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Who can sue for wrongful death in Colorado?

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2023 | Auto Accidents

Losing a loved one under any circumstance is never easy. The pain becomes unbearable when you learn that your loved one’s death was preventable. If someone loses their life as a result of another person’s unlawful actions, the surviving family may pursue damages through a wrongful death claim. 

But while a loved one’s wrongful death does impact many people, each state has laws that restrict who can bring a lawsuit. So, who can sue for wrongful death in Colorado?

Understanding wrongful death

Basically, death is described as wrongful if it is attributed to another person’s wrongful act, neglect or default. This can be caused by any of the following:

  • A fatal car accident
  • A fatal slip-and-fall accident
  • A workplace accident that leads to death
  • A defective product that causes fatal injuries

Any reckless action that leads to death can justify a wrongful death claim. 

Suing for wrongful death

Unfortunately, not everyone can bring a wrongful death claim in Colorado. In the first year of the decedent’s death, the surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim. During this period, the surviving spouse can elect the decedent’s children to file a claim. And if the decedent had no spouse, their designated beneficiaries may file the claim. 

In the second year following the dependent’s demise, any of the following individuals may file a wrongful death claim:

  • The surviving spouse
  • The surviving children
  • Eligible designated beneficiaries 

Where the victim had no spouse or children, their parents may file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of death. 

If you lose a loved one due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial restitution through a wrongful death claim. Understanding how Colorado’s wrongful death laws work, as well as the applicable statute of limitations, can be a great place to start when pursuing damages.