The Scarsdale Daily Voice

Scarsdale, New York

Wrongful Death: Who are the Legal Claimants?

October 22nd, 2014

Permanent disability is one of the worst consequences of a serious accident or a gross act of negligence; but still worse than this is wrongful death which, according to the website of personal injury attorneys at Williams Kherkher, can cause a traumatic experience that will forever change an affected family’s life. A wrongful death can be caused by a motor vehicle accident, an aviation accident, a construction accident; slip and fall accident; an explosion, a refinery accident, a defective or dangerous product, nursing home negligence or medical malpractice.

A negligent act that leads to an accident usually causes harm or personal injury; the type of injury under which wrongful death is classified. A personal injury is considered a tortious act or civil offense and, under the tort law, the tortfeasor, that is the person liable for the injury, is obligated to compensate the victim for all the damages that he/she will suffer due to the injury, including cost of medical treatment, lost wages and others. In case of wrongful death, though, a representative, who acts on behalf of the victim’s survivors or “real parties in interest, can file a lawsuit (for compensation) called a wrongful death claim.

States usually vary when it comes to the identities of “real parties in interest.” While all states naturally consider the victim’s immediate family, composed of his/her spouse, children and adopted children, there are those that also consider: the parents (for unmarried victims);the victim’s distant family members, which include his/her brothers, sisters and grandparents; those who are directly financially affected due to the cessation of the financial care or support of the victim; and, the deceased victim’s other dependents, such as his/her putative spouse (a person who believes, in all sincerity, that he/she and the deceased were married).

A wrongful death lawsuit is a complex procedure and often, despite the liable person’s willingness to settle with the real parties in interest, the amount of compensation offered is not a just amount.

How to Handle a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

March 1st, 2013

Suffering the loss of a loved one can be a devastating experience regardless of the circumstances. However, it can be doubly painful to know that the cause of their death was negligence or the carelessness of others. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is one way to help deal with the financial troubles as well as the emotional trauma that the death has caused to a family. A wrongful death lawyer would help in assisting you in getting the necessary compensation.

Not everyone can file for a wrongful death suit. As any wrongful death lawyer can tell you, only certain people have the right to file for compensation for a wrongful death suit, such as:

  1. Immediate family members – namely the parents, spouses, children, and legally acknowledged adopted children. They are the most accepted claimants for wrongful death suits, accepted by every state.
  2. Distant family members – brothers, sisters, and even grandparents are allowed in some states to file wrongful death suits.
  3. Financial dependents – some states allow people who are affected by the death to file for a wrongful death suit (even if they are not married or blood-relatives) if they can prove the death has caused them financial strain.
  4. Parents of a deceased child – for instances where medical malpractice caused the death of a newborn child, parents can file a wrongful death suit against the medical professional or the hospital itself.

While trying to cope with the consequences of a loved one’s loss, the last thing most people want to think about is financial issues. However, particularly when the cause of such a tragic loss was another person’s irresponsible behavior, it may be necessary to consider these things in order to get the compensation necessary to pay for funeral costs, medical bills, and other consequences of a loved one’s loss.

There is a lot to prepare after a loved one’s death, which are difficult in and of themselves. Funeral preparations, informing the deceased’s friends and family, going through his or her belongings, finding a new home for pets, and other post-death things that need to be tended to can take a lot out of a person, so adding a lawsuit on top of it can be unfathomable. However, the lawsuit should be begun as soon as possible, as there is only a limited time to file.