More than 37,000 people die every year as a result of an accident on the road. If a loved one has died in an auto accident, you may be thinking about filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the other driver involved. Here are some things you need to know in order to get the settlement you are seeking on behalf of your loved one.
Your Eligibility to File a Lawsuit
While every state has different laws about who can file wrongful death lawsuits, spouses and children are typically allowed to file. A guardian is usually allowed to file a suit on behalf of very small children.
You might not be able to file such a claim if you are a member of extended family, or a boyfriend or girlfriend of the person who has died. Be sure to check with the local courthouse or a lawyer in the area to determine whether you are eligible to sue the other driver in this kind of lawsuit.
The Statute of Limitations in Your State
When you are grieving for your loved one, you may not feel quite up to going through a lawsuit and think that you can file at a later time. However, each state has a statute of limitations in place for these kinds of lawsuits. If you pass the time limit for filing a claim, you will be unable to ever file. Ask your county courthouse or an experienced lawyer how much time you have to file a wrongful death suit; that way, you won't miss any deadlines.
What Damages May Be Awarded
You might not be sure what kind of damages you can sue for in a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Loss of wages the deceased would have earned
- Loss of companionship
- Medical bills of the deceased
- Funeral costs
In court, you will be asked to provide as many documents as you can to support your request for a certain amount of money. While you may want to punish the other driver for what they have done and seek as much money as you can, many states do not allow punitive damages that result in excessively high monetary rewards.
While a lawsuit may not help you feel better about everything that has happened, knowing that you have a strong case for wrongful death may help you to find some measure of peace. Work closely with your wrongful death attorney to make sure you do everything possible to see justice served.Share