Home Stories The 5 Parties Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

The 5 Parties Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful Death

Usually, when negligence causes injury to someone, the victim will file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. But wrongful death cases are different. Obviously, victims cannot take action. It is the surviving family’s responsibility to take action against the negligent party.

In a way, even the surviving family is a victim since they go through emotional trauma and financial hardships. You might think that there is no use in filing a wrongful death claim since it won’t bring the deceased back to life. But holding the negligent party accountable and sending a message that negligence will not go unpunished is important.

Wrongful death cases are more complex than other types of personal injury cases. You might need a wrongful death attorney to help you navigate the complex legal process and get you the compensation you deserve.

Before filing a claim, you must know the potential outcomes of the case. The damages you can recover in a wrongful death case include:

  1. Medical expenses
  2. Loss of financial support
  3. Loss of consortium
  4. Funeral expenses
  5. Emotional distress
  6. Punitive damages

These are losses that can be recovered in a wrongful death case. But who can recover it? Not everyone can file wrongful death cases. Only eligible people can file a lawsuit. The 5 eligible people who can file a claim are:

  1. Immediate family members
  2. Life partners and putative spouses
  3. Distant family members
  4. Anyone who suffers financially
  5. Parents of a dead fetus

Immediate Family Members

In all states, immediate family members can file a wrongful death case. The immediate family includes:

  • Spouse
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Adopted children

These 4 are considered immediate family and can file a lawsuit for wrongful death. Wrongful death lawyers can assist you in getting compensation if you are one of the immediate family members of the deceased. You can claim economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Life Partners and Putative Spouses

Life partners and putative spouses can file for compensation. A putative spouse is a person who has good faith belief that they were married to the victim. Life partners will go through the following losses:

  • Emotional stress
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of companionship
  • Funeral expenses

More than economic losses, life partners will suffer non-economic losses. The emotional stress they feel can be recovered as compensation.

Distant Family Members

 In some cases and in some states, distant family members can file a claim for wrongful death. The distant family members include:

  • Grandparents
  • Siblings
  • Uncle and aunts
  • Nephews and nieces

This can be applied if a particular distant family member was a legal guardian for the deceased. You can speak with your lawyer if you are a distant family member and are confused about whether you can file a claim or not. A lawyer can guide you and help you file a claim if you are eligible.

Anyone Who Suffers Financially

In some states, the person who is directly affected by the death of the victim is allowed to file a claim. The person should be financially dependent on the victim. Of course, people who are financially dependent on someone will be greatly affected when that person dies. So, they can claim compensation in the form of loss of financial support.

Parents of a dead fetus

A fetus is considered a living being in many states. The parent of a dead fetus can file a lawsuit if the death was caused by negligence. Medical malpractice is becoming very common in many states. Medical negligence can result in the death of the fetus. If you ever get into such a situation, speak with a lawyer immediately. Only they can help you.

Final Word

Death caused by negligence can be devastating. You will not be in a position to take action following such incidents, which is why you need to hire wrongful death lawyers. They can check whether you are eligible to file a claim and help you through the legal process. Remember, taking action against the negligent party is a necessity.

Felicia Wilson


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