Frequently Asked Questions about Wrongful Death

Here are some frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims. For more information, please visit the wrongful death subsection under " Practice Areas."

  • What is wrongful death?

    What is wrongful death?

    A wrongful death is an unnecessary death that has been caused by the negligence of another person. Examples of wrongful death include those caused by a drunk, reckless or careless driver, deaths caused by the manufacture of an unsafe, defective or dangerous product, or even deaths caused by a physician's failing to diagnose a treatable disease.

  • Who can bring a wrongful death claim?

    Who can bring a wrongful death claim?

    Colorado's wrongful death law is found in the Colorado Revised Statues (C.R.S. 13-21-201 et.seq.) These laws specifically identify which family members are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim in Colorado and provide time limits for bringing these claims. In Colorado, the surviving spouse has the exclusive standing to bring a claim within the first year after the death, and both the surviving spouse and children have standing to bring a claim thereafter. If there is no spouse, then the children may bring a claim; if there is no spouse and no children, then and only then may the parents of the deceased bring a claim. In wrongful death cases in Colorado, there is a two year statute of limitation, meaning that a claim must be brought within two years of the death.

  • What types of damages can I get?

    What types of damages can I get?

    Colorado law specifies that wrongful death claims may be made to obtain monetary damages to cover the earnings the deceased person would have provided. Other damages that may be recovered include:

    • Loss of support
    • Lost benefits, such as insurance, from the death
    • Loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection or care suffered by the survivor of the decedent
    • In some cases, punitive damages, intended to punish wrongdoers and prevent them from harming others

    Under Colorado law, a survival action may be brought by the deceased person's estate to recover expenses associated with the death such as funeral expenses and medical expenses accrued from the time of the incident to the time of death. A wrongful death lawyer can help you understand the complex laws that apply to your individual claim.

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