Who in the Family can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

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Any time that a person is injured due to the negligence or carelessness of another person, that injured individual has the right to sue for financial compensation. This is a common practice in the legal world and applies to situations involving automobile accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and many more. The process normally begins with the injured person filing the lawsuit, but what happens if that person is not around? If the accident or malpractice leads to the death of a person, there is still grounds for a lawsuit in the form of a wrongful death case.

Obviously, the wronged individual is unable to file a wrongful death lawsuit, so who can? Most people will tell you that the family of the deceased can file for the claim. This is only partially true, however, as indeed the family can file the case, but not just anyone in the family. In order for a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed, it must be the estate of the deceased that begins the process.

Normally, the estate is the closest living family members to the deceased. This will normally be either a spouse or children, but it can sometimes be a sibling, aunt or uncle, or cousin depending on who exists. By default, the estate falls to the closest family member, so not just anyone can file for the lawsuit. In rare instances, but ones that do occur, someone will name another individual in their will as the owner of that person’s estate. If the will designates a person, whether they are family or not, it is that person that may begin the case.

If someone in your family or close to you has been the victim of a wrongful death, you may be looking to file such a lawsuit. When doing so, it is always recommended to hire a skilled and experienced attorney to guide you through the process and see that it ends in victory. To learn about how we at the Franco Law Firm can serve you in this role please call (813) 872-0929 and we would be happy to schedule a free consultation with you today.