Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

death law

Death lawsuits are quite the thing in America and too often result in enormous settlements for those wronged. When someone dies due to negligence, there may be a wrongful death lawsuit that seeks to compensate the next of kin. However, some significant eligibility factors must be considered before taking on this type of case. In particular, you need to know what you’re getting into if another person or entity caused your loved one’s death.

Who can Get Compensated?

Those who qualify to receive compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit include:

1. The Spouse (Including a Former Spouse)

As considered to be the immediate kin, the spouse may receive compensation if they live with the deceased or if they were living separately but remained married. They are expected to continue living as a family unit with their surviving children so that compensation can be paid for the loss of a family member.

2. Children

Minor children will receive compensation, as well as any dependent adult child. A dependent child can no longer provide for themselves because of age or disability. In the case of a minor, compensation will not be given until they reach adulthood (unless they are disabled).

3. Parents or Guardians

Parents and guardians may be entitled to monetary compensation if no surviving spouse, partner, or children are involved in a wrongful death lawsuit. Guardians are those who were appointed by the court to provide care for minors after their parents die.

4. Family Members by Blood or Marriage

This includes siblings, grandparents, and other relatives, but the relationship must be proven to be close enough to consider them kin. Aunts or uncles may also qualify in some cases, but not grandparents-in-law. In short, you must prove that you share a familial bond with the deceased to receive compensation.

5. The Unmarried Partner

If a deceased partner had no children (biological or adopted) who survived them, their partner might receive compensation instead. The fact that the decedent had never married the surviving partner will not prevent them from receiving compensation, as long as there is proof of a long-term relationship and interdependence between the two individuals.

6. Pets

If the deceased owned a pet and another person caused their death, then the pet owner is entitled to compensation. However, if the deceased did not own a pet, it’s unnecessary to file a wrongful death suit to be compensated. Thus, you’ll need to prove in court that the deceased loved their pet.

7. The State

Other agencies and entities may also qualify to receive compensation for their losses. In particular, counties, universities, police departments, and public institutions may receive compensation for their costs in providing services after a wrongful death lawsuit. Specific laws govern who qualifies to receive compensation from these causes of action, so it’s essential to speak with a legal professional familiar with each agency and entity.

If you intend to file a lawsuit following your loved one’s death, you must be ready to prove that you qualify for compensation. Working with a wrongful death lawyer at Louthian Law Firm, P.A. can help you to make the right decision on whether to go ahead and file the lawsuit.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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