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Wrongful Death Lawsuit and Who Can File a Claim

Experienced Attorney

Wrongful death occurs when a loved one dies due to the negligence of another person or entity. A wrongful death claim is meant to compensate the surviving loved ones for both financial and emotional losses that were a result of the death. If you’re the surviving loved one of someone who has passed away due to the negligence of another, you may wonder if you are entitled to a claim. The following explains who can file and receive compensation.

Immediate Family Members

If the individual who died was married, the spouse would typically be the one to file the lawsuit. He or she could seek damages for lost wages, medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of consortium and more. If the individual does not have a living spouse but does have children, those children can file the lawsuit, including adopted children. Supposing the deceased did not have any living spouses or children, a parent can file the lawsuit.

Distant Family Members

If there are no immediate family members, other individuals close to the deceased may file a lawsuit. This could include siblings and grandparents. Depending on the closeness of the relationships and social circumstances, these individuals could seek similar damages to those of immediate family members. For example, if a special-needs sibling relied on the deceased for care, he or she could seek lost wages and loss of protection.

Domestic Partners

Each state varies on this aspect of wrongful death. There are some that allow domestic or life partners to file a suit, and there are other states that do not allow it. It’s important you understand the laws in your state so you can receive proper compensation if you are a domestic partner of the deceased.

Financial Dependants

Again, this varies by state, but there are some that allow other financial dependants to receive compensation following a wrongful death. This could include a disabled friend who was staying with the deceased, a niece or nephew who lived with the victim or other similar individuals.

Parents of a Deceased Fetus

Depending on the state in which you live, parents of a fetus who died while in the womb can file for wrongful death. Damages sought could include pain and suffering, as well as funeral expenses. While this is the case in some states, others require the baby be born alive and die shortly after in order for the parents to have a claim.

Learning More

Wrongful death claims can be complex if you have never dealt with them before. To learn more, or to get assistance in getting started, contact a wrongful death attorney, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer, in  Lakewood FL, today.

Thank you to the experts at David & Philpot, P.L., for their contributions to wrongful death law. 

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