Answers to some common wrongful death questions, Part 1

Accidents are an everyday occurrence. The modern world has done a terrific job of making the world safer however many people are still killed daily. These fatalities are often the subject of litigation, known as wrongful death suits. Wrongful death suits operate differently from traditional personal injury suits because the nominal plaintiff in the suit is deceased. This post will go over some common questions people have regarding wrongful death suits.

Not everyone can sue for a wrongful death suit. Most states limit immediate family members, i.e. spouses, children, and parents. Friends can almost never sue for wrongful death and rarely do states allow even long-term partners, even if they are registered under the law. For instance, registered domestic partners typically cannot sue for wrongful death. Furthermore, a few states allow grandparents and siblings to sue but most do not. You may want to consult with a lawyer if you want to sue for wrongful death for the death of your sibling.

Another common question is how long do you have to sue for wrongful death? All lawsuits are subject to sunset provision which are known as statutes of limitations. The statute of limitation for wrongful death suits varies from state to state. Typically, the range is three to five years, but you should consult with an attorney for specifics. The details of when the statute begins to toll (i.e. start) vary from the date of death to when you should have known the cause was negligence. A lawyer can go over the specifics with you.

If you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, you might want to speak to a lawyer at your earliest convenience. Suing someone is probably the last thing on your mind however it is important to go over your rights to compensation. An attorney could help you secure damages for the loss of your loved one, which may be substantial if your loved one was a primary caregiver.

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T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law
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