Who is eligible for a wrongful death claim?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Wrongful Death Auto Accidents |

The death of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can be dreadful and overwhelming. In most situations, the deceased’s family members may consider claiming compensation through a lawsuit.

In West Virginia, state law specifies who can file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate must file the claim, often named in the deceased’s will or estate plan. The court may appoint a personal representative in case there is no will.

Who are the beneficiaries?

The personal representative of the deceased’s estate distributes the compensation retrieved from a wrongful death claim to the beneficiaries. These beneficiaries typically include:

  • Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased.
  • Children: This includes biological and legally adopted children.
  • Parents: Especially if the deceased was financially supporting them.
  • Siblings: They may be eligible, mainly if no surviving spouses or children exist.

Any other dependents might include relatives financially dependent on the deceased at the time of death. The West Virginia Code governs the distribution of damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit, outlining the proportions and priorities when multiple parties are involved. It is crucial for those involved to consult with a legal professional to navigate the specifics of filing a claim and ensure that the process adheres to West Virginia state laws.

The passing of a loved one is an unimaginably difficult experience, and navigating the aftermath can feel tremendous. Although no amount of compensation can replace your loss, pursuing a wrongful death claim in West Virginia can offer a path to financial support and a sense of justice for your loved one’s untimely death.