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Posted by Robin on Oct 22, 2016

Rights of the “Real Parties in Interest” in the Event of a Wrongful Death

An injury, which is due to a person’s negligence, is called a personal injury. It may be physical, emotional or mental; it could also be intentional or unintentional. Personal injuries can happen through many different ways, including, but not limited to: car accidents; motorcycle accidents; truck accidents; construction accidents; medical malpractice; defective products; slip and fall accidents; and, nursing home abuse or negligence. While many accidents result to severe injuries, there are cases wherein their effect is much more damaging, leading to a victim’s wrongful or untimely death

In a wrongful death situation, the family or the dependents of the deceased victim can pursue a legal action, primarily, for the purpose of seeking justice. This legal action, which is called a wrongful death claim, is for the benefit of the “real parties in interest,” meaning, the surviving family members and the decedent’s (or deceased victim) other dependents. A wrongful death claim is a special kind of personal injury lawsuit which is intended to seek compensation for whatever pecuniary or financial damages the dependents may suffer, like loss of the decedent’s financial support, services and companionship, lost prospect of inheritance, medical expenses, and funeral expenses.

A representative, who would act on behalf of the “real parties in interest,” has the duty of filing a wrongful death claim. The “real parties in interest” do not only include the decedent’s immediate family, which means the spouse, child/children and/or adopted children, as there may also be other individuals who, based on their relationship with the deceased victim, are also considered by some states as having the right to be included in the “real parties in interest” group. They are the decedent’s parents, distant family members, like brothers and sisters, and grandparents, financial dependents, and, life partner or putative spouse (a putative spouse is someone who has cohabited with the victim. He/She entered into marriage with the victim, however, due to a legal flaw, like a previous marriage that still exists, their marriage was declared invalid).

As explained by a wrongful death attorney from the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, those who have experienced the wrongful death of a loved one, regardless of the cause, may be able to fight for compensation in order to help deal with the consequences of their loss. Compensation should include medical costs, funeral expenses, loss income which should have been earned by the deceased victim, and loss of companionship among others.

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