Wrongful death occurs when one party causes the death of another. It often involves negligence and happens due to criminal or reckless behavior.
If you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you usually have the right to ask for specific damages if you are the spouse or child of the deceased. Other relatives may also have the right to make a claim.
Damages for spouse and children
If you are the spouse or child of the person who died, you can ask for damages that cover the loss of support. This also includes money for future support the person may have provided financially.
As a spouse, you also could get payment for loss of companionship and for your mental pain and suffering. Children may be able to ask for loss of companionship damages and pain and suffering as well.
Other relatives rights
If you are another relative, you also can ask for loss of support damages, but they will relate to your relationship and how much support the person provided to you when he or she was alive. Some relatives may be able to ask for damages for pain and suffering.
All relatives regardless of relationship that file a case for wrongful death can ask for damages to cover the medical and funeral expenses.
Making a claim for wrongful death usually falls to the spouse and minor children first. Then, adult children and parents have the next rights. After that, siblings and other close blood relatives may be able to bring a claim if there are no other closer relatives.