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Understanding who can file a wrongful death claim

To lose a loved one in Broomfield unexpectedly is tragic, no matter the circumstances. Yet if you were to later discover that his or her loss was due to another’s negligence, your grief may be compounded even more. Countless past clients have come to us here at Ciancio Ciancio Brown PC after having gone through such events wondering what legal recourse they may have. Civil action may be available to you, yet that begs the question of who is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado?

Several other states have laws that only allow the personal representative of one’s estate to initiate such action. However, Colorado’s laws are somewhat different. According to Section 13-21-201 of the state’s Revised Statutes, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit if the decedent was your spouse. You can also bring such action if you are among his or her heirs. If you are an heir and your loved one’s spouse is still living, you must first have his or her written permission to file a lawsuit. You can also initiate a wrongful death claim of you have been designated as a beneficiary to one’s estate provided his or her spouse is not still living.

What if the decedent was your child? As his or her parent, either you or your spouse can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. In such a case, you would both have an equal interest in the judgement. If you are divorced or separated from your child’s other parent, either one of you may still initiate such an action. In determining each your respective interest, the court will consider the relationship that both of you had with your child.

More information on initiating a wrongful death action can be found here on our site.  

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Broomfield, CO 80021

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