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FAQs About Colorado Wrongful Death Claims

Posted on in Wrongful Death

CO injury lawyerLosing any loved one due to someone else’s carelessness can be emotionally devastating. You may be experiencing a lot of grief and anger about the death, and eager to seek damages from the responsible party. Colorado, like most states, limits who has the standing to file a wrongful death suit. These claims are reserved for those immediate family members most likely to be affected not just emotionally, but financially, by the loss. The goal is to make sure those most harmed are compensated. If you have lost a close relative because someone was careless about their safety, speaking to an attorney is the first step to recovering damages.

Which Relatives Are Eligible to File a Larimer County Wrongful Death Action?

If the decedent was married, Colorado grants his spouse the exclusive right to sue for wrongful death during the first year after the fatal accident, although the spouse can join others if she chooses. This makes quite a bit of sense. Spouses often depend on one another, both financially and in other aspects of life. When a person loses their spouse unexpectedly in an accident, they are the one most likely to suffer financially as a result and to have expenses associated with the death. If there are young children involved, it is most frequently the surviving spouse who now bears all of the childrearing responsibility.

Only if the spouse does not file within a year do others become eligible. For others who might have a claim if the spouse does not file, a year can seem like a long time to wait. However, it can genuinely take that length of time for a survivor to get things organized to file. There can be extensive investigation and gathering of information that must take place, especially if it is not immediately clear who the responsible party is. It can also take time to emotionally prepare for litigation after the death of one’s husband or wife.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim if the Spouse Does Not?

If the spouse does not file within a year, the decedent’s children can then bring a wrongful death action in their own right. The statute of limitations may pause to allow minor children to bring a claim once they reach adulthood if necessary. If there are no surviving children, the decedent’s parents can bring a claim. Colorado does not extend the right to receive compensation for a wrongful death to siblings, grandparents, or other extended relatives.

Those who are not eligible to file a wrongful death claim, but who were with their deceased loved one when the accident happened may have a different kind of claim they are eligible to bring. Witnessing a fatal accident can be horribly traumatic, and you may still be entitled to some type of compensation for what you went through.

Call a Larimer County Wrongful Death Attorney

If you have lost a loved one due to someone’s carelessness, Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. would like to help you recover compensation. You can reach us at 970-225-2190 to schedule a free consultation. Our firm’s experienced and compassionate Fort Collins wrongful death lawyers will fight for you to receive the maximum possible award for your loss.

 

Source:

https://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Committees/Civil_Jury_Instructions_Committee/Chapter%2010.pdf

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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