If you lost a loved one to a personal injury accident in Colorado, you may qualify to pursue legal action against the party or parties liable for their death. Colorado’s Wrongful Death Act permits certain family members and heirs to recover compensation for the deceased’s medical expenses, burial costs, loss of the deceased’s income, and more.
However, there are time limits for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado. Some depend on your relationship with the deceased.
The following offers a guide to Colorado’s wrongful death time limits. For specific case information, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney in your area.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?
A wrongful death claim is a legal action brought by one or more of a person’s surviving family members to recover compensation for their loved one’s untimely death. The legal action arises as a result of another person’s or a corporation’s negligence or recklessness. A wrongful death claim may also apply to an intentional death.
Wrongful death claims are only available if the deceased would have had legal grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived.
The Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado
Like all personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death lawsuits have filing deadlines, called statutes of limitations. Lawsuits filed outside of their statutes of limitations are typically barred from recovering monetary damages.
Colorado’s wrongful death statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
Time Restrictions for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado
There are specific guidelines for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado. These rules affect who can file a wrongful death claim and at what point following the loss of a loved one a claim can be filed.
In the year following a wrongful death, a claim may only be brought by the deceased’s spouse. Only upon the written election of the surviving spouse, can a claim be brought by the spouse and heirs of the deceased or by the heirs alone.
If there is no surviving spouse, a wrongful death claim may be brought by the heirs or the deceased’s designated beneficiary.
In the second year after a wrongful death, a claim may be filed by:
- A surviving spouse;
- Heirs of the deceased;
- The surviving spouse and heirs of the deceased; or
- The deceased’s designated beneficiary.
The parent(s) of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim if the deceased has no surviving spouse or children. Brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles typically cannot bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced Denver Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Do not wait to start a Colorado wrongful death claim. These cases are legally complex and time-consuming. Avoid missing filing deadlines and Colorado’s strict statute of limitations by contacting an experienced Denver wrongful death attorney at Kane Dulin McQuinn Young today.
Kane Dulin McQuinn Young has a proven track record both inside the courtroom and in negotiations. We believe in fighting to hold negligent parties responsible for the damage they cause families.
Call Kane Dulin McQuinn Young in Denver now to schedule your risk-free consultation and claim review!