If your parent was recently killed as a result of someone else’s actions, there are so many things you need to be aware of before you can start the legal process of pursuing compensation. This on top of everything else you are going through can be a lot to handle. This short guide is meant to help you begin to understand what your options are as an heir, as well as explain what survival action is.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The appropriate kind of lawsuit for you to file is most likely a wrongful death claim. This is the lawsuit that can be filed on behalf of the deceased in order to be compensated for the wrongdoings of others. Wrongful death lawsuits are most commonly filed after car accidents, medical malpractice, and intentionally inflicted injuries. Basically, if a death was the result of someone’s negligence or intentional assault, a wrongful death lawsuit is probably an option.
Who Can File?
As an heir, are you allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit for your parent? The answer probably depends on which state you live in. First, however, you should know that all states agree that children who are minors are allowed to file. States only disagree on this matter if the child is an adult. The first thing you should do is determine what the laws are for your state. If you cannot file, someone else most likely can.
Typically, the people who can file a wrongful death lawsuit are:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Parent of a deceased, minor child
- Minor child of a deceased parent
In certain states, extended family, adult children, parents of adult children, and siblings can also file.
What Is Survival Action?
Survival action refers to a special kind of wrongful death lawsuit. While wrongful death claims can receive compensation for the losses of the person who filed the claim, survival action can be compensated for the losses of the deceased. This can include lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other expenses.
If the victim died instantly, there probably are not any damages to claim on his or her behalf. If the time between the injury and death was longer, however, then there will probably be quite a bit of damages to claim. An attorney, like a wrongful death lawyer in Bloomington, IL, will be able to give you more information about what damages you can claim and what kind of lawsuit you will have to file to properly claim the right kinds of damages.
Thank you to Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into wrongful death law.