party were reprehensible or egregious. 

    Unless the defendant was intending to hurt or kill the decedent, or their actions were such that the courts feel it appropriate to punish the defendant beyond fair compensation, you should not expect to be awarded punitive damages in your wrongful death lawsuit. 

    Get Help from a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Denver

    When you have lost a loved one due to the actions of another, you may be able to bring the at-fault party to justice. Get help pursuing your case by calling an experienced Denver wrongful death lawyer at Justice for Colorado. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation when you contact our office at 303-647-9691 or visit our website where you can fill out our quick contact form.