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Posted by Brian on Aug 12, 2016

An Overview of Wrongful Death Lawsuit

When someone suddenly dies due to the fault of another person, the people they leave behind has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the people responsible for the death of their loved one. Filing such kind of case is an entirely new concept. Common law did not allow the relatives of the deceased to recover damages from wrongful death. However, that has changed as every state now has some kind of wrongful death law.

According to the website of Abel Law Firm, wrongful death results to overwhelming grief, shock, and anxiety for the surviving family members. A wrongful death lawsuit involves all kinds of fatal accidents from a simple car accident to medical malpractice and product liability. Individuals, businesses, and government agencies can be held liable for their negligence or for their intentional acts.

Depending on the state, a wrongful death claim can be filed by a representative on behalf of the survivors. In legal parlance, they are called as the “real parties in interest.” They may be any of the following:

Immediate family members. It could be the spouse or children as well as parents of unmarried children.

Life partners, financial dependents, and putative spouses. In some states, the domestic or life partner, those who are financially dependent on the deceased, and a “putative spouse” (one who believes in good faith that they were married to the victim) can recover damages.

Distant family members. In some states, distant family members such as brothers, sisters, and grandparents can file for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Persons who will suffer financially. In some states, people who will suffer financially as a result of death can file a wrongful death action.

Damages that can be collected from a wrongful death claim include the pre-death pain and suffering of the deceased, the medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, the deceased person’s expected income, loss of inheritance, the value of services the deceased would have provided.

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