Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death is defined as death caused by the wrongful actions of someone else. When a person dies because of the negligence of someone else, a wrongful death claim can be filed to pursue the damages resulting from the incident. If you are a legal representative of the deceased, you can also file a claim on their behalf after their passing. Although the death of one person can impact many different people, only certain people are entitled to file a wrongful death claim. Usually, this right is reserved for the people most affected — emotionally and financially — by the victim’s death.
Immediate Family — Spouses and Children
There are several different objectives in focus when a wrongful death claim is filed: To hold the defendant accountable for their negligence, to compensate a victim’s dependants for the loss of income resulting from the wrongful death, and to provide compensation for non-economic damages such as emotional distress.
In most cases, the deceased person’s spouse and children are the people who would most need compensation upon their death. Not only will the victim’s immediate family be immensely saddened by the passing of their spouse or parent, but these are the people who will be most financially impacted by their death.
Other Family Members
Not every person who passes away due to negligence has a spouse or children, and there are many other family structures that exist. It is possible for other family members to file a wrongful death claim.
Again, wrongful death claim eligibility often relies on financial dependence. If a person other than the victim’s spouse or children was financially dependent on them, that person may be able to file a wrongful death claim. This may include grandparents, siblings, nieces and nephews, and other loved ones. However, in cases in which the victim is unmarried, their parents often reserve the right to file a wrongful death claim even if they were not financially dependent on the victim.
Manager of the Deceased Person’s Estate
In some cases, the person who files a wrongful death claim is not related to the deceased person at all. The right to file a claim may go to whoever managed the deceased person’s estate, such as an attorney. This is more common in cases of older victims who have created a will.
We offer our condolences if your loved one has passed away due to the negligence of another person. At The Groth Law Firm, S.C., we understand that navigating a wrongful death claim can be confusing. Our legal team can guide you through the process of filing a claim and can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (414) 768-2727.