When a family member is lost to a tragic accident, it creates more than just an emotional loss for the remaining family members. In addition to learning to cope with this loss, survivors are also often forced to face financial hardships. In an effort to protect these family members, the law allows surviving family members to seek compensation when a wrongful death occurs.
Of course, with the confusion and chaos that follows the loss of a loved one, many family members may want to file a wrongful death claim, but are unsure if they qualify. In an effort to help, we have answered the five most common questions asked about wrongful death claims.
- Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim? Not everyone can file a wrongful death claim. In most cases, the only people who qualify are the surviving spouse and dependent children of the deceased. However, exceptions may be made for the parents or siblings of the deceased if more than half of their financial support came from the deceased. Speak with an attorney to determine if you can qualify to file a wrongful death suit.
- What If The Death Was A Result Of A Work Related Injury? Workers compensation insurance covers the expenses of an injured worker when an accident occurs on the job. This type of insurance protects the employee from lost wages and ensures medical coverage. At the same time, this type of coverage protects the employer from being sued for the injury. However, wrongful death suits, depending on state law and the facts of the case, may or may not be covered by this policy. You may still be able to seek compensation whether or not workers comp is involved.
- What If The Death Was Not Immediate? If the injuries that were sustained in the accident ultimately lead to the untimely death of a person, the case is still considered wrongful death. Speak to an attorney to confirm the details of the case and your rights as a survivor.
- What Damages Are Awarded in This Type Of Claim? Most claims include medical expenses related to the accident, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and other forms of support, loss of consortium, loss of companionship. In some instances, punitive damages may also be awarded.
- How Long Do I Have To File A Claim? There is a statute of limitations that applies to these types of cases. The time you have to file a claim will depend on the location of the victim at the time of the accident among other things. Time limits range from six months to two years after the death occurred, although in some cases you may have more time. It is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after the death of your loved one to avoid having your case dismissed due to the statute of limitations.
This article is from Pacific Attorney Group, a premier personal injury law firm in Los Angeles. You can visit the firm’s website at https://www.pacificattorneygroup.com