Often times, wrongful death lawsuits are filed by the family member of a victim of negligence. Although each state has its own statutes regarding wrongful death,all claim that there is a specific order in which rights can be given. The surviving spouse is the top individual who can file a lawsuit. If there is no surviving spouse, the children of the victim may pursue a lawsuit. If there is no surviving spouse or child, the victim’s parents may file; and if there are no surviving parents, then the decedent’s partner. In a lot of states, any individual who has a claim resulting from the death of their family member is forced to file a wrongful death lawsuit within 2 years of the victim’s death. If they do not do this, they will most likely never be able to file a lawsuit for wrongful death for the victim. If the victim survived the incident but then died later because of injuries sustained, there is something called the survival statute that will cover this. Most states apply this statute if a personal injury claim is filed before the victim passes, or if the family of the deceased wants to file a separate wrongful death lawsuit. This statute also keeps the deceased’s personal injury lawsuit open even after they die until it is resolved. This ensures that the victim’s family can retain any compensation given during the lawsuit. The family of the deceased may also file a wrongful death lawsuit against the individual or company at fault to receive further compensation to cover things like the funeral and medical bills. There also may be many different limitation periods for the survival case or wrongful death case. The victim’s family should not wait any longer than a year before filing their wrongful death lawsuit because if evidence is not preserved, it might vanish.
Proving the Wrongful Death Case
Proving that a death was wrongful and resulted from injuries sustained during an accident can become pretty challenging. Due to potential losses, many insurance companies will do pretty much everything they legally can to get out of paying for a wrongful death. In order for you to prove a death was wrongful, you must be able to prove that the victim died as a direct result of the injury that they sustained. You must also prove that the negligence of the defendant is what caused this. Afterwards, you must show that the surviving beneficiaries or family members were dependent on the victim’s income in some way. This may even include the victim’s funeral costs.
Contact an Attorney
You may want to contact a wrongful death lawyer Des Moines IA residents trust that has handled wrongful death lawsuits before so that they can determine if your case will result in compensation. He or she can also go over your state’s specific statutes with you regarding wrongful death and help you build up your case.
Thank you to our contributors at Des Moines Injury Law for the insightful information on wrongful death suits above.