A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury suit in which a family member may sue an individual or entity that was somehow at fault for the death of their loved one. There are undoubtedly a number of questions you have about wrongful death claims. Read on, and you will discover a few answers to some commonly asked questions about them.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On A Wrongful Death Claim?
There is a finite amount of time for which you can sue someone for a wrongful death. Although the context in which the death occurred can determine this time frame, the general time frame for filing such a suit is two years. There are a number of provisions that can extend this time frame, such as the age of the person who was killed (in particular, the time frame may be extended if they are a minor), whether or not the person killed had a mental disability, and finally, whether or not the case involved some element of fraud. In some states, however, the statute of limitations can be as short as a year.
Who May File A Wrongful Death Suit?
Usually, the person or people involved in filing a wrongful death suit are the individual's immediate family. Often times, this person is the executor of the deceased's estate. In all fifty states, immediate family members have the legal right to sue for a wrongful death claim. There are also some contingencies made for other individuals in some states, including people who are considered a life partner, anyone who was financially dependent on the deceased, "putative spouses," or individuals who were not legally married to the deceased but, for all intents and purposes, essentially were, and in some cases, distant family members, if no immediate family exists.
Who Can Be Sued For A Wrongful Death Suit?
There are a number of people who might be sued for a wrongful death suit. Listed are a few examples of individuals or entities that can be sued if they played a role in a loved one's death. An individual who designed a roadway that was faulty or otherwise poorly designed, which played a salient role in your loved one's death can be sued. A government employee or agent who did not perform his or her instructed role in warning an individual about a road hazard which caused an accident that led to their death can be sued. Finally, but not exhaustively, an individual or institution that sold alcohol to an already impaired driver can be sued.
Check out law websites for additional reading on this topic.
After I got into an accident a few years ago, I realized that I needed to hire an attorney, and fast. I didn't know how to proceed through the course of the investigation by my insurance company, so I searched the area for a personal injury lawyer who could help. I was really impressed with how intelligent my lawyer was and how hard he worked to make things right with my case. After a few months, my lawsuit was settled, and I really felt like I couldn't have done it without him. This blog is all about understanding personal injury law and the benefits of working with a lawyer.