The Scarsdale Daily Voice

Scarsdale, New York

Wrongful Death: Who are the Legal Claimants? - The Scarsdale Daily Voice

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.

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