When a person dies due to the negligence of another person or entity (such as a car manufacturer), the survivors are eligible for filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty. The lawsuit is filed to seek compensation and damages for the loss of survivors like funeral expenses, lost companionship, and loss of earnings and livelihood.
Wrongful Death Claim – An Overview
A wrongful death claim is given to the survivors of the deceased who dies because of the legal fault or negligence of another person. The right of filing a case for wrongful death may be a relatively new concept, but it helps individuals in getting a fair claim. The federal and state courts felt the need that the survivors of the dead person should get a fair amount of compensation for the loss. However, it is to be noted that the rules and regulations for wrongful death law may vary from one state to another. Hence, Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer can best help in getting a fair claim.
Claims for wrongful death involve different types of accidents including car accidents, product liability cases, and complicated medical malpractice. Governmental agencies, persons, and companies can be at fault and can be sued legally for negligence or for harming the other person intentionally.
Who is eligible for suing for the Wrongful Death of an individual?
A wrongful death claim can be filed either by a survivor or by a representative of the survivor who is suffering from the death of the deceased. Generally, they are termed as “real parties in interest”. However, it is to be noted that the “real parties in interest” may vary from one state to another. They connect with an expert Wrongful Death Lawyer and file a lawsuit against the party in guilty.
The people who usually file complaints for the wrongful death of the deceased include –
- Immediate members of the family – Immediate family members such as children, parents of unmarried children, or spouses can file for wrongful death claims in an effort to take an action against the accused.
- Putative spouses, life partners, and financial dependents – A life partner or a domestic partner who was dependent on the deceased financially have the right to file a complaint for wrongful death and demand a claim for the same.
- Distant family members – Brothers, grandparents, sisters, or any other distant family members are eligible for filing wrongful death lawsuits.
- All individuals suffering financially after the death of the individual – Persons that are likely to suffer financially from the wrongful death of the victim can file for a wrongful death claim. They lost support and care even if they weren’t related by marriage or blood to the deceased.
- Parents in case of a fetus’s death – In some states, the death of a fetus can be the basis for a wrongful death suit. In some states, parents can’t take any action for a wrongful death action of a fetus and recover the claim for emotional and financial losses that they have suffered due to the incident. In these states, the parents are allowed to file a claim for wrongful death action if the child died after birth.
Who can be sued for the victim’s Wrongful Death?
Lawsuits for wrongful death can be filed against multiple government agencies, persons, employees, and companies. Let’s assume that the victim died in a car accident due to a drunk driver and a faulty roadway, action for wrongful death could be taken against –
- the employer or driver at-fault
- a government agent that didn’t provide any adequate warnings related to a road hazard which was one of the causes of the accident
- the builder or designer due to faulty construction of the roadway
- the installer, manufacturer, or distributor of a dangerous or faulty vehicle part
Laws Stated For a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claim laws vary from one state to another. Some states allow only minor children or a surviving spouse of the deceased to file a case for wrongful death. Some states may allow extended relatives, siblings, distant family members, and adult children to file lawsuits for wrongful death. It should be noted that not all relatives can file lawsuits for wrongful death claims. They may need the help of a professional attorney who will represent them in court.
An experienced wrongful death attorney can help in filing and handling wrongful death cases. They make sure that their clients get a fair amount of claims as per the law. Besides, individuals have only a limited amount of period for filing a lawsuit and that varies from state to state. It may allow for a few exceptions which could extend the limitations.