Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on June 15, 2014
Losing a loved one is extremely difficult. While one can rarely get over the loss of someone that meant so much, there are means of achieving peace of mind that help reduce the hardship and allow those in mourning to move forward. When the death of a loved one is caused by the negligence of another person or party, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can become an important part of this coping and recovery process.
Our wrongful death and personal injury attorneys have assisted numerous families and spouses with tragic losses. We would like to consider some of the basics of wrongful death lawsuits and who may file them. This is important to consider since there are specific rules on who is eligible to seek compensation following an accidental or intentional death.
About Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death cases are lawsuits that are filed by the loved ones of a victim of a fatal accident or incident. These kinds of lawsuits are meant to cover emotional pain and suffering, lost wages of the loved one, loss of companionship, funerary costs, and other losses that are associated with the death.
Who is allowed to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Utah?
The heirs or representatives of the deceased person's estate are eligible to file wrongful death lawsuits. This includes the following people:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased
- The surviving parents/guardians of the deceased
- The adult children/step-children of the deceased
- Other select blood relatives of the deceased
Defining the Idea of “Heirs” and “Representatives of the Estate”
In essence, the heirs and estate representatives are defined by blood relation, marriage, state inheritance laws, and any stipulations made in the will of the deceased. Sometimes these matters may not be so black and white, so it's important to consult with legal experts to help you find out if you are eligible to file a lawsuit following the death of your loved one.
The Statute of Limitations Applies to All Wrongful Death Suits
Regardless who files the wrongful death lawsuit, it is important that the claim is filed before the statute of limitations runs out.
In the state of Utah, this means that the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the loved one's death. In the case of lawsuits filed against a government entity, the wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within one year of the loved one's death.
What Our Lawyers Will Do for Clients
Our attorneys are here to help clients receive just compensation and peace of mind. Whether you're taking on individuals, business interests, or even government groups, our legal team will not be intimidated. Having our wrongful death and car accident attorneys on your side means strong legal representation and counsel, with the sort of legal advice that will help you with your cause. We believe in people, and that people deserve justice.
Learn More About Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you would like to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits and what your legal rights are in these kinds of legal cases, be sure to contact our Salt Lake City personal injury and wrongful death lawyers today. The entire team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you with the legal process so you can cope, mourn, and move forward.
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They were extremely knowledgeable, extremely helpful experts. The team helped me with all aspects of my case, including medical and financial, and understood that it affected more than me but also my family.- Jill S.