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Five questions about wrongful death lawsuits

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2020 | Wrongful Death

A wrongful death suit is not something to take lightly, and you may want to know a little more first. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about wrongful death claims in Colorado.

Can I file a claim?

In Colorado, only certain classes of relationships may file a wrongful death lawsuit. They are as follows:

  1. Spouses
  2. Heirs
  3. Designated beneficiary

Interestingly, only the highest level of “survivor” may file suit in the first year after the death. At the start of the second year, any of the parties may. In most cases, a parent may not file a lawsuit unless their child was unmarried and had no heirs or designated beneficiaries.

Do I have to file a claim?

It is always the choice of the surviving family decide to file a lawsuit. It is your business. If you choose not to file a lawsuit, that is a choice you are allowed to make. And many choose to do this because revisiting the loss can be so very painful.

How would a claim help?

When you lose someone you love, there is now a gap between what your life was like before to what it is now. A wrongful death claim cannot fill the obvious loss, but it can help manage the bills ahead of you. And there will be bills, such as:

  • Funeral costs
  • Hospital bills for your loved one’s care
  • Mortgage payments
  • Utilities

Receiving help with your financial situation at the moment you most need it is a primary reason to pursue a wrongful death suit.

What happens if they were partially responsible?

If your loved one was partially responsible for the accident that caused their death, you might still be able to recover. Provided your loved one was no more than 50% responsible for the accident, you may still collect compensation.

Is there a time limit to file a lawsuit?

The statute of limitations for wrongful death suits in Colorado is two years from the date of the incident that led to your family member’s death. There is an exception to this if the responsible party is charged with vehicular manslaughter. In that case, you’d have four years to file.

When you’ve lost someone you love, you really don’t want to think about lawsuits or insurance. You want to grieve. But if you take too long, the law will decide for you.


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