Wrongful death claims can only be filed by a person representing a group of survivors who suffered some form of damage as a result of the decedent’s death. Typically the representative filing the claim will be the personal representative or executor of the decedent’s estate.
But who are the parties that will be represented by this person? Here are some possible people who can have an interest in wrongful death claims:
- Immediate family: Children, spouses, and parents of unmarried children can all potentially recover in wrongful death cases.
- Distant family members: In some states, more distant family members such as siblings and grandparents can be “real parties in interest” in wrongful death cases, especially if there are no immediate family members to benefit in such a claim. This is also allowable if there is a circumstance in which a grandparent was raising a child.
- Life partners and dependents: Domestic or life partners, as well as anyone who was financially dependent on the decedent (and thus suffered financial harm due to the death) may be able to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Anyone who suffers financial losses: Anyone who is financially impacted as a result of the death of the decedent could benefit from a wrongful death lawsuit, even if not related to the victim by marriage or blood.
- Parents of a deceased fetus: In some cases, the death of a fetus can result in a wrongful death lawsuit. Laws regarding this vary from state to state, and even in states where it is allowed, the path to recover can be difficult as you must be able to prove negligence on the part of medical professionals, which can be a tall task.
For more information about who can file or be a beneficiary of a wrongful death lawsuit, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Sarasota at Goldman, Babboni, Fernadnez & Walsh.