Pursing a wrongful death lawsuit can be challenging when you are dealing with the emotion of having lost a loved one and having to pursue legal action at the same time. When it comes to a wrongful death lawsuit, there are a few things you should know.
#1: Who Can File
There is not a federal standard for who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit is set by each state.
In general, for an adult who passed away, you must be the person's spouse, heir, or a designated beneficiary of the deceased. In some states, only certain people can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the first year, and the second year after the death, a wider number of related or associated parties can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased in question is a child, then the parents can file the claim.
It is best to check with a lawyer to see if you can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased in your state.
#2: Statute of Limitations
Once again, the statute of limits is set by each state for a wrongful death lawsuit. It is essential to keep in mind that in many statutes, the time is short. You only have a couple of years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, so if you believe you should take legal action on behalf of the deceased, it is best to start the legal process immediately, even if you are still mourning your loved one's death.
#3: Damaged Claimed
In most states, there are five primary categories one can file a wrongful death lawsuit under. First, they can ask for damage to cover all the medical bills related to the illness or injury that resulted in the death of the deceased. Second, they can ask for money to cover or reimburse all expenses associated with the deceased burial and funeral. Third, one can ask for pain and suffering damages, which are capped at a certain amount in most states. Fourth, they can ask for loss of emotional support and companionship, which are also capped damages in many states. Finally, they can sue for the loss of the deceased income as well as services. For example, a stay-at-home parent may not have an income, but to replace their services would be costly for a family.
With a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to have a close family or legal relationship with the deceased to file the lawsuit. You have limited time to get your lawsuit filed, which is why immediate action is important. Some damages will have caps, and others will be based on actual bills and calculations. You need a wrongful death attorney to help you walk through the process.
Contact a company like Wallace Firm to learn more.