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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Victims of severe injuries from personal injury accidents, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), broken necks, and internal injuries, can experience enough harm to cause a life-threatening impact. These personal injury accidents like car, motorcycle, and truck accidents can cause wrongful death.

The surviving family members of the victim who passed away can experience economic and non-economic damages, as they will have to pay for funeral and burial costs and can suffer reduced quality of life.

Family members of the party who passed from a personal injury accident can file a wrongful death claim to pursue compensation for damages. Some family members that can file wrongful death claims include spouses, parents, guardians, and children. If your family member died because of another party’s negligence, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your opinions for pursuing wrongful death damages.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a civil action filed by surviving family members of someone who died to pursue compensation for damages caused by their death. Deaths that qualify for this civil action have to do with someone who was killed because of the negligence or recklessness of another party.

Most wrongful deaths have a criminal element, as the at-fault party may be held accountable for their harmful behavior by legal authorities. However, a wrongful death claim is a separate issue that has to do with pursuing compensation for damages. Family members of those that died unexpectedly can experience economic and non-economic damages, such as burial costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They can file a wrongful death claim to pursue compensation for these damages to pay for funeral services, the lost monetary support of the deceased family member, and any effect on the family’s quality of life.

What Can Cause a Wrongful Death?

Most wrongful deaths are caused by personal injury accidents that expose the victim to severe injury risk. Personal injury victims can experience severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), internal injuries, and spinal cord injuries that can have life-threatening consequences. They can experience overwhelming blood loss and destruction of vital organs that can cause a person to die.

Other personal injury incidents can also cause medical conditions like lung cancer, bacterial infections, and tuberculosis that can threaten someone’s life. These ordinarily occur because of defective products and medical errors from healthcare professionals.

The following are some personal injury accidents that can cause wrongful death:

Wrongful Death Claim Filed by Surviving Spouses

In most states, only one person can file a wrongful death claim to pursue compensation for damages for the family. This personal representative of the deceased’s estate is usually listed on their will or decided before their death. The personal representative can file and handle the wrongful death claim process to recover compensation for damages that all members of the family can receive. The personal representative can list all family members and dependents relying on this payment to ensure the whole family receives financial restitution.

The most common personal representative that can represent the family in a wrongful death claim is the deceased’s spouse. Their finances are tied to the deceased, and they have a bond through their marital union. Spouses can file a wrongful death claim to pursue compensation for non-economic damages due to their loss of comfort, companionship, and love.

Parents and Legal Guardians Can File Wrongful Death Claims

When a child or minor dies from a personal injury accident, their parent or legal guardian is the party likely to file the wrongful death claim. They are still legally responsible for the party who passed away and can represent the estate in the wrongful death claim.

The person who died has yet to build a family of their own with a spouse and children, leaving the parent or legal guardian as the personal representative of their estate. Parents can pursue compensation for the emotional trauma caused by their child’s death, their lost relationship with their child, and the lost future care and comfort provided by the child.

Wrongful Death Claims Filed by Children and Dependent Family Members

In some cases, the deceased may no longer have a spouse or parent to turn to as the personal representative of their estate. They may only have a relationship with their child as a single parent, meaning their child could be the personal representative to file the wrongful death claim. Children can pursue compensation for the loss of parental services and monetary support.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer to Help With a Wrongful Death Claim

It can be difficult for someone to pursue compensation for wrongful death damages without legal experience. They will be dealing with the emotional trauma of the death of a loved one at the same time they’re handling legal steps they have no experience with. The best way to recover compensation for wrongful death damages is to hire a personal injury lawyer.

They will have experience with the multiple steps required in a wrongful death claim. A personal injury lawyer can help you calculate damages, determine the at-fault party, collect evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement with the liable party’s insurance company. For help recovering compensatory damages, hire an experienced personal injury lawyer you trust.

Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Wrongful Death Claim

The personal injury lawyers at The Russo Firm have decades of experience helping family members of wrongful death pursue compensation for damages. We understand how family members of car accidents, medical malpractice, and Camp Lejeune toxic water victims can feel after their loved one suffers an unexpected death.

Our personal injury lawyer can collaborate with you to determine the best way to pursue wrongful death damages. We will respect the pain you are going through and only suggest strategies you are comfortable with. Contact us for a free wrongful death claim consultation today at (561) 270-0913, or leave a message on our online contact page.

Article written or reviewed by:

Attorney Anthony Russo

Attorney Anthony Russo

Managing Partner and Lawyer at The Russo Firm

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