When a loved one dies through the fault of another, the law allows family members to file a wrongful death claim. This is a special kind of personal injury claim in that it can’t be filed by the actual victim involved in the incident. Since the victim is deceased, that individual’s family can file the claim. Before you consult a Boston wrongful death attorney, it’s important to take a closer look at who can file the claim.
The law stipulates that only certain people are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Typically, this person is the personal representative chosen by the deceased person in their will. If no will is available, the court may choose a personal representative from eligible family members. This may include a spouse, life partner, or children of the deceased individual, but extended family members may sometimes serve as the personal representative.
The personal representative acts on behalf of the family to sue for wrongful death damages, but any award or settlement will be divided up among the deceased individual’s beneficiaries. For this reason, it’s important to establish how the death of the individual financially impacted each family member. Showing a financial loss will help establish the right to pursue damages in the wrongful death claim.
Some damages your wrongful death attorney might seek will likely include a loss of income that resulted from the person’s death. It’s common for a wrongful death claim to also seek compensation to cover the cost of any medical care the victim received prior to his death. Additionally, damages to cover the costs of a funeral and burial will probably be sought. Your lawyer might also pursue compensation for pain and suffering, the loss of consortium, and the loss of a guardian. More types of damages may be pursued, but it will depend on your family’s circumstances.
If your loved one has died through the fault of another, your first response should be to consult a wrongful death attorney. This will provide you with a professional evaluation of your case. While money won’t bring back your loved one, it will help you recover from the financial distress this loss has created.