If you have lost someone you love due to the negligence and liability of another entity or person, you may be entitled to commence a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death claim will usually seek compensation for your loss, such as the lost wages of the deceased, or the funeral expenses. Here is an overview of what wrongful death claims are, who is entitled to sue and the compensation that could be recovered.
Meaning of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is when an individual dies due to the wrongdoing or negligence of someone else. It could be a murder, a medical procedure gone wrong, or an accident. Companies, people, manufacturers, and government entities can be held legally responsible if they acted negligently and caused another individual to die.
Individuals Entitled to Sue
A wrongful death claim needs to be brought by a survivor or their legal counsel. The executor of the deceased's estate can also bring a lawsuit on behalf of the family and survivors. While each state has their own rules as to who can file, most states include the following individuals:
- Immediate family members. In all states, immediate family members can sue for wrongful death. This includes spouses, parents and children. In some states, life partners or financial dependents can file for wrongful death.
- Distant family. In some states, distant relatives like grandparents and siblings, can file for wrongful death.
Entities and Persons Who Can be Sued
Wrongful death claims can be brought against a number of different persons, entities, companies, municipalities and government agencies, and employees, such as:
- The builder of a defective highway or roadway
- The driver at fault in a car accident
- The employer of a driver at fault in a car accident (in instances when the driver was driving the car while on duty for the employer)
- The government agency or municipality who did not provide the necessary warnings to warn a driver of a hazard and eventually caused the accident and death of the deceased
- The doctor, hospital or clinic that was involved in a faulty medical procedure that ultimately caused the demise of your loved one
- The distributor, manufacturer, or the individual who installed a defective part of the vehicle the deceased was in at the time of their death, or the vehicle the other driver who caused the accident was in
- The distributor, manufacturer, or the individual who installed a defective part of a piece of machinery that ultimately caused the death of your loved one
If you are considering filing a wrongful death claim, it's best to sit down with an experienced wrongful death attorney like those at the Law Offices of Anthony L Coviello LLC to get a better understanding of the laws in your state and how they pertain to your particular circumstance.