What Is Wrongful Death and Who Qualifies for Compensation?

When someone in your family dies, there are many ways that this impacts you. Not only are you deprived of the love and comfort of that person in your life, but you are also often deprived of the income they brought into the family. This can affect your way of life and put you into a grave hardship during your time of grief. Depending on the circumstances of the death of your loved one, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. If you or someone you know has been affected by the wrongful death of someone you love, seek the help of a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney, like a wrongful death attorney in Lakeland, FL, today. 

What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death claims are charged against a defendant who has caused the death of someone else — either intentionally or through negligence. The purpose of these claims is to allow the estate, heirs, or other close family members to recover from the loss of someone they love. Some of the most common examples of wrongful death include:

  • Car accidents
  • Construction site deaths
  • Deaths due to defective products or warning labels
  • Deaths that occur at work
  • Homicide
  • Medical negligence
  • Pharmaceutical negligence
  • Nursing home malpractice

Who May Qualify for Compensation

A wrongful death claim must be filed by persons who are considered “real parties in interest.” This is a person who represents the survivors who suffer damage from the death of their loved one. This person is generally the executor of the estate of the deceased person. Other people who may fall under the “real parties in interest” category can vary from state to state. Some examples of these people may include:

  • Distant family members
  • Anyone who suffers financially as a result of the loss
  • Immediate family members
  • Domestic partners
  • Dependants or “spouses in good faith”

What If a Driver Causes Wrongful Death?

Most insurance policies are written to exclude liability for punitive damages. That means that the insurer is not responsible for paying on behalf of the insured. If a case is brought against the driver who caused the death, however, they may be personally responsible for punitive damages if the case is won. This also assumes that the driver has enough assets to cover the costs of the payments. When it comes to punitive damages, you’ll want an experienced attorney to advise you on your case.

Seek an Attorney for Help

In any period of grief, it’s difficult to make decisions. When dealing with the death of someone you loved and cared for, you need the support of an experienced professional to help represent your best interests.
Thanks to David & Philpot, PL for their insight into what wrongful death is and who qualifies for compensation in a wrongful death suit.