Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Colorado?
There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a loved one in an accident. It is even worse when you realize the accident was the result of negligence. In these cases, certain close family members of the victim may file a Colorado wrongful death lawsuit. The goal of this lawsuit is to recover losses and damages. Unfortunately, under state law, not all the loved ones of the victim have the right to bring a lawsuit.
The Colorado Wrongful Death Act: Eligible Parties
Colorado’s wrongful death statute (CRS Section 13-21-201) control claims in the state. Under this statute, only certain immediate family members of the victim are eligible to bring a claim. Further, their right to bring a claim must conform to the following strict conditions:
- During the first year following a death: Only the surviving spouse of the victim is eligible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
- In the second year following the death: The surviving children of the deceased may bring a wrongful death claim, so long as the surviving spouse has not done so. If there are no surviving children, then the deceased’s parents may bring a claim.
Note: If there are no other qualifying family members ahead of them, the state allows advancement of rights. For example, if the deceased has no spouse and no children, their parents will not need to wait to take legal action. If there are no eligible parties then the victim’s estate may bring a survival action on behalf of any beneficiaries.
How Long Do I Have to File a Colorado Wrongful Death Claim?
Under Colorado law, you have two years from the date of the death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. This is the statute of limitations, and if you fail to take action in time, you will almost certainly lose out on your legal rights. Do not let this happen to you. The best way to protect your wrongful death claims rights is to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will help you meet filing deadlines and requirements. They will also work to gather evidence that supports your claim. The sooner you reach out, the better.
Compensation Available to Qualifying Family Members
Several different types of compensation may be available under Colorado law. Our firm can help you pursue a claim so that you can maximize your recovery. Specifically, we may be able to help you seek compensation for:
- Direct monetary losses;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- The loss of benefits, including health insurance;
- Other pecuniary losses;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Loss of love, consortium, and companionship.
Get Legal Assistance Today
The Law Office of Steve Roberts has extensive experience dealing with wrongful death matters. To set up a free review of your case, please call us today at (720) 515-7058. From our office in Denver, we serve communities throughout the region, including in Jefferson County and Adams County.