Losing a loved one is never easy, but when you lose someone as a result of someone else's negligence, that can be even more difficult. The good news is that you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. With so much misinformation out there about wrongful death cases, it's in your best interest to understand some key facts before you reach out to an attorney. Here are a couple of things you should know about wrongful death and your rights.
It's A Civil Matter, Not A Criminal One
Wrongful death claims don't result in any kind of criminal punishment. For those who committed a crime that resulted in someone's death, they can face criminal repercussions as well, but the wrongful death suit itself is a civil matter.
This is important to understand because it affects what kind of outcome you can expect. With a civil case, you can seek monetary restitution. You can also request some punitive measures such as requiring recall for a product that led to the death if there's a flaw in its design or other problems.
There Is A Statute Of Limitations
If you have any reason to believe that you may have a wrongful death claim, it's important to pursue it right away. Every state has a statute of limitations that defines how much time you have to file a claim after the death. It can vary depending on the situation, who the responsible party is, and more. The best thing you can do is to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. He or she can help you understand the laws specific to your state so that you know how much time you have to file the claim.
Only Certain People Can File A Claim
There are restrictions related to who can file a claim for a deceased loved one. For those under the age of 18, the child's parents are usually the only ones who can file the claim. In the case of an adult who is married, the deceased's spouse would be eligible to file. If the individual isn't married, their children can file the claim. Finally, the executor of the estate may also have the legal right to file a wrongful death claim in some cases.
Understanding these key facts can help you to determine if you're eligible to file a wrongful death suit. For more information, contact an attorney in your area who is familiar with wrongful death claims. For more info, talk with an attorney.