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Overview of Colorado Accidental, Wrongful Death Law

A wrongful death claim filed by a lawyer or attorney in Colorado is a suit that arises from the death of an individual that was caused by the conduct of another. Under Colorado law, a wrongful death suit is different from other types of personal injury claims because the actual victim (the "decedent") is not bringing suit, rather it is the family members or the decedent's estate. As such, a wrongful death claim filed by a lawyer or attorney under Colorado law is brought to recover damages for the injuries that the surviving family and/or estate have suffered due to the death of the victim. The damages recovered do not include damages that are personal to the decedent, since the decedent is not allowed by law to recover for pain and suffering, mental distress, or any other form of compensatory damages unique to him or her. The purpose of a wrongful death suit under Colorado law is to provide relief to family members who have been injured emotionally and financially as a result of the family member's death.

To file a wrongful death suit in Colorado, you must show that:

  • The death of a person was caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default
  • The act, neglect or default would have entitled the injured person to file an action to recover damages had the death not occurred (C.R.S. § 21-21-202)
  • There are surviving beneficiaries, children, or dependants of the victim (C.R.S. § 13-21-202)
  • Monetary damages have resulted from the decedent’s death

Colorado law makes a distinction between persons who can file a wrongful death suit and persons who are beneficiaries. Only certain individuals can file wrongful death claims, and those that are allowed to sue do so on behalf of others. In Colorado, a surviving spouse has the exclusive right to bring a suit within the first year of the decedent's death. If the spouse does not bring an action, or waives the right to bring suit, any surviving children of the decedent may bring an action after the first year. If there are no surviving children, or if the deceased is a minor, then the parents may bring an action for wrongful death. If the surviving spouse does not sue within the first year, he or she may still join an action brought by the heirs of the deceased in the second year. Siblings and other next of kin beyond parents may not file a suit for wrongful death, nor participate in the recovery of damages. C.R.S. § 13-21-201.

In all matters involving Colorado wrongful death lawsuits it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to file a lawsuit prior to the deadline imposed by the Colorado wrongful death statute of limitations. If a loved one has been a victim of wrongful death in Colorado, contact us now, CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the Colorado wrongful death statute of limitations expires.

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Disclaimer

The above is not legal advice. That can only come from a qualified attorney who is familiar with all the facts and circumstances of a particular, specific case and the relevant law. See Terms of Use.

The wrongful death information offered by Colorado Wrongful Death Lawyer and contained herein, regarding Colorado wrongful death statutes and Colorado wrongful death claimants' rights is general in scope. No wrongful death Colorado attorney client relationship with our Colorado wrongful death attorneys is hereby formed nor is the negligent death information herein intended as formal legal advice. Please contact a Colorado personal injury wrongful death lawyer regarding your specific inquiry.

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