Can a Domestic Partner Sue for Wrongful Death?
Answers from a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Minneapolis MN
At Johnston | Martineau, PLLP, our attorneys understand the pain someone suffers after a loved one passes away. When the death was avoidable, it can compound the grief. In addition to the great sadness associated with this loss, the family members left behind may also suffer financially with the loss of the victim’s income. The surviving family may have legal recourse against the person responsible for their loved one’s death. Call us to find out how a wrongful death lawyer in Minneapolis MN from our firm may be able to help your family recover their financial losses.
Wrongful Death Claims
A claim of wrongful death is an extension of a personal injury lawsuit that the victim cannot advocate on their own behalf because of their death. The wrongful death claim is filed by someone representing the deceased such as their spouse and with the help of a wrongful death lawyer in Minneapolis MN. In order to sue for wrongful death, the accident and resulting death must have been reasonably avoidable. Some examples of this include:
- Defective products
- Complications from prescribed medications
- Medical malpractice
- Automotive accidents
- Accidents involving slip and falls
Who Is Legally Allowed to File for Wrongful Death?
The law surrounding wrongful death claims vary by state, but as a general rule, domestic partners, spouses, and financially dependent next of kin can file. Next of kin includes parents, children, and siblings. If you lost a loved one in this way, you may benefit from consulting a wrongful death lawyer in Minneapolis MN to review your legal options.
Domestic Partnerships and Estate Plans
If the deceased has a will or estate plan, then the award will typically be paid into the estate and then distributed to the survivors depending on the relationship to the deceased. Minor children, domestic partners, spouses and dependents may have part of the settlement awarded to them. A wrongful death lawyer in Minneapolis MN can determine who is eligible to collect part or all of the settlement award. The distribution might follow in this order:
1. The domestic partner or spouse if there are no children or parents.
2. The domestic partner or spouse receives two-thirds of the award if the deceased and the partner had children.
3. The domestic partner or spouse receives half of the award if the children belong only to the deceased. The remainder is split between the children.
4. Three-fourths of the award is awarded to the spouse if there are no children but the deceased has one or two surviving parents.
Determination of Damages
A jury or a judge determines the damages in a wrongful death case. Settlements are based on the particulars of the case and how the survivors were affected. Afterward, the settlement is distributed based on the list above. Damages may include expenses from funeral costs, lost wages from the present and into the future, and medical bills. Damages may also be awarded for monetary and intangible contributions of the deceased. Moral support, financial gifts, and other acts of care performed for the family members can possibly be compensated for. Some states do not limit the amount of damages you can recover. When you work with a wrongful death lawyer in Minneapolis MN, they can determine a fair settlement amount to request as part of the claim.
Many states place the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims at two years from the date of the death. A claim can be filed with the court even while the accused is also facing criminal charges. This is because a wrongful death lawsuit is considered a civil manner with the sole purpose of recovering damages for survivors.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer Minneapolis MN Families Trust
We may be able to help your family. Contact a wrongful death lawyer in Minneapolis MN from Johnston | Martineau, PLLP today if a loved one passed due to someone else’s actions.