If you have unexpectedly lost a loved one in a fatal accident, you may be left with unexpected financial and emotional challenges during a difficult time. It is helpful for family members of loved ones lost in a fatal accident to be familiar with how wrongful death legal claims work.
The basics of wrongful death claims and relief for families of victims
Who can bring a wrongful death claim?
The personal representative for the estate of the lost loved one can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased loved one’s spouse; registered domestic partner or child (including stepchildren).
If there is no spouse, registered domestic partner or child, a wrongful death claim for damages can be brought on behalf of parents or siblings of the lost loved one.
What types of damages may be available for wrongful death?
Wrongful death damages can include a variety of different damages intended to help surviving family members. To begin with, damages can include economic damages such as medical, funeral and burial expenses.
They can also include compensation for the loss of companionship and care; damages for lost wages of the victim; damage to property; and pain and suffering damages. For children, loss of instruction and guidance, loss of companionship and pain and suffering damages may all be available.
A wrongful death claim for damages is a powerful tool to help hold negligent drivers accountable and secure damages surviving family members may need to help them at the time of their loss. Whenever negligence has resulted in a fatal accident, surviving family members should be familiar with wrongful death legal protections.