There are laws that control who can file a wrongful death claim in Colorado to recover compensation for the loss of a loved one. If you have recently lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of another person, it’s important that you understand who can and cannot take legal action.
One person that is allowed to file a wrongful death claim in Colorado is the spouse of the victim. In fact, the spouse is the only person who is able to file a claim within the first year after the victim’s death. In the second year after the victim’s death, both the victim’s death and the victim’s children are able to pursue compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.
Some victims do not leave behind a spouse or children. In this case, the victim’s parents will be allowed to file the claim.
Filing A Survival Action Claim
You may also want to consider filing a survival action claim along with a wrongful death claim. A survival claim is filed to recover compensation for losses that the victim suffered before her death. For example, a victim may have sustained serious injuries in a truck accident. If she was treated in the hospital before eventually passing away from her injuries, the estate may be able to recover compensation for the medical expenses and pain and suffering the victim experienced after the accident and before her passing.
Whereas a wrongful death claim compensates the family members for their loss, a survival action claim compensates the victim’s estate for the losses that the victim suffered prior to his or her death.
The only person who is allowed to file a survival action claim is the representative of the victim’s estate. If any compensation is awarded, it will go to the estate instead of directly to the family members.
Time Limits on Wrongful Death Claims
There are also laws that restrict the amount of time you have to initiate a wrongful death case after the victim passes away. In Colorado, the victim’s family must file the wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of the victim’s death. All family members will lose the opportunity to recover compensation if it has been longer than two years since the victim’s untimely death.
If you have lost a loved one because of the negligent acts of another person, seek legal representation at once. The compassionate attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will guide you through every step of the process during this challenging and emotional time. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.