Wrongful Death Claims
You may have heard that the loved ones of someone who was killed by another person’s actions can file a lawsuit against the responsible party. This type of lawsuit is called a wrongful death claim. If you find yourself in this situation, it is natural to desire some form of compensation for your losses. Wrongful death lawsuits are designed specifically to achieve this. However, not everyone can file this kind of lawsuit. Only people with a certain kind of relationship to the victim can file the lawsuit. This limitation is determined primarily by the state you live in. Certain states allow certain people to file. Determining if you are eligible to file should be the first thing you do, either through your own research or by speaking with a wrongful death attorney.
Who Can Always File?
First things first, there is a shortlist of individuals who can file regardless of the state. The laws in each and every state allow these people to file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Spouses of the victim
- Minor children of the victim
- Parents of a minor victim
If you fall into one of these categories, you can immediately start examining the possibility of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Remember, the very first step you should take is to speak with an attorney who specializes in wrongful death to learn more.
Who Can Sometimes File?
If your relationship with the victim was not among those listed above, then you may or may not be allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. All of these individuals are only allowed to file in certain US states:
- Adult children of the victim
- Parents of an adult victim
- Extended family of the victim
- Siblings of the victim
Some of these are allowed in many states, while others are only allowed in a small number. Before you can look into the process of filing, you need to determine whether you are eligible or not. If you find out that you are not, you may be able to join with a family member who is eligible in bringing the claim forward.
It is common for attorneys in these kinds of cases to accept no payment until the case is won. This means you should feel comfortable hiring an attorney you are confident in, like a wrongful death lawyer in Bloomington, IL, regardless of what your financial situation is like. The law allows individuals to seek justice and compensation for the death of their loved ones and takes these matters very seriously.
Thank you to Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into wrongful death law.