Suing for Wrongful Death in Colorado
Colorado wrongful death attorneys answers common questions about fatal accident lawsuits, such as who can sue, what they can sue for, and how long they have to file a claim
The death of a loved one is tragic, no matter what the circumstances. However, a wrongful death, a fatality that could have been avoided, is something that is very difficult to encounter. When such a devastating event happens in the state of Colorado, who is allowed to sue since the deceased individual is no longer able to fight for themselves or their family?
What is a wrongful death case? As defined by Enjuris, “Wrongful death: civil action brought by family of one who died prematurely due to another’s negligence.”
This would be considered a civil lawsuit in the state of Colorado. This lawsuit would attempt to establish liability against a company or an individual for the death of another. The plaintiff(s) must prove the death occurred due to recklessness, negligence or the intentional behavior of another person or entity in order to receive financial remuneration for their loss to cover funeral expenses, lost wages, etc.
Colorado wrongful death lawsuits can also be based on death due to car accidents, slip and falls or injuries caused by defective products.
Who can sue?
When a wrongful death lawsuit is filed, the person must consider the claim a personal injury case where the injured person (the deceased) is unable to carry out their own claim in the Colorado court system.
Below is a list of who can file a wrongful death claim and when:
- The surviving spouse is the only individual able to file a lawsuit in the first year following the death.
- In the second year following the death, the surviving spouse or any surviving children are able to pursue a wrongful death claim. If there is no surviving spouse or children, the deceased’s parents are eligible to file a suit.
- In addition to surviving family members, an individual representing the deceased individual’s estate is able to file a suit to recover damages for certain losses in the estate. This type of claim is known as a “survival action.”
What can you sue for?
- Monetary damages will always be evaluated by the jury or a judge (if a jury is not present).
- Family members may sue for certain lost benefits such as life insurance and health insurance.
- They may sue for salary or wages that the deceased individual would have earned had he or she been alive.
- They may sue for the loss of companionship of their loved one.
- The representative of the deceased individual’s estate may sue for medical or hospital expenses as well as funeral or burial costs.
How long do I have to file a claim?
Regardless of who files the civil lawsuit or what you sue for, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Colorado is two years. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim and give ample time to prepare your case.
If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, The Babcock Law Firm would like to extend our sincerest condolences. If you believe this death could have been avoided were it not for the negligence of an individual, organization or company, contact Colorado’s experienced wrongful death attorney, R. Mack Babcock, to discuss your case at no cost.
We are here to help you secure a successful settlement for your wrongful death claim. We serve a variety of areas, including Denver, Littleton and other Colorado cities.
Continue reading these related articles for more information…
- Wrongful Death Overview
- 6 Most Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases
- Colorado Wrongful Death Claims – Order of Priority
While the Babcock Law Firm tirelessly works to obtain successful outcomes for its clients, prior positive outcomes are no guarantee of future success. Indicating prior positive results is in no way intended to guarantee future results.