A wrongful death claim can be brought when someone dies because of a negligent or wrongful action of another. A wrongful death suit may be brought by the surviving beneficiaries or dependents of a deceased victim. This typically includes the victim's spouse and children. Wrongful death lawsuits seek monetary compensation for the survivor’s loss such as loss of companionship, funeral costs, and future lost wages of the deceased.
Wrongful death claims often involve deadly accidents that occur as a result of car accidents, medical malpractice, negligence of a person which causes the death of another, or a death that occurs from a manufacturer’s defective products.
A wrongful death claim may arise out of a number of different situations:
Each state has its own statute of limitations within which the wrongful death lawsuit must be filed:
The deadline starts to run from the time of the victim's death, but occasionally, if the cause of death is not discovered until later, a court may allow the statute of limitations to being running from the date of discovery. This is called Tolling the Statute of Limitations.
In wrongful death suit, the representative of the estate who has suffered some type of damage as a result of the descendant’s death must file the claim. These people include:
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the survivors bring a claim that the victim's death was a result of the defendant's conduct. In order to prevail on a wrongful death claim, the survivors must show:
The types of damages that are recoverable by the proper parties bringing a wrongful death claim may be:
The damage awards in a wrongful death action belong to the estate of the decedent and may pass to different parties depending on the decedent's will.
If your loved one died due to the actions of another, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer immediately to learn more about preserving your rights and remedies. The statute of limitation deadlines are strict, and a valid claim may be denied if the lawsuit is brought even one day late. A lawyer will be able to explain the value of your case and help you navigate through the complicated legal process.
Last Modified: 07-28-2015 04:56 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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