In Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the deceased person's death. This means that you have two years from the date of the death to initiate legal action against the party or parties you believe are responsible for the wrongful death.
It's crucial to adhere to this deadline, as failing to file a wrongful death lawsuit within the specified timeframe can result in the court dismissing your case, and you may lose the opportunity to seek compensation and justice for your loved one's death.
In Colorado, the surviving spouse typically has the primary right to file a wrongful death claim. If there is no surviving spouse, or if the spouse chooses not to file a claim, then other eligible parties, such as children or parents, may have the right to file. If none of these parties initiate a lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations, the personal representative of the deceased person's estate can file on behalf of the estate and beneficiaries.
However, there are certain circumstances that may affect the statute of limitations:
Discovery Rule: In some cases, it may not be immediately evident that a death was caused by another party's negligence or wrongful actions. If the cause of death is discovered later, the two-year statute of limitations may begin from the date of discovery rather than the date of death. This rule is applied on a case-by-case basis.
Government Entity Involvement: If a government entity or employee is involved in the wrongful death, there are specific procedures and deadlines to follow, and these can be shorter than the typical two-year timeframe. Consulting with an attorney experienced in cases involving government entities is essential in such situations.
Minors or Legal Disabilities: If the deceased person's survivors are minors or individuals with legal disabilities, the statute of limitations may be extended. However, it's important to consult with an attorney to understand how this applies to your specific case.
Given the complexity of wrongful death cases and the potential variations in the statute of limitations, it's advisable to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Colorado as soon as possible if you believe you have a valid claim. An attorney can provide guidance on the specific timeline applicable to your case and help ensure that you meet all legal requirements when pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.
CONTACT A WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY IN COLORADO TODAY
At Hagen Nares PLLC, we have successfully represented clients who have been killed at no-fault of their own. We understand the laws established by the State of Colorado as well as federal law and will make sure that each party who is liable is held accountable. You don't have to face this alone–call 720-772-8513 today to schedule Free Consultation.