In this episode, Chuck describes the details of filing for a wrongful death claim. If you think you may have a claim, give Chuck a call!
Hey, friends. Today I’m going to talk to you about a wrongful death action. It’s an unpleasant thing because what it is, is someone (a family member) has passed away from whatever reason; but typically, an accident or negligence by another person or a product. And the people that bring it on behalf of that deceased family member, is either a parent or a… not a brother or sister ever. It’s linear. In other words, it goes up or down. So, the parents or the children can bring an action on behalf of the parent, let’s say was in a car accident and died.
The way this works is you sort of stand in place of the person that has passed away and then bring an action for it. Not for their pain and suffering, but for the damages incurred by the family members. Think of this as a pie. Let’s assume there are four children; and there is a spouse. So, you would… the spouse and the four children are five pieces of the pie and depending on how big that pie is and the damages per person, that’s how it is split up. And that’s the way a typical wrongful death action works.
If somebody has had… and this actually happened to me, where they had twelve kids. There weren’t any spouses that were alive, but twelve children, they all had one slice of that pie. So, it happened to be a big pie so it worked out fine; but that’s the way it works. And it’s usually if they can all get together; they all take an equal slice; but if they can’t then a Judge will decide as to whether or not someone gets more than the next person.
That’s putting it in a very simplistic way but a wrongful death action is brought on behalf of the deceased person. It’s not the Estate. It’s the actual living linear descendants or the parents or the husband or wife that has survived that person or the children. And they bring an action on behalf of them in their own name on behalf of the deceased individual.
I hope that’s… it’s understandable to you. It’s a little bit difficult but it’s just like a regular personal injury case, where instead of you bringing it your family brings it on your behalf and then they reap the… I shouldn’t say reap but they get the damages in portion to their loss. And if that was a bread-winner, like a father that had a bunch of kids and he had an income and he was supporting those kids, then the theory is that the damages will be based on the amount of money that the kids have now lost in terms of supporting them.
If you have any questions, always give me a call.