If someone else’s mistake results in another person’s death, surviving family members can file a wrongful-death lawsuit against them for negligence. In all U.S. states, many other circumstances, including car accidents, inferior quality products, or a slip-and-fall case cans be a basis for personal-injury lawsuits.

Only a relative few people who are injured might be able to file a lawsuit, but it is well worth checking into if you were injured, or if a loved one died, because of someone else’s fault. 

What Can be Understood by the term ‘Wrongful-Death Lawsuit’?

If a person dies as a result of someone’s negligence or wrongdoing, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. The prosecutor may bring charges and commence an intentional or negligent homicide case against the responsible party. When registering a wrongful-death lawsuit against a person, corporation, or institution responsible for the death, the family of the deceased may also have a civil remedy, that is, monetary damages. 

Multiple damages can be recovered by the family, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and misery. Moreover, if the deceased person was a financially supportive member of the family, a jury may also award additional damages for the financial loss in a wrongful-death lawsuit.

Who Can File a Wrongful-Death Lawsuit?

Each U.S. state has its own set of laws, and it is up to state law to decide who can file a lawsuit. First and foremost, anyone who wants to file a wrongful-death lawsuit must be sanctioned by state law.

However, in some states, only the surviving spouses, children, parents, siblings, or other close relatives of the deceased are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In addition, the decedent’s personal representative or executor of the property are also entitled to file a wrongful-death lawsuit.

It is essential first to determine the laws of your state. Besides, if you are not allowed to file this kind of lawsuit by law, then someone else may be able to do so on your behalf. 

Understanding Statutes of Limitation

This is a significant preliminary step, learning the statute of limitations in your state’s wrongful-death lawsuit laws. When a wrongful-death lawsuit is filed, every country restricts time limits. For example:

  • In California, the wrongful-death statute of limitations is two years.
  • In Montana, the statute of limitations is three years.
  • In Florida, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.

However, in some cases the lawsuit has to be filed within a certain time frame from the exact date of death.  In other situations, “discovery of the damage,” or when one finds the death was caused wrongfully, may determine the date. If you want to discover the limitation in California, you can use the California-specific materials provided by Krasney Law from this site: https://krasneylaw.net/wrongful-death/.

Commencing a Wrongful-Death Lawsuit

When you are ready to file a wrongful -death lawsuit, keep in mind that you must do so within your state’s statute of limitations. Later on, you can submit the documents to initiate the civil suit. Commonly, this document is a complaint or petition. This document must provide the defendant with notice of the legal grounds of the claim. In addition, you must notify the defendant with a written document (commonly known as a summons) that you are accusing him and also inform where the trial will be heard.

Consequently, you should also serve a legal procedure called “service of process” by sending the corresponding papers to all the defendants. It will ensure that you are putting the defendant on official notice of the lawsuit. However, you should also remember that each country or state has its own method of service of process.

Concluding Remarks

The whole process is tricky, and it can be remarkably difficult to navigate. The primary pleading of filing and serving is only an initial step on the long road of possibly multiple years of a lawsuit. Furthermore, the entire process includes numerous nuanced steps that can be extremely challenging for a non-lawyer. Therefore, it is highly advised to talk to an expert lawyer from providers such as Krasney Law in California. Thus, if you do not want to miss out on what you truly deserve and may need just to pay living expenses, it is crucial to meet a lawyer and talk to him for evaluating your case.

By Richard