How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Denver?

Denver, CO – If someone you loved was killed in any type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You will have to follow the procedures set forth by Colorado statutes, C.R.S. 13-21-201. These define who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and the statutes of limitations. 

What is the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits in Denver?

Under Colorado law, the family of the deceased has two years to file a lawsuit. If, for instance, your loved one was in a car accident and died on the spot, you have two years from the date of the crash. However, if your loved one was gravely injured and spent two months in the hospital before passing away, the two-year period starts from the moment of their death. You will have to prove that they died as a direct result of their injuries and not because of a pre-existing medical condition. 

You may be able to file a lawsuit if your loved one died in any type of motor vehicle accident, construction work accident, as well as because of medical error. Premises liability cases, use of defective products, or nursing home abuse can also lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Colorado statutes are very specific on who has the right to sue. During the first year, it is the spouse of the deceased who is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In the second year, the children of the deceased can file a lawsuit or they can join in on a lawsuit filed by their surviving parent.

Keep in mind that, even if the deceased had no spouse at the time of their death, the children must wait one year before they can sue. 

If the deceased had no surviving spouse or children, their parents may be able to bring a lawsuit against those responsible.

In certain circumstances, the representative of the estate of some who died in an accident caused by negligence can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Do I have to sue if the person responsible is facing criminal charges?

Let’s say your loved one was killed in a drunk driving accident. The driver who caused the crash will most probably be facing criminal charges and may go to jail for what they did. However, that is a criminal case and it has nothing to do with your financial losses. If you want to recover damages, you’ll have to file a civil case.

If the defendant is convicted in a criminal trial, this will make it easier for your lawyers to prove that person was responsible for your loved one’s death. 

The amount of damages you may be awarded is determined by the court and based upon the specific facts of your case. You can seek damages to recover the amount of wages your loved one would have earned if they would have been able to continue to work, as well as any benefits and compensation lost because of their death. The spouse and the children can also seek compensation for loss of care, comfort, companionship, assistance, love, protection, and affection.

If someone you loved was recently killed in an accident caused by negligence, you should contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer at the Bryan&Terrill law firm to see what sort of damages your family is entitled to.

Contact info:

Bryan & Terrill

333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B

Englewood, CO 80110

(720) 923-2333

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