Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Suddenly losing a loved one in an accident brings immediate grief, but the fallout in the following months is often much greater. Surviving family members must process their emotions regarding their loss while facing difficult financial realities. Losing the victim’s financial and practical support can make getting life back on track feel like an impossible task.

An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you and your family protect your legal rights after losing a loved one. Contact a wrongful death lawyer in Indiana if you have lost someone in an accident, as you might be able to file a wrongful death claim to seek financial recovery and justice.

What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal remedy available to certain surviving family members who have lost a loved one because of another person or entity’s negligence. Like other types of civil lawsuits, pursuing a case in court can feel overwhelming if you don’t get professional help. Even knowing whether you have legal standing to file a case can be challenging, as state laws are complicated.

A wrongful death lawyer can determine your rights to compensation after suffering a loss and begin handling the process if you are eligible to file a claim.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

State laws differ on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Typically, only close family members have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. Consult an attorney to discover your right to file.

Examples of family members who commonly have the right to recover after a wrongful death include the following:

  • The victim’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • The deceased’s surviving children
  • The victim’s parents (if the victim was a child)
  • If none of the above plaintiffs are available, the victim’s next of kin can file a lawsuit.
  • The victim’s personal representative or executor of their estate

Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful Death Claim Form

An accident that causes the victim’s death can potentially be the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit. Some of the most common types of wrongful death lawsuits include the following:

  • Construction site and other workplace accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Birth injuries and medical malpractice
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Car accidents

What if My Loved One Did Not Die Immediately After the Accident?

You and your family still have a legal claim for wrongful death even if your loved one did not immediately die after the accident. While some accidents are severe enough to cause mortal injuries, victims can live for days, weeks, or months before succumbing to their injuries.

If you suspect that another’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, it is best to work with an experienced attorney. Your attorney can help investigate the cause of the deceased’s death and gather evidence that helps connect their death to the defendant’s negligent actions.

survival action might be appropriate in cases where a victim’s death is prolonged. The longer a victim suffers from their injuries, the more losses that they incur. The surviving family members can prove that their victim suffered significant medical expenses, lost income, etc.

What is a Survival Action?

The family of the deceased might have the right to pursue a survival action. A survival action is a legal claim brought by the deceased’s estate to recover for the losses the victim suffered before their death. Survival actions are available if the victim would have had a legal cause of action had they survived the accident. The victim’s family can pursue the victim’s medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Claim?

The damages available in a wrongful death case depend on state law. Some states limit the amount of damages available for wrongful death plaintiffs. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you understand your right to compensation after a loss.

Courts award damages in wrongful death cases in hopes of compensating the victim’s family for the losses they incurred from losing their loved one. Examples of common wrongful death damages include the following:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial or cremation costs
  • The value of the victim’s lost income and any lost inheritance
  • Loss of consortium if the victim was married at the time of their death
  • Lost guidance for the victim’s children or dependents
  • Emotional anguish

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Case?

File Wrongful Death lawsuit

In wrongful death cases, plaintiffs do not have unlimited time to file a lawsuit. State laws impose a statute of limitations for filing civil actions in court. A statute of limitations is a deadline to file a lawsuit. Plaintiffs who miss the statute of limitations deadline lose their right to file a lawsuit for damages.

Wrongful death laws vary by state; however, most states give plaintiffs two years from the date of the deceased’s death to file a lawsuit.

How Can a Wrongful Death Attorney Help Me?

An experienced wrongful death accident lawyer can help your family protect your right to recover financially after a wrongful death accident. Wrongful death is a complex area of the law, so having an attorney working on your family’s behalf can make all the difference when pursuing compensation.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you build your case to have the best chance of financial recovery. An attorney can help you collect relevant evidence that can help prove your case, such as medical records, accident reports, and other pertinent evidence.

Your legal team can answer your questions. After facing a sudden and significant loss, you will likely be overwhelmed with tons of questions about how to care for your family and ensure that justice is served. Having an attorney available to answer your legal questions can ease some of the burden in the aftermath of the wrongful death.

Overall, having a wrongful death attorney working for you means you can avoid the stress of the legal side of your recovery so you and your family can focus on each other.

Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one because of a person or entity’s negligence amplifies the pain of the loss. You and your family deserve to hold everyone responsible for the accident accountable. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Indiana can help you and your family recover the financial compensation that you need to continue healing after your loss.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!

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