If you are injured in an accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. However, if your loved one passes away as a result of an accident, you will only be entitled to compensation if you have the right type of relationship with the deceased. The relationship you will need to have depends on the state you are from.
Immediate Family Members
If you are an immediate family member, you should be able to file a lawsuit. For example, if the deceased is your child or if you are the child of the deceased, you may be entitled. Also, if you are the spouse of the deceased, you'll be entitled to compensation. However, some states do not allow adult children to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death and others do. Also, parents of unmarried children may not be able to file a lawsuit.
Civic Unions and Domestic Partnerships
Even if you are not married, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit if you have a civil union. Domestic or life partners who are financially dependant on the deceased may seek compensation. Also, if you are a putative spouse, meaning that you have reason to believe that you are married, you may be entitled to compensation.
When the deceased is a single adult with no children, the majority of states allow for more distant relatives to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. This can include grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
Those Who Suffer Financially from the Death
In some states, you are able to successfully sue for wrongful death if you suffer financially as a result of death even if you are not related by blood or marriage. For example, if the deceased was a friend who was caring for you, this may make you eligible.
Parents of a Fetus
After a fetus has passed away, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit if someone else was negligent for the death of the fetus. For example, if you were involved in a car accident in which your unborn child become non-viable, you may be entitled to compensation.
Depending on your relationship to the deceased, you may find it difficult to prove that you are entitled to compensation. However, with the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer, you will be able to show how state law allows you to collect for the damages you have suffered.
My husband does much of our auto repair work himself. We do all that we can to save a dollar when we can, and doing the repair work saves us a small fortune each year. Unfortunately, all of the money that we have saved over the past 15 years has gone to pay the medical bills that we have accumulated during the last several months after a floor jack failed and dropped our car on top of my husband. A few days after the incident, I contacted an injury attorney. I have created a blog to help others that have been injured due to faulty products find some sort of resolution.