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Wrongful death awards paid out based on relationship to decedent

November 20, 2018

When a Kentucky resident dies as a result of the negligence of another party then it is possible that their personal representative may later be able to file a claim for damages based on the victim’s wrongful death. In the case of a car accident, the deceased victim’s representative may file a lawsuit so that the relatives of the decedent are able to receive compensation for their extensive losses. When an award is granted to distribution of damages to survivors of the victim will be determined based on state law.

First, if the decedent passes away with only a spouse then the full award of damages from their wrongful death suit will be given to their spouse. Similarly, if the decedent dies without a spouse but with kids then the full award will be given to those children.

Second, however, if a decedent dies with a spouse and kids surviving them then the damages award will be divided between them. The spouse will receive half of the award and the children will receive the other half. If a person is killed in a wrongful death event and has no surviving spouse or kids then their parents will become the beneficiaries of their award of damages.

In the unlikely event that a wrongful death victim dies without a spouse, children, or parents, then the full total of their damages award will become part of their estate. Intestacy laws may then influence who will benefit from the personal representative’s claims for the victim’s wrongful death. Further questions about wrongful death damages and distributions should be brought up with readers’ personal injury attorneys.