Wrongful Death Lawsuits: Who Can File And When Should They File?
Wrongful deaths can occur at the most unexpected moments. These incidents are described as deaths that are usually caused by another person’s negligence. Although the deceased individual would be unable to file a lawsuit on his or her own behalf, someone else would be able to do so, such as a family member. The family member would be able to file a lawsuit seeking some form of compensation because the death occurred due to negligence or wrongdoing.
The person who was negligent or committed wrongdoing should be held responsible. If a lawsuit is not filed, they could potentially get away with what they have done, which would not be good because then they could end up doing the same thing to someone else in the future. As a way of standing up for the deceased individual, many family members choose to file a lawsuit.
Who Can File This Type of Lawsuit?
Although family members are the people who most often file these kinds of lawsuits against those who caused the wrongful death, there are a number of people who may be able to pursue legal action. It all depends on the location of the deceased individual. In all states across the United States, close family members have the right to file a lawsuit. Those family members would include spouses, parents, siblings and even children of the deceased who may be old enough to file on their own, especially if they are the only person the deceased individual had before they passed.
There are some states that do allow additional family members to get involved. These family members may include aunts, uncles or even grandparents who may have had custody over the person who is now deceased. In some cases, family members do tend to argue over who should be the one to file the initial lawsuit because only one case is allowed.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Wills
If the deceased individual left a will behind, the person who would be the one to receive the estate is typically the person who gets to file the lawsuit on behalf of their loved one. However, many people who die unexpectedly do not have wills put in place because they did not expect to die at such an early age, which often makes the situation a bit more complicated for everyone involved.
Is There a Time Limit?
It is important to file a lawsuit for a wrongful death within a reasonable time frame. Although you would not have to file one or two days after the person died, you would need to file the lawsuit within a set time period. Different states have different statute of limitations, so it is important to look into those details before you start the filing process in your area.
It is always best to file as soon as you possibly can. It is perfectly normal and acceptable to want to spend time grieving the loss of a loved one before worrying about dealing with the legal process. However, there are some states that would expect you to complete the filing process within three months.
If you are not too sure what it is that you need to do, you may want to consider contacting an attorney who could explain everything to you in full detail. Getting legal assistance from a wrongful death lawyer with a case like this is always a wise move to make.