What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a claim that is brought against a person who may be held liable for a death. This is a claim that is brought in a civil court and is typically brought by the relatives of the deceased. In order for a wrongful death claim to be successful, the plaintiff must prove:
- The death was caused by the actions of the defendant
- The defendant was liable for the death
- There is someone surviving who may collect damages
- There was financial loss as a result of the death.
Who can sue in a wrongful death claim?
Those who are entitled to sue for wrongful death are determined by each individual state and its respected statutes. Most statutes indicate that a surviving spouse or next of kin may bring the wrongful death claim. Children may bring a suit for the wrongful death of their parents and vice versa. There are certain exceptions to this rule, however.
Are there limitations on the recovery of damages?
Some states will place a limit on the amount of money that may be recovered. Many state and local governments have a specific cap on the amount that may be recovered, while others do not. It depends on the particular state. Employers who carry insurance from their employees are often immune from negligence suits.
Another good resource for learning about wrongful death claims is located at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_death.
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