Who are Eligible to Claim Damages from a Wrongful Death Case?

a lawyer talking to a client

Wrongful death lawsuits require the court to look at different factors to determine the right person to claim for the damages that arise from the death of an individual.

Some of these factors include the relationship of the deceased to the survivors. In case the person was married, the spouse usually has the right to seek damages on the grounds of lost companionship.

Eligible Plaintiffs​

The court may also award damages to minor children of the deceased. Depending on the state where the case was filed, minors could be defined as those who are below 18 or 21 years old. Likewise, parents of a dead minor could also file a lawsuit.

The costs of hiring legal counsel will also be another thing to consider for a lawsuit. If you recently filed a case in California, the rate of wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles could be different from that in San Francisco.

Percentage of Damages​

Wrongful death lawyers normally charge a certain percentage of the awarded damages, only if the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs or a settlement was done out of court. This is otherwise called a no-win-no-fee agreement. The most common rate is around 30% of the damages, although it could range between 10% and 50%.

Note that the damages are categorized into two groups. The first allows plaintiffs to recover damages from the cause of death up to the person’s actual demise. For instance, a victim of a car accident may be hospitalized before succumbing to their injuries, which mean their family would need to pay for medical expenses on top of funeral expenses. The other category involves compensation that covers losses after the person’s death, such as lost income from their jobs.

The family members of a deceased person would need to find a competent lawyer before filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This allows them to think about their chances of winning their case, especially since the defendant will have their own legal representation.