Colorado Wrongful Death Claims: What Do You Need to Know?

Posted on Mar 9th, 2015 in Uncategorized

If you’re in the process of pursuing a wrongful death case in Colorado, there may be some important factors to keep in mind that apply specifically to the state. What do you need to know? Read on to get the facts from our very own wrongful death lawyers.

 

Colorado wrongful death cases only allow for one action under Colorado law. This means that only a single action can be made for the death of any one descendant. I a case is brought into court against the defendant and settled, no subsequent action may be taken by another party for that person’s death. Keep this in mind for a wrongful death case, as any subsequent actions filed will be subject to dismissal.

 

Colorado law now allows juries to award non-economic damages in a wrongful death action. Formerly, plaintiffs were unable to recover non-economic damages in wrongful death actions in Colorado. These damages include compensation for grief, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

 

Colorado statutes provide that a cause of action for wrongful death accrues on the date of death and must be brought within two years of the time the cause of action accrues.

If there is more than one plaintiff who is bringing an action for the death of a loved one (such as a situation where the action is brought by both the spouse and heirs or multiple heirs), the limitations on damages apply per decedent, regardless of how many plaintiffs are bringing the action. In other words, simply because there may be three plaintiffs pursuing an action for the death of a loved one, each plaintiff is not separately entitled to recover the statutory cap on non-economic damages (according to provisions contained in the Wrongful Death Act).

 

If a person dies as a result of the wrongful act of another, but the deceased is not survived by a spouse, children, or parents, Colorado courts hold that siblings of the deceased do not have standing to bring a wrongful death action. If the deceased is survived only by siblings, or other collateral relatives, no one has standing to pursue a wrongful death claim.

 

Wrongful death cases often involve very complicated factual and legal issues. Make sure that you work with an experienced attorney to help guide you through these issues. If you want to learn more about Colorado wrongful death laws in particular, check out the Handbook of Colorado Wrongful Death Law, which goes into depth on many of the most common wrongful death case components and issues.

 

Gregory R. Giometti & Associates, P.C., is one of the most experienced and skilled wrongful death law firms in Denver, Colorado. We literally wrote the book on wrongful death actions for the state. To learn more about our services, or to sit down and discuss your case with one of our experienced and personable wrongful death attorneys, please contact us to set up an appointment with one of our experienced Denver wrongful death attorneys.

 

 

Firm Overview

Gregory R. Giometti & Associates, P.C., is recognized as one of the top civil litigation firms in Colorado. Mr. Giometti and his associates are highly experienced trial attorneys who have conducted dozens of jury trials in both state and federal courts, mainly in Colorado, but also in Idaho, where Mr. Giometti is licensed as well. The focus of the firm’s practice is representation of insurance companies and their insureds in first and third-party claims.

Practice Areas

  • General Insurance Defense
  • Insurance Coverage Disputes – Declaratory Judgment Actions
  • Coverage Investigations – EUOs
  • Insurance Bad Faith Litigation – Statutory Bad Faith Cases
  • Disputed Property Insurance Claims – Hail Damage Claims – Appraisals
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation – UM/UIM Claims
  • Premises Liability Claims
  • Construction Defect Litigation
  • Fire & Explosion Cases
  • Ski Accident Litigation
  • Wrongful Death Actions
  • Expert Witness Services

Contact Us

  • Gregory R. Giometti & Associates P.C.
    50 South Steele Street
    Suite 480
    Denver, CO 80209
  • Telephone: 303-333-1957
    Fax: 303-377-3460