What is a wrongful death lawsuit and who can file for wrongful death?
Wrongful death is a death caused by another person’s recklessness, negligence, malpractice, or conscious disregard for another’s well being. A person killed in a construction accident, by a drunk driver, or due to medical malpractice, is the victim of wrongful death. Importantly, wrongful death law suits are civil, not criminal, charges, they are meant to help families recover damages for the pain and hardship they must endure due to the loss of a loved one.
State laws concerning lawful death vary, but in all states the close relatives of the deceased, such as spouses, children, and parents can file lawsuits for wrongful death. If children are minors, they will usually need to file the lawsuit through a legal guardian, called a guardian ad litem. Sometimes, more extended family such as step-family, grandparents, and dependents may also be permitted to file for wrongful death.
Wrongful death cases fall under a statute of limitations, meaning that the lawsuit must be filed within a certain period of time from the event of death. Wrongful death cases in Virginia must be filed within two years of the date of death. Wrongful death cases in Washington, D.C. must be filed one year from the date of death. Wrongful death cases in Maryland must be filed within three years from the date of death. Where the case will be tried depends on several factors that must be considered by an attorney, so it is best to first contact an attorney in the general area where the death occurred.
At the Barrera Law Firm, we have tried wrongful death cases in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. with great success. It takes experience and empathy to deal with these cases adequately. If you need to file a wrongful death case, or have legal questions concerning a loved one’s wrongful death, do not hesitate to contact the law offices of Daniel Barrera today.
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