Parties Who Can Sue Under Colorado’s Wrongful Death Law

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When a family member dies in an accident caused by a negligent party, you may be able to file a wrongful death action for compensation for the loss of your loved one. While this will not take away your grief, it can bring some closure to hold the party responsible for the death of your family member, and the compensation can help you put back the pieces of your life. However, in Colorado, only specific family members are permitted to file a wrongful death action.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Action?

Like other states, Colorado has its own laws regarding wrongful death claims, and the rules regarding who can file are very specific. These family members are permitted to pursue a wrongful death action:

  • Spouse. For the first year following the family member’s death, only a spouse is permitted to file a wrongful death complaint. Other heirs can join the lawsuit with the spouse’s written consent.
  • Children. After the first year following the person’s death, his children as well as his spouse, can file a wrongful death action.
  • Parents. Parents are permitted to pursue a wrongful death claim in the second year after the person’s death if their loved one left no surviving spouse or children.
  • Heirs. If the person died leaving no spouse, children, or parents, his heirs can file a wrongful death action, or the personal representative of his estate can file a survival action, which is a claim that the deceased person could have filed if he had lived.

Do you need to file a wrongful death action for the loss of a loved one? You could be entitled to compensation for your family member’s medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and loss of support. Let our experienced wrongful death attorneys take over the burden of building your case, filing your claim, and negotiating your settlement. Call our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

Author Bio


Christopher Nicolaysen is a Founding Member of Springs Law Group, a Colorado Springs personal injury law firm. With almost a decade of experience in personal injury cases, he represents clients in a wide range of civil matters, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, slip and fall accidents, and other personal injury matters.

Chris received his Juris Doctor from the University of Denver — Sturm College of Law and is a member of the Colorado Bar Association.

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