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What Is The Wrongful Death Statute Of Limitations In Colorado?

What Is The Colorado Wrongful Death Statute Of Limitations?

When a person dies, their family will go through the grieving process as they focus on moving on with their life and paying off any final costs, including any medical bills and funeral expenses. It becomes more difficult when the death is caused by the wrongful actions of another person.

Although no amount of compensation will make losing a loved one feel easier, it can bring justice and help with financial obligations. So, it’s important to understand how long you have to file a wrongful death claim in Colorado. In short, the Colorado wrongful death statute of limitations is two years from the date of the death.

What Is a Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death?

If you live in Colorado and plan on filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be wondering, What is the statute of limitations on wrongful death? The statute of limitations provides plaintiffs with a specific amount of time to file a legal claim against a person or entity.

The Colorado wrongful death statute of limitations gives eligible heirs two years to bring a cause of action for wrongful death. The time limit starts running from the date of death.

However, even though you have two years to file the claim, it’s important to file it as soon as you can. Contacting a lawyer to help you through the process to stay on the right track when making your claim can help you deal with the loss of a loved one. There are some exceptions to the two-year wrongful death statute of limitations in Colorado. 

Do Not Wait To File Your Wrongful Death Claim

It is crucial to file your claim as soon as possible so that you can beat the clock on the wrongful death statute of limitations in Colorado. Contact us for a free consultation to get started with your case.

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Nikki Nicholaou was incredibly helpful and responsive. I felt very comfortable with my case in her hands, which was a great decision because she won me a settlement before we had to go to court
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Veronica Blake
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Andy B
One day in June, 2019, our world was turned upside down. My husband was nearly killed by a motorist while riding his bicycle. He was lucky to come away from the accident with “only” a neck broken in 5 places, facing surgery and a long two-year recovery period. His extreme pain, our anger, and the total shock of the event overwhelmed us. We decided to focus all our energy on his healing. Dealing with the insurance company was more than we could handle. So, a little investigation brought us to Sloat & Nicholson. During the first phone conversation, Randy Nicholson explained that we could not only file a claim against the driver’s insurance, but also against our Underinsured Motorist insurance. Randy also explained that it was likely that he would have to fight Mike’s health insurance which would certainly ask to be totally reimbursed for their expenses. We’d learned that it was a bigger issue than we’d expected, but we knew we had found someone who could help us, and that has a great relief. After that first call, and in the subsequent months of meeting with Randy and his team, we knew we’d made the best possible decision. Randy got the full claim against the driver’s insurance. He convinced our health insurance that they had no standing in filing a claim against us. We didn’t have to pay them anything. And he negotiated with our Underinsured Motorist insurance and got the full claim against them as well. It was not easy, and Randy worked hard. He completely relieved us of a ton of stress. He kept us informed each step of the way. Every time we worked with him and his team, we became more and more convinced that we’d made the right decision. We were so glad we found Sloat and Nicholson. After the accident, we felt like the world was against us. The court system totally dropped the ball, and we constantly had to fight back our anger at the driver and the judge. But we had Randy Nicholson and his team on our side, and we are forever grateful to all of them.
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midge castillo
I was in a car accident and needed legal advice. Robert Hoover was both professional and informative! He was so helpful, and I would recommend him to anyone. I also appreciated his Christian perspective!
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I was a case form many years ago Gerald handled everything completely professionally there is not one thing I would do differently My case was complicated but the end result was everything that I was entitled to! If your case is in his practice area I highly recommend a phone call consultation or visit to his office. You won't be disappointed his years of experience knowledge and fair treatment of his clients would not be more apparent!
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Adam Townson
Jerry Sloat and his staff treated our family with great respect and helped us to receive compensation for the injuries, pain and suffering we incurred during a car accident. We owe him so much and are truly grateful that we stopped trying to deal with the insurance company and allowed Jerry and his wonderful team of professional to take care of everything for us.
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Leonard Romano
Gerry Sloat was amazing, after my car wreck I was at a loss on what was going on. I didn't know the process or what to even expect. I turned to him because he was the only one willing to take the time and speak with me to answer all my questions. My insurance company wouldn't even call me back to answer my question of what was happening. Gerry took quite a bit of time explaining the different aspects of the insurance and the other driver and the county issues that I didn't even know where separate, he really set my mind at ease with my mind running with all of the "what ifs" I now know where I stand and what to expect going further and can now make informed decisions on what I need to be prepared for what lies ahead! Thank you again Mr Sloat!
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Gerry Sloat was a very skilled and helpful attorney when I needed one to negotiate a settlement for many, many medical bills resulting from a head on collision. What impressed me most was his fair handedness in dealing with us, but also with dealing with the other parties involved. Further, since the accident a half dozen years ago, he has been more than helpful in answering questions about all matters of the law, and seems to genuinely enjoy hearing from me when I call. A stellar human and an outstandingly thorough attorney.
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Bonnie Carol
Ever since I started working with with Robert Hoover it's been more like working with family he's taking the time to get to know me and my family on a personal level the office staff know by name and they are the best
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Jason Swartz

Can the Time Limit for Wrongful Death Claims in Colorado be Extended?

In some rare cases, the two-year time limit for wrongful death statute of limitations can be extended. Colorado law provides an extended statute of limitations if the wrongful death was the result of an auto accident. In that case, the wrongful death statute of limitations can be extended to three years.  

The allotted time may also be extended if the defendant engages in fraud or attempts to hide relevant evidence and make it undiscoverable. Extensions may also apply if the decedent was under the age of 18. Contacting a Colorado attorney as soon as possible will give you time to understand your options and help you decide how best to move forward.

Who Can Bring a Claim Under the Wrongful Death Statute in Colorado?

There is a select group of people who are eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Colorado based on their relationship with the decedent. A person’s relationship with the decedent will also determine when they can file their claim. 

The first year after a person dies is reserved for the surviving spouse to file a lawsuit. The surviving spouse has the option to file the claim in conjunction with surviving heirs, or they can defer the right to file during this time to the surviving heirs. If the decedent does not have a surviving spouse, then the right to file automatically goes to the heirs or a designated beneficiary. 

Once the first year has passed, the claim can be brought by any of the aforementioned parties. Parents may file at any time when the deceased is a child or has no heirs. No matter which parties choose to pursue a claim, the statute of limitations for wrongful death will usually start running at the date of death. 

Causes Of Wrongful Death

There are a number of ways that wrongful death can occur. Anytime the negligent or intentional act of another party results in death, it might be possible to file a wrongful death claim. These are a few situations in which a wrongful death claim might be available:

If your case does not seem to fit into one of these categories, that does not mean you are unable to file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death can occur in a variety of situations.

As long as your loved one’s death was caused wholly or partially by someone else’s negligent action or inaction, you might be able to bring a wrongful death claim. An attorney can help you determine if you are owed compensation for wrongful death.

Types of Wrongful Death Damages

What types of damages are claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit? While the cost of losing a loved one can never be truly compensated for, the following are claims that are made.

Financial Damages: This includes burial and funeral expenses, medical expenses, and any other final expenses that need to be covered due to the death.

Lost Wages: Both loss of present and future wages because of your loved one passing away. Spouses, children, or even parents of the deceased can sue for this compensation.

Emotion Turmoil: If you have emotional distress because of the loved one’s death, PTSD, anxiety, stress, etc or if you have a loss of companionship these can all be considered when it comes to compensation.

Beat the Clock on the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Colorado

The attorneys at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience helping families seek justice for the wrongful death of a loved one. We understand the intricacies of the Colorado legal system and are committed to helping you fight for the compensation you deserve. 

When you are in the midst of grieving, the last thing you want to think about is pursuing legal action. But because of the two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death, the sooner you can secure legal counsel, the better. Over time, evidence may be harder to obtain and witnesses more difficult to find. We are here to make the process as easy for you as possible.

If you have a loved one that passed away because of the recklessness of someone else, contact a lawyer today.

For a free consultation or for more information on wrongful death claims contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover at 303-447-1144.

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