The sudden death of a loved one is a devastating experience. If you lost a loved one in an accident, you may be wondering if you can pursue legal action. Some accidents that end in death are categorized as wrongful deaths. A wrongful death occurs when a person dies because of negligence or misconduct of another person or entity. Surviving family members may be able to sue if a wrongful death occurred. A wrongful death lawsuit is designed to award compensation to survivors. This compensation may cover things like the deceased's individuals lost wages, funeral expenses and companionship related losses. If you believe your loved one's death falls into the wrongful death category, you should be aware of your legal options.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claims can be filed by survivors who suffer loss or damage due to their loved one's death. If you fall into one of the categories below, you may be able to file a claim:
If you are an immediate family member of your deceased loved one, you can file a suit no matter what state you live in. Immediate family members are spouses and children.
In some states, distant family members are able to file suits. If you are the sibling or grandparent of your deceased family member, you fall into this category.
Domestic partners and financially dependent partners are sometimes able to file suits. If you fall into this category, look into your state laws to determine what action you can take.
In certain situations, a non-relative can file a wrongful death suit. This can happen if the non-relative suffers financially because of the death that occurred.
Even if you do not fall into one of these categories, you still may be able to file a suit. Look up wrongful death suit laws in your state or consult a personal injury attorney.
Assistance With Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
It may be difficult for you to understand the laws surrounding wrongful death claims. As you are grieving, you may feel like postponing filing a claim. Unfortunately, wrongful death cases are subjected to statutes of limitation. If you do not file within a certain time frame, you lose your chance to seek financial compensation. To properly navigate the claim filing process, consider getting assistance from a wrongful death lawyer. This type of lawyer can help you through the process. He or she will determine if your loved one's death can be considered a wrongful death. You can then work with your lawyer to seek monetary damages that you are legally entitled to.