If your loved one died at the hands of another person or entity, it’s possible you’re entitled to wrongful death compensation. You may be suffering more than just the emotional pain that comes with a loved one passing away. It’s possible you relied on his or her job to pay the mortgage and take care of the kids. It’s possible you’re dealing with the real emotional loss of companionship. On top of that, you probably have funeral and burial expenses to take care of. The following is a basic overview of wrongful death lawsuits and how they could help.
Who Can Sue?
The surviving loved one who can sue in a case of wrongful death depends on the victim’s relationships and family situation. For example:
- Spouses of victims who were married have the primary responsibility to file a lawsuit. If the spouse doesn’t file, the children of the deceased can file.
- Parents of victims who were single with no children can file a lawsuit.
- If the victim was single with no children, and his or her parents were not alive, other close family members such as grandparents and siblings could file the suit.
- Depending on the state in which the victim lived when he or she passed away, domestic partners or “putative spouses” can often file, though some states do not offer this right.
There are other unique situations as well, so it’s important you speak with a wrongful death attorney to determine whether you could file a lawsuit if someone you depend on financially has passed away.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?
The damages sought in a wrongful death case will be unique in every situation. Some damages you may seek after the wrongful death of a loved one could include:
- Medical costs related to the death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of benefits
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of care
- Pain and suffering
Is There a Time Limit to File?
There is a statute of limitations in every state that puts a deadline on filing a wrongful death lawsuit. It’s different in each state, but in general, you’ll probably be looking at a two year window that begins on the day of the death, or when you discover there was wrongdoing that caused the death. There are always special circumstances, so it’s important you speak with your lawyer to understand when you should file.
Contacting a Lawyer to Get Started
If you lost a loved one because of the negligence of another person or entity, you are entitled to compensation. Contact a wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix, AZ today to get started with your case.
Thanks to Rispoli Law, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits.