Losing a loved one is among the most difficult experiences in life. The grief, pain, and anger that come with losing someone sets us on a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s even worse when the death was avoidable and caused by the negligence, recklessness, or wrongful act of another party.
In such situations, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. But who can file such a suit?
Here’s what you need to know.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim that a representative of the deceased person’s estate brings to hold the responsible party accountable for the death. The lawsuit seeks compensation for damages resulting from the death, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and loss of consortium. Wrongful death laws differ from state to state, but generally, the following parties can file a wrongful death lawsuit:
Immediate Family Members
Spouses, parents, and children of the deceased person are the primary beneficiaries of wrongful death suits. In some states, brothers, sisters, and grandparents can also file a wrongful death claim if the deceased had no immediate family members.
Personal Representative of the Deceased Person’s Estate
In cases where the deceased person did not have any immediate family members, or they have waived their rights to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative of the estate can take legal action on behalf of the estate.
Beneficiaries Named in the Deceased Person’s Will
In some instances, the person who died may have named certain individuals as beneficiaries of their will. Such individuals may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
However, it’s essential to note that the law regarding wrongful death suits can be complicated. In most cases, it’s best to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can help you understand the options available to you.
The attorney can also help determine the value of the wrongful death claim and advise you on the compensation you can receive. Some of the damages that the court may award include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of future earnings, loss of the deceased person’s companionship, and punitive damages.
Another important factor to consider is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In many states, you have a limited time to file a wrongful death suit after the death of your loved one. It’s crucial to consult with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney
The death of a loved one is a tragic event that nobody should have to experience. However, sometimes, it happens due to the negligence or intentional act of another party. If you believe your loved one’s death was avoidable, you may have a right to take legal action.
An experienced attorney can help you understand the legal process involved and advise you on the best course of action. With the right legal guidance, you can hold the responsible party accountable and seek justice for your loved one.
For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss whether or not you’re eligible to file a wrongful death suit in your situation, contact Shugarman & Mehring at 410.783.4200 or toll-free at 888.342.7200.