When your loved one dies unexpectedly and in a manner that was due to another party’s negligence, your world will be shattered in an instant. While you will be busy making funeral arrangements and grieving over your loss, you will also need to look to the future and make sure you and your family are provided for financially. To do so, this will likely mean filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, since these cases are very complex regarding financial dependency, here is what you should know before filing your claim.
If you are an immediate family member such as a spouse, child, or parent of an unmarried child who died, the court will view you as a financial dependent of the deceased, making it easier for you to file a claim.
In situations where a person who died was in a relationship with another individual but was not married to them, some states will allow this to be grounds for a wrongful death claim. This can include same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples, so keep this in mind should you choose to speak with an attorney about wrongful death law.
While this may sound strange, there have been circumstances where a roommate of a deceased person was allowed to file a wrongful death claim. Unique situations, these usually involve people who were roommates for a long period of time, and where one person was the primary financial support during the living arrangement.
If you are planning to pursue a wrongful death claim, you should speak to an experienced attorney so that you fully understand the various types of damages you can seek. The most common in such situations include compensation for medical bills incurred leading up to the loved one’s death, loss of current and future income, funeral and burial costs, and compensation for the emotional pain and suffering you have experienced after your loss.
Prepare for a Fight
Finally, since some states will allow anyone who can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased to file a wrongful death claim, prepare for a fight if you are not an immediate family member. Since emotions can run high, always have ample evidence to support your claims.
While it can be tough to push forward with legal action following the death of your loved one, it is imperative you do so to get the compensation you need and deserve.