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Who can bring a wrongful death action?

| FAQs Jan 12, 2016

A wrongful death claim represents a claim brought by one person in connection with the death of another individual due to the negligence or recklessness of a third party. The existence of a wrongful death claim is determined based upon state law. Some states require that wrongful death claimants be the decedent’s primary beneficiaries, including the spouse or children of a deceased individual. Many states permit parents to bring a wrongful death action, and other states allow dependents to bring wrongful death actions. In some cases, regardless of who brings a wrongful death claim, an award must be divided amongst the deceased’s heir in accordance with probate law requirements. In some cases, survivors may bring a direct action for loss of affection and companionship.