Many accidents that occur are due to other people’s reckless or negligent behavior. Of course these are definitely preventable; however, those that do occur and result in injuries or damages can be subjected to civil action to enable the innocent victim to seek compensation from the liable party: a right recognized under the tort law.

There are different types of accidents which can cause injury to a person. These include road accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicyclists, use of defective products, slip and fall accidents, work-related accident, dental or medical malpractice, and so forth. The injuries these accidents can inflict also varies, from a mild scratch to something very serious, like a fractured bone, laceration, head injury, amputated limb, damage to the spinal cord, etc. However, the most serious harm that may befall a person is wrongful death.

In a wrongful death situation, a representative (usually a lawyer, but may also be any member of the family) will have to act on behalf of the survivors of the deceased for the filing of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. While the survivors, legally known as “real parties in interest,” would unquestionably point to the victim’s own family (husband/wife and children) or parents (if the victim is not yet married), some states also recognize certain individuals, who may be considered as among these “real parties in interest.” The lawfully recognized survivors include:

  • Immediate family of the victim: refers to spouse, children and adopted children, while for unmarried individuals, immediate family would refer to parents
  • Financial dependents, like a life partner or a putative spouse: some states recognize a life or domestic partner (who was financially dependent on the deceased) and a putative spouse (a person who, in all sincerity, believes that he/she and the deceased were married) as among the real parties in interest
  • Distant family members: some states also qualify grandparents and siblings in a wrongful death claim
  • All those suffering financially: this stipulation would cover any person who is financially affected and made to suffer because of the death of the victim; this is actually due to the loss of care or support resulting from the victim’s untimely death;

Any legal rights of the surviving family can best be upheld through the assistance of highly-qualified and experienced wrongful death lawyers.

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