Wrongful Death FAQs

Denver And Colorado Springs Wrongful Death Lawyers At The Law Offices Of Cliff Enten

If you have lost a loved one because of the actions of someone else, then you may have the legal right to be compensated for your suffering and financial hardship. Serving the residents of Colorado Springs, Denver and neighboring cities, our wrongful death lawyers can meet with you in our office or at your home free of charge to discuss your legal options. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about filing a wrongful death claim.

Wrongful Death FAQ

What is a wrongful death suit?

A wrongful death suit is when the heirs or survivors of a person who has died sue for compensation to cover damages caused by the person's death. Although every death causes grief to loved ones and often results in a loss of income or companionship, not every death is wrongful. A wrongful death can be blamed on another person's negligence, recklessness or intent to harm. Common causes of wrongful death include defective products, construction accidents, car accidents, semi truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, drunk driving accidents and other motor vehicle accidents.

Most wrongful deaths are the result of negligence. To prove a wrongful death was the result of negligence, a lawyer must first establish the person responsible had a duty to act in a certain way and failed in that duty. It then must be proven this failure resulted in the victim's death. Our experienced Denver, Colorado, wrongful death lawyers can help you punish the person or persons whose carelessness resulted in the loss of your loved one. Cliff Enten and his associates at the Law Offices of Cliff Enten offer free legal advice to anyone trying to decide whether or not to file a wrongful death claim.

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Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Each state has its own laws on who can file a wrongful death claim. Though usually only the children or the spouse of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim, sometimes the right has been extended to other family members, such as legal dependents, parents or siblings. Contact the Law Offices of Cliff Enten in Denver and Colorado Springs to speak with our wrongful death lawyers about your specific case.

Are there any restrictions on whom I can sue for a wrongful death?

Yes, in addition to wrongful death claims being limited to family members, the courts almost always rule a family member isn't allowed to sue another family member.

What is the difference between a murder and a wrongful death?

A murder is actually a type of wrongful death, but not all wrongful deaths are murders. This is because a murder is committed with intent to kill, while a wrongful death can be committed by accident.

Another difference between murder and wrongful death is that murder is a term used in criminal law, and wrongful death is usually used in civil law. Often people who have lost a spouse or child as the direct result of another's actions will turn to a wrongful death lawyer to sue for damages when their criminal lawyer is unable to win a murder conviction. The standard of proof for a criminal case is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This means for a person to be convicted of murder, the evidence must be so strong it is almost certain they are guilty. Civil law, however, is different. The standard of proof is a more complicated phrase: "by a preponderance of the evidence." This basically means that to win a civil case, the evidence has to show it is more likely than not or 51 percent likely the person has done what they are accused of doing. It is therefore easier to win a wrongful death suit than it is to get a guilty verdict in a murder case. Many grieving families take advantage of this in order to see at least some justice done.

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What can I be compensated for? What types of damages can be awarded for a wrongful death?

The most common damage awarded for a wrongful death claim is the loss of monetary support. A spouse or child who relied on the income of the person who died often has the right to be compensated for that loss of financial support. Often money paid to cover medical and funeral expenses can be recovered. Survivors can also be compensated for lost benefits, such as medical coverage and a pension, and any lost inheritance. Some cases result in the family member being compensated for the loss of companionship. Occasionally, a court considering a wrongful death suit will rule money should be awarded to compensate for the grief and mental anguish suffered by the family member as a result of the victim's death, but this is less common.

How are the damages awarded in a wrongful death suit calculated?

Figuring out how much should be awarded in damages can be very complicated. The first and easiest damage to calculate are the medical expenses the deceased person had prior to death. The cost of the funeral arrangements will also be calculated before damages are awarded.

Damages are also supposed to be awarded for the lost wages and earning potential of the person who died. If the victim is young and at the beginning of his or her career, the extent of this loss can be especially difficult to calculate. Your lawyer may argue the victim was very hard-working and good at his or her job, and the person would have been granted salary raises and promotions. If this argument is successful, the damages awarded will be greater.

Survivors of the victim of a wrongful death can also be compensated for the emotional pain they have suffered as a result of the person's loss. The amount that is awarded for the suffering of the survivors depends on the sympathy of the jury or the opinion of the judge. No amount of money can make up for the loss of a child, but a judge will still have to decide on the amount that should be paid by the person responsible for the death. Wrongful death claims require answers to difficult questions.

Obtain free legal advice on the damages you can expect to recover for your wrongful death claim. Contact our offices in Colorado Springs or Denver to discuss your case with one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers.

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Does the victim need to have held a job prior to death in order for me to file a wrongful death claim?

No. A wrongful death claim can be filed by the surviving family member of anyone who has died through the fault of another. If the victim was a homemaker, for example, the damages are based on the value of services the person provided, such as cleaning and child care. If the victim was a child, a court will sometimes try to estimate the income the child might have earned at a job if they had reached adulthood. The emotional pain of the surviving family is also taken into account. To obtain information that is specific to your case, contact Cliff Enten or one of his associates.

How can the Denver wrongful death lawyers at Law Offices of Cliff Enten help me with filing a wrongful death claim?

Residents of Colorado Springs, Denver and all of Colorado should contact the wrongful death lawyers at the Law Offices of Cliff Enten for up-to-date information about the ever-changing state laws that govern wrongful death claims in Colorado. Cliff Enten and his associates have been practicing law for the last 25 years. They are also constantly doing legal research to stay current with any new developments in wrongful death law.

Our lawyers can bring in medical experts to serve as witness if your wrongful death suit goes to trial. In some cases, they can also obtain the medical records of wrongful death victims to be used as courtroom evidence.

The Law Offices of Cliff Enten can provide you with aggressive defense and knowledgeable counsel to help you win your case so you can recover from the financial burdens of medical bills and funeral expenses after losing your loved one. Contact us for free legal advice and a complete case evaluation.

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