What Is A Wrongful Death Claim In Greenwood Village, Colorado?
A wrongful death claim is a civil claim where a surviving family member attempts to prove the liability of a person or company for the death of their loved one. In order to establish liability, the family member must prove that the death was caused by the negligence of the accused. Many types of events and injuries that could result in a personal injury case can also be the cause of a wrongful death suit.
A wrongful death claim can be thought of as a personal injury case where the injured person is no longer able pursue their own claim. Rather, one of their surviving relatives has to step in and file the claim on behalf of that deceased individual and his or her estate, with the help of an experienced Greenwood Village wrongful death attorney.
There are situations where a wrongful death suit can coexist with a criminal case against the same negligent party. This is often true in cases of DUI and the victims of drunk drivers. The accused individual in these cases would be prudent to consult with an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense, personal injury law, and wrongful death cases.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim In Greenwood Village, CO?
In Colorado, laws specify who is permitted to engage a wrongful death attorney to file a wrongful death claim on the behalf of a deceased relative. During the first year after the death, the surviving spouse of the deceased individual is the only relative who is permitted to file a wrongful death claim. The surviving children of the deceased individual, along with the surviving spouse, can file a claim during the second year after the death.
If the deceased individual left behind no surviving children or spouse, then their parents are permitted to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf, according to Colorado law. The representative of the decedent’s estate is also allowed to file a claim to recover damages for losses to the estate. This separate claim is called a survival action and it should also be handled by your Greenwood Village, CO wrongful death attorney.
What Is The Time Limit For Bringing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Greenwood Village, Colorado?
In Colorado, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. Colorado further limits the time limit in which to file a wrongful death claim by specifying who is allowed to file during certain periods of that two-year timeframe. Only the deceased person’s surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim during the first year. The surviving spouse and any surviving children may file one during the second year of the time period. If there is no spouse and no children, one or both surviving parents may file a claim. Timespans in Colorado are strict and require the close attention of a wrongful death attorney.
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