Attorneys Robert, David and James Cody

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Who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2023 | Wrongful Death |

In 2020, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 6.3% of all deaths in the state resulted from accidents. Many times, in an accident, there is an at fault party who could be liable for wrongful death.

Wrongful death cases are legal actions that allow surviving family members or dependents to seek compensation for their loss. Knowing who is eligible to file such a claim is crucial.

Eligible parties

In Minnesota, the law specifies the eligible parties who can file a wrongful death claim. These parties are typically close family members, such as the spouse, children and parents of the deceased individual.

If the deceased person had a spouse, this person usually has the primary right to file a wrongful death claim. In the absence of a surviving spouse, the children of the deceased may have the right to file the claim. If the deceased had no spouse or children, the next eligible party is the parents of the deceased.

However, in some situations, family relationships can be more complex, and the law recognizes this complexity. In such cases, eligible parties can also include the siblings, grandparents and even cousins of the deceased. These individuals might be eligible to file a wrongful death claim if they can demonstrate that they were financially dependent on the deceased person.

Estate option

It is important to note that not only individuals can make wrongful death claims. It is also possible for the deceased person’s estate to make a claim. When the deceased person had no surviving spouse, children, parents or other close family members, the estate may have the right to file a claim. The damages awarded in such cases would then go to the deceased person’s heirs, according to the law of intestate succession.

Determining who can file for wrongful death in Minnesota is essential to seeking justice and compensation for the loss of a loved one. Understanding the legal framework of rights is helpful to know who has the ability to make a claim.