Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
When someone causes your loved one's death, you can sue them in a wrongful death suit. That someone can be a company, an individual, or a government agency. Whatever it is, any family member or dependent can sue them through a wrongful death lawsuit. The law differs through states, but the outcome is similar since it's the family or dependents who seek compensation. Let's check on what you are supposed to do in case you are facing such a situation.
When Is a Wrongful Death Suit Appropriate?
There are situations in which a wrongful death suit can arise. Such conditions include the below:
- When someone is intentionally killed: If your loved one gets killed deliberately by someone, you can file a wrongful death suit. You have to demonstrate that it was intentional.
- Car accidents due to negligence: When someone dies in an accident, and the investigation leads to the negligence of the driver or any other person in contact with the vehicle, the deceased’s family can sue for compensation.
- When a person dies as a result of medical malpractice: When your family member was hospitalized and received the wrong treatment and died, the family can sue the doctor or the hospital through a wrongful death suit.
The above are just the primary examples of what can cause a wrongful death suit. If there are any other related occurrences, you can contact a professional wrongful death lawyer who will investigate the case and check its viability.
Individuals Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death
Anybody affected by the death of the deceased can sue for a wrongful death depending on the state laws. The main people who can file for this claim include the following:
- The immediate family members: If you are an immediate family member, it is easy for you to file for a wrongful death suit. Such immediate families are always related by blood and include spouses, biological children, adopted children, and the deceased's parents.
- The extended family: Another group that can sue for a wrongful death suit is the extended family members if they depended on the deceased. Such members include brothers, sisters, siblings, and also grandparents. However, these groups of people need to show proof of dependency and are only allowed in some states.
- Financial dependents: In some states, people who depended on the deceased can file for a wrongful lawsuit. Such individuals include beneficiaries to sponsorships, putative spouses, and other people who used to get financial help.
- Life partners: If someone wasn't married but was attached to the deceased and depended on them, they have a right in somestates to file for a wrongful death suit. These include lovers and extra-marital marriage partners.
- Anyone who suffers financially: If you depend on someone financially and they happen to pass away due to someone's mistakes or negligence, you can sue the company or that individual.
- Dead fetus parents: When a fetus comes out alive and later dies due to doctors' negligence, the parents can sue the hospital for wrongful death. In this loss, these parents sue for financial and emotional damage caused by the fetus's death.
What Is Needed to Prove a Wrongful Death Suit?
A single person or a group of affected individuals can file a wrongful death suit. But they need to prove they are related to the deceased and that their death affected them. These damages must reflect the actual position that could have been provided by the dead if they were still alive. They include the following:
- Medical expenses, costs incurred in burial, and the funeral expenses
- Value of the forgone services
- Pain and injuries suffered by the deceased before passing away.
- The expected income of the deceased
- Loss of love, care, and general companionship
- Loss of inheritance from the deceased
While filing a wrongful death suit, you need to consult your attorney as some groups of people are immune to these suits. Such people include law enforcers andfederal agencies that are protected by the law. A reasonable attorney will ensure the case passes through trial and ensures you get compensated according to the law.
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