Every state has slightly different wrongful death laws. In general, however, these types of cases could let you recover damages on behalf of a loved one.
The laws are important, but they are the tools by which a judge and jury would interpret the evidence and arguments you put forth. The exact facts of the situation would probably be the main determining factors in regard to the outcome of your case.
What is a wrongful death case?
In simple terms, a wrongful death case is a civil suit that you could potentially start on behalf of a lost loved one. For example, if a family member died in a car crash and could have sued, then that might be the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit.
How much time do you have to file?
The time you might have to start a wrongful death case depends on the actions and events that led to the person’s death. For example, in Minnesota, you could start a case at any time if murder was the cause of death. Other causes of death, such as car accidents, have shorter time limits.
Who can start a wrongful death action?
State laws tend to limit the number of people who may benefit from a wrongful death suit. Typically this is the spouse or next of kin. Then, there is the issue of who may handle the case. In Minnesota, for example, the court appoints and swears in a trustee pursuant to a written petition from the spouse or next of kin.
As you see from this article, laws differ from one state to the next. It might be a good idea to confirm that you have the correct context before making any big decisions.