Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is undoubtedly one of the most difficult experiences one can go through in life. It’s even more complicated when their death was a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. In such cases, the family members of the deceased have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, it's essential to understand who can file such a lawsuit and the eligible beneficiaries.

1. Immediate Family Members

The immediate family members of the deceased, such as spouses and children, are the primary beneficiaries of a wrongful death lawsuit. They have the right to seek compensation for damages, including loss of income and emotional distress caused by their loved one’s death. Often, the surviving spouse is the first to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

2. Parents and Siblings

If the deceased doesn't have any children or a spouse, their parents and siblings can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the eligibility of siblings to file a claim for losses may vary from state to state. Therefore, it's crucial to consult an attorney before filing the lawsuit.

3. Distant Relatives

In some cases, distant relatives of the deceased may also file a wrongful death lawsuit. Such cases are typically applicable when the immediate family members of the deceased cannot be located or are deceased themselves. However, the court will review each case individually to ensure the distant relatives have a legitimate claim to the estate.

4. Legal Representatives

If the family members of the deceased do not wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit, they can appoint a legal representative, typically a lawyer, to file the case on their behalf. The representative will act as the estate executor and will be responsible for the case administration.

5. The Deceased's Estate

If the deceased has named an executor in their will, that person can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The executor can then distribute the compensation they receive among the will's beneficiaries. If the deceased did not name an executor, the court will typically appoint someone to manage the lawsuit on behalf of the estate.

Washington DC Wrongful Death Lawyers

If you or a loved one has suffered the unimaginable loss of a family member, the Fay Law Group, P.A. in Rockville, MD, is here to help. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys understand the complexities of wrongful death claims and are dedicated to fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (202) 589-1300 to get started.