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Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Jan 23, 2023 | Class Action, Consumer Information, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

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Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be a complex process, and it is important to understand who has the right to file such a lawsuit. In most cases, the decedent’s designated survivors have the legal capacity to file a wrongful death lawsuit—but there are some exceptions. If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to understand who can do so and what rights they have.

Designated Survivors

The first group of people who may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit is designated survivors of the decedent. Designated survivors include the decedent’s spouses, children, parents, or other close relatives. These individuals will typically have the right to seek compensation for their loss due to the wrongful death of their loved one. This includes compensation for medical expenses related to their loved one’s illness or injury that led up to their death, as well as emotional distress caused by the loss of their loved one.

Decedent’s Estate

In some cases, only the decedent’s estate can bring forth a wrongful death claim. This usually applies if no designated survivor or all surviving heirs agree that the estate should bring forth the claim on their behalf. The executor of an estate has certain powers that enable them to file a lawsuit on behalf of all heirs involved to ensure that everyone receives proper compensation for their losses.


Wrongful death claims can be incredibly complex and challenging matters. Still, understanding who has the right to file such claims is essential to pursue justice for your loved one’s untimely passing properly. Generally speaking, designated survivors—including spouses, children, parents, and other close relatives—have the legal capacity to file these claims on behalf of themselves or behalf of all surviving heirs involved, for they receive fair compensation for their losses due to this tragedy. In some cases, however, only the decedent’s estate may bring forth such a claim, so it is important to understand your rights and determine who best represents you in this situation before taking any action. Understanding who has legal standing in this matter will help you navigate this difficult time with clarity and confidence as you seek justice for your loved one’s untimely passing.

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