Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
State statutes dictate who is eligible to recover compensation
State laws spell out who has a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover damages in relation to a specific person’s death. Generally, immediate family members are eligible to recover damages (including spouses, children, and parents of the deceased). Also, some states allow other members of an extended family to recover damages, including grandparents or legal dependents.
The laws relating to wrongful death are complicated and vary widely from state to state. For example, in California only individuals with a certain relationship to the victim can file a wrongful death claim. They include:
- Victim’s surviving spouse, children, dependent stepchildren, minors living in the victim’’s household for at least six months and dependent parents.
- If none of the above exists, then those who can file a wrongful death claim include parents, whether or not they were dependent. If there are no parents, then siblings or children of deceased siblings. If there are no siblings or children of deceased siblings, then grandparents. If there are no grandparents, then children of a deceased spouse.
- If none of the above relatives exist, then the next of kin may file a wrongful death claim.
A person appointed by the probate court to handle the wrongful death victim’s assets or estate can file an action on behalf of those individuals listed above. This personal representative can distribute proceeds from the wrongful death lawsuit, according to the wrongful death statute.
Contact a wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles
If you lost a loved one due to another party’s negligent behavior, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles. Choose a personal injury attorney who understands how to prepare a wrongful death case and who can aggressively pursue maximum compensation for claimants. Wrongful death claims can be complex. The Attorneys of Law Wire News can put skills and resources to work for clients. For a free consultation, call a lawyer or contact us online today.