People who suffer personal losses because of someone’s behaviors or negligence have legal rights. State laws in Colorado allow those affected by the failures or misconduct of others to seek compensation for their verifiable losses. There are various rules that apply to different kinds of losses and injuries.
When a person or a business causes death through default, neglect or a wrongful act, the responsible party could face a civil lawsuit. The value of a wrongful death claim in Colorado could be tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the age and earning potential of the individual involved.
Who potentially has the legal right to file a wrongful death claim in Colorado?
The time elapsed since the death impacts who can file
In the first 12 months after someone dies, there are state restrictions that apply to wrongful death lawsuits. If the person who died had a spouse, usually only the spouse or the heirs who have the consent of the spouse can bring a wrongful death claim. If the individual who died did not have a spouse, their heirs or the beneficiaries they have designated in their estate plan could bring a claim.
After the first year passes, any of those parties can bring a claim without permission from a surviving spouse. Additionally, if someone dies without a spouse or children, then their parents can bring a wrongful death claim. Those thinking of filing a wrongful death claim must act in a timely manner, as there is a two-year statute of limitations that applies to such lawsuits.
Learning the rules that apply to wrongful death lawsuits can help surviving family members seek justice after a tragedy.