Legal Action After the Wrongful Death of a Loved One

August 10, 2015

The death of a loved one can weigh heavy on a person’s heart. In some cases, the deceased leaves behind friends and family who may have depended on them for emotional or financial support. The loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another person or entity constitutes a wrongful death, and may therefore be the basis for a wrongful death suit.

Who can Make a Wrongful Death Claim?

The person, or persons, filing a wrongful death claim may do so through a representative, usually the deceased’s executor of estate. Some examples of people that may file a wrongful death suit are as follows:

  • Immediate family such as spouses, children, and parents of unwed children
  • Some states allow domestic or life partners and financial dependents to file
  • Distant relatives like grandparents or siblings are eligible to file in some states
  • In some states, any person who suffers a loss of financial support is allowed to file
  • Some states also allow parents of a deceased fetus to file a wrongful death claim. Other states only allow parents to file if the baby was born alive and died after.

Who Can I File a Wrongful Death Suit Against?

The people or entities you may file a wrongful death suit against can be anyone who carries some responsibility for the death. If your loved one was killed by a drunk driver for instance, the defendants might include the driver at fault, the person who served him/her too much alcohol, or even the owner of the place where they got drunk at.

What Kind of Damages Can be Sought?

Three different kinds of damages may be pursued in a wrongful death case: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Economic damages includes things like medical bills prior to the death, funeral expenses, loss of deceased’s projected lifetime earnings, pensions, benefits, etc.

Non-economic damages can be difficult to accurately calculate, particularly as they include things such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, love, companionship, nurturing, protection, etc.

Punitive damages are meant to act as punishment for particularly bad actions or negligence. These damages are sometimes not available in certain states or are not pursuable against certain entities such as government agencies.

Wrongful death suits are usually very complicated and emotional which makes hiring a lawyer imperative. Attorney McBride understands your pain and he wants, more than anything, to get you what you need to continue living after the death of your loved one.

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