Losing a loved one in a car accident may be one of the most difficult things you ever have to go through. Sometimes, the worst part is knowing that your loved one would still be alive today if it weren’t for the negligent or irresponsible actions of another party. If you are a surviving family member of someone who passed away in a fatal accident, you may be able to recover damages for the losses suffered by you and the deceased by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Under Minnesota law, the surviving spouse of the deceased or next of kin must be appointed as trustee to file a wrongful death claim. Next of kin includes surviving:
Once a trustee has been appointed, they can file the claim on behalf of all next of kin.
Proving your wrongful death claim
If you move forward with a wrongful death claim, you will essentially need to show that someone else’s negligence resulted in the loss of your loved one. For wrongful death suits following car accidents, you must show:
- The accident resulted in a death.
- The defendant acted negligently (e.g., driving while distracted, speeding, failing to yield the right-of-way)
- The defendant’s negligence caused the accident and the resulting death.
What damages can I recover?
Wrongful death damages cover the damages suffered by surviving family members as well as the deceased themselves. Potential wrongful death damages can cover:
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of household services
- Medical expenses of the deceased
A personal injury attorney can help you file a wrongful death claim after a car accident. While no amount of money can ease the pain of losing a family member, it can help you and your family stay afloat financially during this difficult time.