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The Parties Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil cause of action brought by family members and dependents against individuals who knowingly or negligently cause the death of another person.

Losing a loved one can be heartbreaking. Hiring wrongful death attorneys can guarantee that you and your loved one get the justice you deserve without any painful or unnecessary delays.

Examples of wrongful death

Any death where a person died through the fault or negligence of another person can be considered a wrongful death. Here are a few examples to provide clarity:

  • A pedestrian who is run over by a drunk driver Seeking legal assistance from DUI lawyers in Tulsa can be crucial in ensuring that justice is served and that the responsible party is held accountable.
  • A patient who dies due to the error of the surgeon in charge (that would normally not happen).
  • A construction worker who dies due to the inadequate safety measures implemented by the contractor.

Parties eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit

When someone dies, there may be people who are dependent on them financially. These people are entitled to compensation for this loss. The amount they’re paid depends on the nature of their case and which state laws apply.

Wrongful death suits can be filed by:

  1. Immediate family members, including spouses, children, or parents
  2. Distant relatives like uncles or nephews
  3. Anybody who’s dependent on them, even if the person isn't related to them by blood or marriage.

There can only be one wrongful death lawsuit per person. If more than one person files a lawsuit, they will be combined by the court and considered one case.

If the victim has a will in place at the time of death, it comes into effect. The executor of the person’s will is required to carry it out and fight the wrongful death lawsuit.

There is a statute of limitations for filing wrongful death suits, which is 2 years for most states.

Who can you sue for a wrongful death?

Anyone who causes the death of another person, willfully or otherwise, can be sued. This includes:

  • Drivers for negligence or dangerous driving
  • Doctors for medical malpractice
  • Private property owners for dangerous premises
  • Manufacturers of defective products
  • Governments for failing to maintain a road or a public place

Damages owed to the survivors

Typically, the point of a wrongful death suit is to provide compensation to the survivors, so it includes:

  • Medical costs for the deceased (while they were alive)
  • Funeral costs for the deceased
  • Pain suffered by the deceased’s family due to their death
  • Loss of lifetime income deceased
  • Loss of services provided by the deceased

Wrongful death lawsuit statistics

Wrongful death lawsuit statistics

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  • An estimated 200,000 people died in 2023 due to accidental injuries.
  • It can take anywhere between a few months to a few years to reach a settlement.
  • Every year, over 90,000 people die due to medical malpractice alone.
  • Most wrongful death lawsuits are awarded anywhere between $500,000 and $1 million in settlements.

The death of a loved one can be life-altering. Having to fight a lawsuit on top of that can be exhausting. Do yourself a favor and hire a wrongful death attorney to help you through the process.

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