Wrongful death claims are some of the most serious there are, due in large part to the circumstances surrounding the reason for filing a claim. These types of cases take place when someone dies as a result of the intentional action or negligence of another person or persons. Wrongful death claims can be fairly complicated and pose unique challenges for the party attempting to file the claim, as the person who was impacted the most is now deceased. In order to have a better understanding of why one may file a wrongful death claim and how to proceed, it is important that we go over some of the basics pertaining to these types of cases.
If you have recently lost a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence or distraction of another person, it can be difficult to think about filing a wrongful death claim. However, there is a statute of limitations in place regarding these types of claims that requires you to file a lawsuit within a year. It is important to note that there may be different filing deadlines in some instances, and some may be sooner than one year. Because of this, it is important to contact a wrongful death attorney so that you have a better idea of what your rights are.
What’s In a Wrongful Death Claim?
Many people do not realize this, but there are actually two different types of claims that arise out of the death of a loved one:
- Wrongful Death Claim – This is the most traditional wrongful death claim and is basically for the value of the life of the deceased person.
- Estate Claim – This type of claim is filed by the estate and is not for the value of the life of your deceased loved one, but instead for any expenses the Estate itself has had to deal with as a result of the injury or death. An estate claim can also be made for pain and suffering.
While a wrongful death claim in the most traditional sense is much more common, it is important to make note that an estate claim may also be necessary, or may need to be filed in place of a wrongful death claim. For more information on this distinction, please contact your Dallas wrongful death attorney at Rad Law Firm today.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Laws for wrongful death claims can vary from state to state, and each state has its own laws regarding who can file a wrongful death claim and what needs to take place in order to set this claim in motion. That being said, there are a few rules that apply to all states when it comes to who can file a wrongful death claim:
- A wrongful death claim can be filed by immediate family members (all states have this law)
- In most cases, if the deceased person was married, the surviving spouse is the person who brings the lawsuit
- If the deceased person was an adult, some states allow an adult child to file a wrongful death lawsuit
- If the deceased person was a minor child, the parent or guardian is who brings the lawsuit
- In some states, the surviving member of a civil union or domestic partnership is allowed to file a wrongful death claim
- If the deceased person is a single adult, the majority of states allow more distant family members to file the lawsuit
To learn more about wrongful death claims in Texas or California, please contact Rad Law Firm today.