Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Frequently Asked Questions

21 October 2015
 Categories: , Articles


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 130,000 Americans lose their life due to an accident or unintentional injury each year. If you've recently lost a loved one due to an accident that was caused by carelessness or negligence, you might be considering filing a wrongful death suit. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be intimidating, and chances are you will have many questions moving forward. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions associated with wrongful death lawsuits:

What Exactly Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A lawsuit is classified as a "wrongful death" case when the victim dies from another person's negligence or an accident caused by another individual. In addition, if the death was intentional and not the result of another individual's carelessness, this can also be classified as a wrongful death case.

For example, if your loved one dies in a car accident that was caused by the carelessness of the other driver, this could be considered a wrongful death case. A malpractice suit brought against a negligent doctor or other medical professional can also be a wrongful death suit.

If you've recently lost a loved one and aren't sure whether or not you have a wrongful death case, don't hesitate to contact an attorney.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?

The laws concerning who can file a wrongful death lawsuit vary by state. However, in most cases, the victim's spouse is the first individual who is entitled to file a wrongful death suit. If the spouse is deceased or the victim was unmarried, their children are the next individuals who are able to file a suit.

If there are no children or the victim wasn't married at the time of their death, the victim's parents are able to file a suit. Finally, if there isn't a spouse, children or parents, then other family members or the executor of the deceased's estate can file a suit.

Once again, the laws determining who is able to file a wrongful death suit vary from state to state. Contacting an attorney to learn about the specifics in your case is the best way to determine who is able to file a wrongful death suit.

Will I Have To Go To Court?

If you're hesitant about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, one of the biggest reasons might be your reluctance to go to court. In many cases, the suit is settled outside of a courtroom, meaning you won't need to go before a judge or deal with the cost and stress associated with a long, drawn out trial.

However, be aware that there is still a chance you will need to go to court. This is why it is vital you have an attorney on your side you can help you navigate through the murky waters of your wrongful death suit.

Where Do I Begin?

Whether your loved one's death was caused by a careless driver or a negligent physician, it is vital that your first step must be to hire an attorney. In addition to helping determine if you have a case, an attorney can ensure that every detail is handled correctly. For example, if your loved one perished in an automobile accident, gathering evidence from a crime scene and interviewing witnesses in a timely fashion is critical. The sooner you hire an attorney, the more quickly they and their associates can begin working on your case.

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can seem intimidating, and you might not even be sure if you have a case. The first step that you should take before filing your suit is to contact an attorney from a law firm like Kornfeld Robert B Inc PS.