A wrongful death lawsuit provides an opportunity for
surviving relatives to file a claim if a loved one’s death was the result
of a negligent act by another party. Car accidents, accidents involving
drunk drivers, construction site accidents and product
liability accidents can all result in a wrongful death claim. If the
defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing death, the
plaintiff may be able to recover compensation.
To avoid any potential problems with the statute of limitations when filing your claim, be sure to
see your lawyer well in advance of the two year anniversary of the injury.
Who Can File A Claim?
There are typically two separate parts of a wrongful death claim, the
“wrongful death action” and the “survival action.” The wrongful
death aspect of a claim is the action brought on behalf of the qualified
heirs for the death of a family member. The action can only be brought on
behalf of a spouse, children or parents of the deceased. The “survival
action” can be brought by the personal representative of the deceased’s
estate on behalf of the heirs of the estate. This action is the claim that
the deceased would have had for his or her own personal injuries. Any
recovery or settlement on this action passes to the heirs through the estate
and is subject to inheritance tax.
What Can I Recover?
The items of damages recoverable depend on whether the claim is for a
wrongful death action or a survival action.
Under the wrongful death action you could recover the following:
In the survival
action, the following can be recoverable:
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