Anyone who has a loved one die as a result of someone else’s actions probably has a lot of questions. What can you do to be compensated? Who can file a lawsuit against the one responsible? What types of damages can be claimed? This guide will provide you with answers to these questions.

Filing a Claim

The appropriate legal action for anyone in this situation is to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit is like a personal injury claim, but filed on behalf of the victim due to the fact the victim passed away from his or her injuries. Only certain people can file this type of lawsuit. In every state, the spouse of the victim can file, as well as the parents or children if the children are minors.

Additionally, certain states have special laws which may possibly allow adult children, parents of adult children, siblings, or extended family member to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you fall into one of these categories, you should research if your state allows you to file or speak with a family member who is allowed to file in any state.


Wrongful death lawsuits are unusual because they are filed on behalf of another. This makes the list of damages that can be claimed a bit hard to pin down. Some damages were suffered by the victim, and some were suffered by the loved ones of the victim. Both these categories of damages are valid. Damage of the victim may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Damage to property
  • Other injury-related expenses

On the other hand, damages of the loved ones of the victim may include:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of support
  • Emotional distress
  • Funeral costs
  • Burial costs

On top of these types of damages, it is also possible that punitive damages may be assigned. Unlike more traditional types of damages, punitive damages are not a form of compensation. Instead, it is meant to act as a punishment. If the defendant acted irresponsibly or maliciously, and the judge does not feel the amount of compensation owed is enough to be a proper punishment, the judge may assign additional punitive damages. Punitive damages are actually quite common in wrongful death cases.

If you plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer, in  Lakewood FL, from David & Philpot, P.L., before you do anything. You can learn what you should expect, what you can claim, and if you are eligible to file.