March 3, 2024


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5 Categories of People Who’re Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

5 Categories of People Who're Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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A wrongful death is a situation in which someone dies as a result of another’s negligence. In simple words, when someone’s death is brought about by another person’s lack of care, such a death may be described in simple terms as a wrongful death.

The survivors can file a lawsuit on behalf of themselves or in memory of their departed relatives and get compensated for losing their kinfolk. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit may not only bring compensation but also justice for a lost family member’s life.


However, eligibility to file a wrongful death lawsuit may vary depending on legal jurisdiction and case-specific details. Only certain family members can file a claim for wrongful deaths. These categories often include:

  1. Immediate family members:
    A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by an immediate family member or by the closest family member for the demise of their loved ones. The family member can be an immediate uncle, sibling, or even children or grandparents. Since the closest ones are the people who suffer emotionally and have to deal with the loss of their loved ones, they get compensation for the wrongful death. In this case, compensation is given for medical costs, funeral costs, and prospective income that were lost because of the untimely demise.
  1. Parents:

In many jurisdictions, parents are entitled to file a suit for the wrongful death of their children. It includes any cases that involve a minor or an adult. Losing a child can be emotionally daunting as it leads to deprivation from support, companionship, and seeing one’s child grow up and develop. Losing an adult son/daughter can cause much pain for parents since these are the people they had hoped would render services in old age.

  1. Spouse:
5 Categories of People Who're Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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Due to wrongful death, a spouse can not only need financial support but also emotional support, as a spouse loses a partner, a family, and their support. Hence, spouses have the right to file a lawsuit. They can consult an attorney to obtain compensation for financial and emotional losses.

  1. Personal Representatives or Executors:

In many cases, it is the personal representative or executor who files a wrongful death action on behalf of the estate and its heirs. The deceased person’s will or the court appoints this representative. This representative must be close to the deceased person and should have known the person before filing the lawsuit.

  1. Financial Dependents:

Financial dependents who lived off the earnings of the deceased are allowed to file a claim to sue for wrongful death. Such a group can include stepchildren, domestic partners, and any other person who was financially dependent on the deceased but not necessarily immediate relatives. Here, these dependents may have lost financial assistance, stability, and safety.


The death of a loved one can have a deep emotional impact on the survivors. At times like this, the survivor can file a wrongful death case to acquire fair compensation.

But filing a wrongful death case without assistance is difficult. This is where a lawyer is useful. They know all aspects of the law like the back of their hands and will ensure the financial and emotional losses due to the wrongful death are compensated.