When a loved one has died because of the carelessness or negligence of another person, you can be uncertain about whether you want to go through the process of filing a wrongful death claim. The legal process can be physically and emotionally exhausting, and legal action relating to the death of a family member can be painful, and no amount of money can bring your loved one back. But you have a right to hold others accountable when their actions unnecessarily lead to the death of a breadwinner and companion.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Action?
Wrongful death actions are governed by statute in most states. As a general rule, a party filing a wrongful death lawsuit must have suffered some type of loss because of the death.
- Every state allows immediate family members to seek damages after an accidental death. This includes children, spouses and parents of unmarried children
- Unmarried partners—In a limited number of states, a life or domestic partner may seek compensation for the death of a loved one
- Other family members—A few states allow siblings to seek compensation for wrongful death. Grandparents are typically prohibited from pursuing damages for the death of a grandchild unless they were raising the child
- A small number of states allow any party that has suffered financial losses to seek compensation after a wrongful death
- The states are split on whether parents may file a wrongful death action for the death of an unborn fetus
What Types of Damages are Available in a Wrongful Death Action?
In wrongful death claims, as with all personal injury lawsuits, damages take three forms: economic, non-economic and punitive damages. Economic damages are generally those that cover easily identifiable losses, such as the loss of support that would have been provided, funeral expenses, and any medical expenses the deceased incurred before death. Non-economic damages include losses that are not as easily calculated, such loss of companionship or consortium, mental pain and suffering, and loss of guidance or nurturing from a parent.
Contact Michael Dennin Today
Recovering full and fair compensation for injuries suffered in an auto accident can be time-consuming and difficult, especially when you have to work with insurance companies. You are best-served to hire a professional. For an appointment, contact us online or call us at 856-665-5709. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation.