Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In a fast-paced modern world, fatal accidents occur all too often. These deaths, in turn, lead to financial suffering for the families of those who pass away prematurely. Fortunately, grieving families may be able to seek justice through the use of a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you have lost a loved one as a result of an accident caused by someone else's negligent actions, filing a personal injury lawsuit could provide a way for you to seek compensation. A local lawyer can help you determine whether you have an actionable wrongful death claim.

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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Since the deceased can no longer pursue their own legal rights, wrongful death claims must be pursued by someone else on their behalf. Typically, these interested parties must prove that they suffered harm as a result of the wrongful death.

A common concern of prospective filers of a wrongful death lawsuit is who, exactly, qualifies as an interested party. The types of people below typically qualify as someone who may pursue a wrongful death claim:

  • Immediate family: Members of the immediate family include spouses, children, and potentially parents of unmarried children.
  • Parents of a fetus: In a few states, the death of a fetus due to negligent medical care may give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit. In such a case, the child usually must be born alive before it passes away.
  • Life partners: Again, this only applies in a few states, but sometimes a domestic or life partner can recover under a wrongful death claim if they were financially dependent on the deceased.
  • Extended family: Some states will allow recovery for family members such as grandparents and siblings, especially if they were a guardian of a child that has passed away.

As the list above suggests, parties that file wrongful death claims on behalf of an individual who has passed away are typically close family members, though there are a few exceptions.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Basics

Wrongful death claims can be filed for a number of reasons. These may include:

  • Car accidents
  • On-the-job injuries
  • Negligence of an employer or place of business
  • Medical malpractice
  • Deaths from faulty products
  • Death caused by criminal acts

These are only a few of the numerous types of injuries that may lead to a valid wrongful death lawsuit. Of course, the individual's death must have been a result of the faulty actions of another party in addition to other elements that must be met.

In addition, it is important to remember that many wrongful death claims are subject to time limitations. So, if your loved one is killed in a car accident by a negligent driver, there may be a limited amount of time in which you may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

This time limit, known as the statute of limitations, varies by state. Complete the free form on this page to speak with a local attorney today to learn more about your legal rights under your states' laws.

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