The state of Colorado has a set of laws surrounding wrongful death lawsuits just like any other state. These laws dictate what it means when a wrongful death occurs, who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, how damages will be paid, and how much time can pass before someone is unable to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits are treated as civil cases rather than criminal and can include scenarios such as car accidents, slip and falls, and even deaths caused by defective products.
In Colorado, the following people can file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Surviving Spouse: the surviving spouse of the deceased is the ONLY person allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the first year of after the death.
- Surviving Children: the surviving children of the deceased may file a claim two years after the death. The surviving spouse can also submit a claim during this time.
- Surviving Parents: if the deceased has no surviving spouse or children, the parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim
- Survival Action: This can be filed by a representative of the deceased’s estate to recover damages for certain estate losses.
The statute of limitations in Colorado regarding wrongful death lawsuits states that such lawsuits must be filed within two years of the death. The law further restricts who can and when they can file the lawsuit. As mentioned before, during the first and second year, surviving spouses can file the wrongful death lawsuit. Surviving children and parents can file a wrongful death lawsuit only during the second year. Surviving parents can also file a claim if no spouse or children survived the deceased at any time.
Monetary damages are commonly paid to the survivor if they win their wrongful death lawsuit. These monetary damages are assessed by the jury, or a judge if there is no jury. Damages for losses can include:
- Lost benefits such as life insurance
- Salary of wages that the deceased could have earned had they been alive
- Medical expenses
- Funeral cost
- Loss of companionship
The amount of damages paid out will be dependent on the facts of the case. If you’re having trouble receiving the justice you deserve for the wrongful death of a loved one, contact an experienced attorney. The Denver attorneys at Lampert & Walsh, LLC have been successfully fighting for the rights of wrongful death survivors in Colorado for decades. Call us to set up a free consultation to discuss your situation.