Normally, the person that has filed a personal injury claim has chosen to sue someone that was careless and neglectful. That negligent individual behaved in a way that resulted in harm to another human. Depending on the extent to which the victim was harmed, the negligent defendant might have caused a wrongful death.
If a defendant’s behavior has ended the life of the person targeted by such behavior, then the family of the deceased may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. Understand that only certain family members can file such a claim. Those are the spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, or the brother and sister of the deceased.
Understand that a single person files the claim. All those that could get part of any money awarded to those that qualify for compensation should select one person to file for initiation of a wrongful death lawsuit.
Other family members have no right to file a wrongful death claim.
For example, a former spouse has no right to seek an award for damages that were caused by the death of a former husband or wife. Similarly, a step-brother or sister cannot legally go after the damages caused by the accident that took a step-mother’s or step-father’s life. However, it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer in North Bay.
Is there a statute of limitations on such claims?
In most states and provinces, the grieving family has 2 years in which to seek compensation for the damages.
What damages can be claimed?
• The cost of the funeral;
• The expenses associated with the burial;
• Travel expenses, if the severely-injured victim was in the hospital for an extended period of time, before breathing his or her last breath;
• An allowance to those that helped to care for the injured and dying patient;
• Compensation to those loved ones that have lost a source of care, companionship or guidance.
• Compensation for a loss of future income, if the deceased had been a source of financial assistance to someone that had filed a wrongful death claim.
• Reimbursement for any payments made by the various family members, those that had to handle the issues that arose, following the accident and the permanent departure of the severely-injured loved one.
Does the individual that was wronged, and therefore died, have to have been the victim of an accident?
No, he or she could have been the victim of an intentional act of violence. So, the relatives could sue the person that carried out that act of violence. A family’s ability to win such a lawsuit does not rest on its ability to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the allegations against the defendant. The evidence must show only that in all probability, the defendant’s actions ended the life of that family’s loved member.