Wrongful death is a term that isn’t unheard of, but many people aren’t quite sure what it means. Knowing whether you have a case for wrongful death can help you decide if filing a lawsuit is worth your time, energy and money.
What Is Wrongful Death?
When a person dies through the legal fault of another person, wrongful death is said to have occurred. The concept of wrongful death is a fairly new one. A century ago, laws did not exist surrounding this type of civil action. Today, every state in our country has some type of law regarding wrongful death.
Who Can Sue?
It’s not just anyone who can sue for wrongful death. To have a lawsuit heard by a court, you must have suffered damage from the decedent’s death. Each state has laws regarding who has a right to file suit but, typically, these people may include:
- Immediate family members: Spouses and children are considered to be immediate family members. Parents of unmarried children and any children who have been adopted by the decedent are also included in this group of people.
- Life partners: A domestic or life partner may file a wrongful death suit in most states.
- Distant family members: Grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles may file suit in some states. Typically, these people must have had a close relationship with the decedent. For example, a grandparent who had raised the person who has been killed.
- Any person who suffers financially: You may not have to be related to the decedent if you can prove that you have suffered financially as a result of the death.
Who Can Be Sued?
There are a variety of people who may find themselves being sued for wrongful death. Who will be named in the lawsuit will depend on the details specific to that case. For example, if a person is killed by a drunk driver, the wrongful death suit may include the driver, the establishment that served the alcohol and the specific person that kept the drinks flowing.
If someone close to you has been killed, an attorney can review the details of the death and tell you if you may have a successful wrongful death suit. Do not assume that you don’t have a case.
When you have questions about wrongful death in Charleston, call our office. A member of our team will review the details of your case and advise you of your options as you work to move forward with your life. Call today or browse our website for more information about how we can assist you and your family.