Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging things we could ever go through. It is even more devastating if the cause of death was due to the negligence of another party. Wrongful death lawsuits aim to provide compensation for the surviving family and dependents of the deceased. However, not everyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
1. Family Members:
Surviving family members or dependents of the deceased are typically the only ones eligible to file wrongful death claims in the majority of states. These may include a surviving spouse, children, or parents. In some states, siblings and grandparents may also be eligible to file suit. If you are not the spouse, child, or parent of the deceased, consult a wrongful death attorney to determine your eligibility.
2. Personal Representative:
If the deceased did not leave behind surviving family members or dependents, a personal representative may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased's estate. A personal representative is usually an administrator or executor appointed by the court to manage the deceased's affairs. They may file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover losses incurred by the estate, such as funeral and burial expenses.
3. Domestic Partners and Life Companion:
If the deceased was in a committed relationship with a domestic partner, they may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In some states, the definition of a domestic partner includes couples of the same sex. If the deceased lived with a life companion who was not married to them, this person may also be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
4. Other Eligible Parties:
In some states, others may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This may include financial dependents or any person financially supported by the deceased, such as a stepchild or a foster child. If the deceased was an unmarried adult and did not have children or dependents, their parents may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
5. Time Limit to File:
It is essential to note that there is a time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The time limit, known as the statute of limitations, varies from state to state and ranges from one to three years. In most states, the statute of limitations begins from the date of death. If you fail to file suit within the statute of limitations, you may permanently lose your right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
South Jersey Wrongful Death Attorneys
Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience, and understanding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit can be overwhelming. Consulting with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney, such as Rosner Law Offices, P.C., can provide you with the guidance and support you need during this challenging time. Contact us at (856) 502-1655 today to get started.