Initiating a Wrongful Death Suit: The Basics

by J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys | May 26th, 2016 | Blog, Wrongful Death

While some of us are lucky enough to say that we have yet to lose someone we truly love, the truth is that countless individuals deal with such losses every second of the every day. When someone who played a major role in your life is gone, picking up the pieces can drain take all the strength you have left. For most, they will eventually find closure and hold the memory of those they lost dear.

However, for those who lost a loved one due to the negligence of others, matters are quite different. At the J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys, in addition to our extensive knowledge of personal injury lawsuits, we also have expertise in a variety of different cases, including wrongful death. If someone you loved dearly was killed due to the carelessness of another party, we can help you and your family get the justice your deserve today.

As wrongful death suits cover everything from construction accidents to car collisions, it’s important to know the facts if you suspect your loved one was a victim. While we know that your life will never be the same without that person, we have made it our mission to empower you and instill you with confidence within you if you lost a loved one to wrongful death.

In order to understand this type of lawsuit strategically, it’s important to know the ins and outs of initiating a wrongful death case:

The statute of limitations in all states gives you at least one year to file a wrongful death suit.

As stated previously, when you lose someone you care about, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is probably the last thing on your mind. However, as the law gives you one year to do so, it’s important to act fast and speak with your lawyer today if you suspect wrongful death played a role in the loss of your loved one.

Acting quickly will assure that the details of your loved one’s death are fresh in your mind so that you may help them attain the justice they were deprived of.

The Process

While the particular course of action you take will differ according to your situation, follow these guidelines for some insight on what you should do if you suspect wrongful death was a factor in the loss of your loved one:

  1. Determine whether or not your loved one was pursuing a personal injury case against the defendant (the party you believe is responsible) before he or she died.

–       There are survivor statutes that allow you to pick up the suit on behalf of your loved one.

–       This personal injury case will be separate from any wrongful death suit you are filing, but it is likely the two will be wrapped up into one trial or settlement.

–       Discovering lingering personal injury claims is key.

If your loved one died in a work- related incident, searching for any records of lost personal injury cases is vital so that you and your family may receive the aid and closure you need to move forward.

  1. Most importantly, determine if you are permitted by law to file a wrongful death suit

This is contingent on the following:

–       Your relationship to the victim<

–       Your state of residence

–       The decedent’s will

If there is no will:

–       You must be an adult

–       You must be directly related to the victim (spouse, child, etc.)

*Sometimes the person who files a wrongful death suit is not the same person who will benefit from the awarded money. There are clear laws regarding who can legally be a beneficiary. If you have any questions about this subject, consult with your lawyer today!

Know the basics about estates

When you lose a loved one, their possessions, property, money and other assets so forth are collectively referred to as an ‘estate.’ In a wrongful death lawsuit, there is a possibility that the damages collected will not be awarded to a beneficiary, but to an estate (which can include multiple people in some circumstances).


If you have determined whether or not your loved one was in the midst of filing a personal injury suit and you have the right to file a wrongful death suit, it’s time to meet with a lawyer and file. It will then be your task to prove that another party committed a mistake that lead to the death of your loved one.

Between funeral expenses, medical bills and the terrible horrible grief losing a loved one causes, now is not the time to face filing a wrongful death lawsuit alone. If you suspect your loved one died as the result of another party’s negligence, call the J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys at 1800-car-crash and allow us to be your ally during this difficult process today.


Before You Leave

Check in first with our Legal Assistant for guidance in your personal injury case.

Start Now

Holler Box