It’s possible for a family member to file a wrongful death claim if a loved one passes away supposing that their death was the result of someone’s negligence. When filing a wrongful death claim, there can be many complexities as the laws surrounding wrongful death can vary depending on the state that you reside. In situations where this has occurred, the family may decide to retain a wrongful death attorney to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death?
Filling for a wrongful death claim when a loved one unexpectedly passes is only available to specific members of the family. It’s vital to look into the specific restrictions of your state as eligibility is different depending on where you live. Often eligible family members include:
- Life Partners
Regardless of whether or not an individual was related to the person who passed away, they may be entitled to file a claim if they were dependant on the descendant financially. At times, several loved ones may file a wrongful death claim. If this were to occur, they would likely be joined into one claim.
What Damages Can I Recover?
In many states, the damages that can be recovered often include:
- If the victim suffered from emotional damages
- Expenses for the funeral
- Future money that would have been earned by the loved one if they were still living
When a wrongful death claim is awarded, regardless of whether there was a will in place, the money is disbursed as if the person passed away without a will. This can create much added stress to the family as the remainder of the estate is often not itemized. This is why creating an estate plan with an attorney can help to have a clear plan of how your assets will be distributed if you were to pass away.
Enduring the legal process of a wrongful death claim can be difficult given that you are already grieving from the loss of your loved one. Adding to this, when their is no will in place, the distribution of assets will be at the mercy of the courts which can create a lot of stress. Utilizing an attorney such as the estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ locals trust for their advice, and to provide you with direction will help to move through the process as swiftly and smoothly as possible.
Thanks to authors at Kamper Estrada LLP for their insight into Personal Injury Law.