Losing a loved one is difficult under any circumstances, but it becomes even more challenging to cope with when your loved one was killed by another person’s negligence. This is known as a wrongful death, and according to Denver personal injury attorney Mark A. Simon, your family may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. Here’s what you need to know about the wrongful death laws in Colorado:
What is a wrongful death claim?
If you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injuries. A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim, however the victim is no longer alive, and the claim is filed by the victim’s loved ones.
You must be able to prove that the defendant acted negligently or recklessly, and that this behavior led to the death of your loved one. For example, let’s say someone is killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. It would be fairly simple to prove that the drunk driver was negligent at the time of the accident, and that this negligence led to a fatality.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Each state has its own rules regarding who is allowed to file a wrongful death claim. In Colorado, the only person who is legally permitted to file a wrongful death claim within the first year after the victim’s death is the surviving spouse. In the second year after the victim’s death, the spouse and any of the victim’s surviving children are able to file a wrongful death claim.
Some victims may not have spouses or children at the time of their death. In this case, the victim’s parents would be able to file a claim.
The representative of the victim’s estate can also file a claim alongside the surviving family members. This is known as a survival action, and it is only done to recover compensation for losses that the estate has suffered as a result of the victim’s death.
How long do you have to file a wrongful death claim?
The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases varies depending on the state. In Colorado, the surviving family members have two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a claim. If you wait until this deadline has passed, you will no longer have a right to file a claim or recover compensation for your loved one’s death. Learn more about the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Colorado
Two years may seem like a long time to take action, but time can go by very fast, so it’s recommended that you move quickly if you are interested in filing a wrongful death claim. If you have lost a loved one because of another person’s negligence, attorney Mark A. Simon can help. Don’t hesitate to call us at 303-321-4878
or contact Mark A. Simon
to discuss your rights during a free consultation.