When you lose a loved one unexpectedly, it can leave you with unanticipated financial burdens including medical bills and funeral costs, the personal debts of the deceased and living without the support of that person’s income.

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is a way to financially penalize those who were responsible for the individual’s death when criminal charges weren’t deemed appropriate. This legal remedy also provides those family members left behind with a way to at least temporarily bridge the gap financially. It means they won’t have to carry the burden caused by losing a family member so suddenly and without notice.

The people who can file a wrongful death lawsuit vary depending on the jurisdiction. In some areas, the only person eligible to file such a case is the personal representative either appointed by the decedent in their will or by a judge presiding over their probate case.

If this individual files the lawsuit, then they do so on behalf of the beneficiaries of the estate and not for their own self. In doing so, they have a right to lay claim to funds necessary to cover medical and funeral bills, pain and suffering, loss of companionship and lost wages.

In other jurisdictions, the decedent’s children, spouse or other relatives may be eligible to file the lawsuit. Who is eligible to file depends on how closely related they are to the person who passed away.

If you’ve lost a loved one in a car crash, then you may wish to consult with a Los Angeles fatal motor vehicle accidents attorney to learn what your rights are as it relates to your ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: FindLaw, “Who can file a wrongful death suit?,” accessed April 27, 2018