What You Should Know About Filing a Wrongful Death and Survivor Claim
When someone loses their life due to the negligence of another, the family members of the deceased may have legal rights to file a wrongful death and survival claim. These claims seek compensation for the financial and emotional damages caused by the wrongful death of the individual.
Wrongful Death Claim:
In a wrongful death claim, the surviving family members of the deceased individual can seek damages for the losses they have suffered as a result of the death. These damages can include medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of companionship and pain and suffering.
The following individuals are generally allowed to file a wrongful death claim:
- Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
- Children: The children of the deceased, including adopted children, can file a wrongful death claim.
- Parents: If the deceased was a minor child, the parents can file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased was an adult, the parents can file a claim if there are no surviving children or spouse.
- Siblings: If there is no surviving spouse, children or parents, the siblings of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
A survival claim is a claim brought on behalf of the deceased person’s estate for damages sustained before the person died. The estate may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering that the deceased person experienced prior to their death.
The following individuals can file a survival claim:
- Personal Representative: The person who is legally authorized by a court or by state law to act on behalf of the deceased individual or their estate.
- Beneficiaries: The beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate can file a survival claim if they have been designated to receive the proceeds of the estate.
It is important to note that the same person may be eligible to file both a wrongful death claim and a survival claim, depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, if a person is killed in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, the surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim, while the personal representative of the estate, who may also be the spouse, may file a survival claim.
Getting Help After Losing a Loved One
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, it is important to consult an experienced attorney who can help you determine whether you are eligible to file a wrongful death and/or survival claim. These claims can provide compensation for the financial and emotional losses you have suffered as a result of your loved one’s death and can help hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Contact the personal injury attorneys of Berger and Green for a free consultation.