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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Mar 10, 2014

When a person dies due to the fault of another person or entity, the surviving members of the family may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to the courts. Wrongful death suits seek financial compensation for the survivors’ loss, such as wages lost from the deceased, loss of companionship, and funeral expenses.

Wrongful death claims arise when a person dies due to the legal fault of another person or entity. The right to file a wrongful death lawsuit is a relatively new concept that was instituted in the last century. Wrongful death claims can involve many types of fatal accidents including simple car accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability cases.

Persons, companies, and government agencies can all be legally at fault for acting either negligently or intentionally.

Wrongful death claims can be filed by a representative on the behalf of survivors who suffer financial and intangible damage from the decedent’s death, they are called “real parties of interest”. Typically, the representative is also the executor of the decedent’s estate. “Real parties of interest” can vary from state to state but usually include

Immediate Family Members: In all United States spouses and children or parents of unmarried children can recoup damages under wrongful death actions.

Life partners, financial dependents, and putative spouse: In some states, a domestic partner and anyone financially dependent on the decedent has a right to recovery.

Additionally, some states allow for distant family members and parents of a deceased fetus to collect damages.

Wrongful death lawsuits can be brought against a wide array of person, companies and government agencies including,

  • The driver or employer at fault in the automobile accident
  • The designer or builder of the faulty roadway
  • A government agent who failed to provide adequate warnings regarding a road hazard that caused the accident
  • The manufacturer, distributor, or installer of a faulty or dangerous part of the vehicle
  • The persons who sold, served, or gave alcohol to the impaired driver, or the owner of the premises where the alcohol was served.

For more information on wrongful death lawsuits consult an attorney.