Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

The representative allowed to bring a wrongful death suit is defined by state law. In some states, it may be only a spouse and children. In other states, grandparents or other relatives may also be allowed to bring a lawsuit. Some states have enacted restrictions on filing when one family member would be suing another family member for the wrongful death of a third family member. The person filing the lawsuit will also often be the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate (if he/she had one). In most cases, the deceased’s family will have no dispute over who should act on behalf of the deceased, but in some cases the surviving family members will get into a vehement dispute over who will be the representative of the estate. It is the representative of the estate who will have the legal authority to file, control, and ultimately settle the lawsuit.

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