Understanding wrongful death claims
When a person passes away, it can be devastating for the family members left behind. If their loved one’s death was caused by another person’s actions, the family members may want to file a wrongful death suit against him or her.
The claim must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate on behalf of the spouse, children or parents of the deceased person or on behalf of the blood relatives or adopted siblings who were financially dependent on the deceased person.
There are several damages that may be available to the claimant. These include compensation for the loss of support and services, loss of companionship and protection and the pain and suffering the person experienced before death.
Even if the person did not hold a formal job, damages may still be available for the contributions he or she made to the family. This may apply in situations where a spouse was a stay-at-home husband or wife and provided services and nurturing to the family, for example. If the deceased person had children, the damages may include compensation for lost parental instruction and guidance.
The estate may be entitled to claim loss of earnings, medical and funeral expenses for the deceased person and others. Damages may also be available for the wrongful death of a child or elderly person, however these awards may be more limited.
It’s important that wrongful death claims are filed in a timely manner. An experienced attorney can help families with their questions and provide representation to ensure they receive the compensation they are entitled to.