Filing a Pueblo wrongful death claim can be the only course of action for certain family members and estate representatives looking to right wrongs that allegedly lead to the death of a loved one.
These actions are governed by Colorado wrongful death statutes, which include CRS § 13-21-202 and CRS § 13-21-203 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. These sections provide that claims can be pursued in the event that a negligent or wrongful act leads to the death of a loved one. Such claims seek to recover damages for said act in financial terms. These damages may not even be financial, such as the loss of companionship of a spouse, but they are couched in terms of the money in relation to the degree of the offense.
Only certain individuals are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit under Colorado law, so read on to learn if you are eligible.
Who Is Able to File a Pueblo Wrongful Death Claim?
Those who live in Pueblo or elsewhere in Colorado and who have endured the tragic death of a relative may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if they are directly related to the victim and file within the designated statute of limitations period.
For decedents with a surviving spouse, only that spouse may file a wrongful death claim for the period of one year following the pronouncement of death by a licensed physician.
If a surviving spouse does not file during this period, surviving children of the decedent may then be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit within the next year. The total statute of limitations applying to a Colorado wrongful death lawsuit is two years.
However, if the decedent did not have a surviving spouse, surviving children can file a wrongful death lawsuit within the two year statute of limitations period. If the decedent had neither a surviving spouse or surviving children, either of their surviving parents or both could file within the two year limitation period.
All of these restrictions are governed by statutes such as CRS § 13-21-201(1) and subsequent interpretations established during relevant historic case law.
What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The most common damages of a Colorado wrongful death lawsuit include the following:
- Lost wages as well as other compensation the deceased would have been likely to earn had they not perished
- Loss of benefits, including pensions, life insurance payments and other similar claims
- Loss of companionship, which encompasses the love, comfort, affection, protection and day-to-day assistance the decedent’s survivors would have had access to had their loved one not perished
In addition to these claims, a representative of the deceased’s estate may also pursue compensation for any medical expenses and funeral expenses related to the death.
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado
The required showings for a wrongful death claim involve many of the same elements needed to establish a personal injury case:
- The death of an individual
- A breach in an expected duty of care by the defending party
- A direct connection between that breach of duty and the death of the individual or injury leading to death of the individual
For more guidance on your potential wrongful death case, seek out assistance from experienced Pueblo wrongful death lawyers. You call us now for a free case evaluation. The clock for the statute of limitations is ticking, so call today.