How to File a Wrongful Death Claim
When someone you know and love dies because of another party’s negligent and reckless behavior, the surviving family members may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim against that party.
Filing a wrongful death claim will allow family members to collect damages for their loved one’s untimely death.
The amount of compensation money the surviving family members receive due to the wrongful death of a loved one, will be determined in a civil court action.
What Is a Legally Supportable Reason to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Filing a wrongful death claim requires grounds.
If the family of the deceased person were directly impacted emotionally and financially due to his death of someone else’s negligence, that’s enough for a civil court to grant you compensation.
In order to be successful in this type of lawsuit, surviving family members but establish two things:
- Prove to the court that their loved one’s death was, in fact, caused by the other party’s negligence and reckless behavior and not because of his own actions.
- The surviving family members must also show proof that they’ve suffered damages due to their loved one’s untimely death.
Death caused by an automobile accident, medical malpractice, an unlawful act that occurred during the crime, or a work-related accident are all common grounds for wrongful death lawsuits.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
State laws dictate who can file a wrongful death claim, but surviving spouses and children can file in all states.
Some states allow extended family members, including grandparents and siblings, to file.
Family Members Must Open a Probate Estate
In order for family members to sue on behalf of their deceased loved one, they must open a probate estate.
If the deceased party had any underage children, the court may require that a guardian be appointed responsibility.
What Damages Can The Family Collect From a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are several types of damages surviving family members can collect after they have established in court that their loved one’s death was due to a wrongful act, such as:
- Expenses to cover burial and medical bills
- Any remaining wages their loved one would have earned had he lived his normal life expectancy
- Compensation for the pain and suffering endured by the surviving family members
- Damages that are intended to punish the person who caused the death
But depending on which state you reside in, you may not be eligible to receive punitive damages.
Each state has their own statute of limitations on how long you can wait to file a wrongful death claim.
If you wait until after the statute to file, you may not be able to do so.
Let an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Help
Don’t wait to consult with a locally experienced wrongful death attorney to help you understand your legal rights, and to do determine if you should pursue a lawsuit.
Call the Alvarez Law Office to schedule a free consultation about your wrongful death claim.