What Are You Entitled to After a Wrongful Death?
While dealing with a personal injury caused by another party’s negligence can be frustrating enough as it is, dealing with a death that results from a personal injury can be devastating. That said, it’s possible the death (as well as the time preceding it) triggered a number of unexpected financial costs. You may wonder, “what damages are recoverable after a wrongful death?”
Are You Entitled to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
First, it’s important to know whether you can even receive damages as the result of a wrongful death. Depending on your state, there could be limits on which family members are allowed to raise a wrongful death claim. Usually, you have to be the spouse, child or parent of the deceased to bring a claim for damages. Additionally, you can be the adoptive sibling or blood relative of the deceased who was financially dependent on the deceased for services or support.
What Type of Damages Can You Legally Claim?
Once you’ve established whether you can file a wrongful death claim, it’s best to next determine the type of damages you should pursue. You can pursue the cost of the funeral and burial, as well as any medical costs incurred before the person’s passing. The deceased may have provided financially for a family, finances the family no longer has access to. Additionally, the deceased is no longer available to raise the family she or he left behind, guide and advise children or offer an inheritance. For spouses, they can claim a loss of comfort, love, moral support and more.
The party responsible for the wrongful death can be hit with punitive damages, too. Pursuing this route is common when the other party demonstrated a degree of negligence. With punitive damages, the goal is to deter other public and private citizens and businesses from showing similar negligence brought about by wrongful actions or malicious activities.
Statute of Limitations
While grieving, the deceased’s loved ones may be too emotionally distraught to think about taking legal action against the responsible party. This is entirely understandable, but one thing to bear in mind here is that there is a statute of limitations (essentially, a time limit) when it comes to wrongful death cases. That time limit depends on the state, but it’s best to take legal action as quickly as possible.
Do you think you have a wrongful death claim? Contact a lawyer to examine your situation and get answers to any questions you may have.