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Who receives the award of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit?

August 8, 2018

It is only after a person loses their life in an accident or other negligent or criminal act that their loved ones obtain the right to seek damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. This Lexington personal injury blog has discussed the elements of wrongful death claims and how individuals may sue for the many losses they have been forced to incur when their loved ones have perished due to the actions of others. If they prevail in their legal plight, the distribution of the wrongful death damages award must follow state guidelines.

First, if a person dies and leaves behind a spouse and children then the wrongful death damages award should be split with half of the award going to the spouse and the other half to the children. If the person dies without a spouse but with children, the children receive the full award. Conversely, if a person dies without children but with a spouse, then that person’s spouse receives the full award.

When a person without a spouse or children passes away and their death forms the basis of a successful wrongful death lawsuit then the award of damages may be given to the deceased party’s parents. If the decedent dies without children, a spouse or parents then the award of damages will become part of the decedent’s estate.

A wrongful death lawsuit following the sudden death of a loved one can be an emotionally difficult matter to undertake, but it can provide a grieving family with the financial support they need to begin working back toward normalcy after losing someone important to them. In order to learn more about this specific form of litigation readers are encouraged to seek professional guidance.