Car accidents mostly constitute personal injury claims; however, if the victim dies from vehicle malfunctions, living relatives may file for wrongful death charges against the manufacturer. A wrongful death claim is a more specific type of personal injury wherein an individual dies from the fault of another party.
To have a wrongful death claim, a representative of the deceased, also known as “real parties in interest,” must first file the charges on behalf of the affected family or living relatives. Those who may sue for wrongful death claims are explained below.
Immediate or Distant Family
Any member of the deceased’s immediate family may file wrongful death claims in all states. If the departed individual has no immediate family members, distant relatives like siblings or grandparents are also granted the right to sue for the victim.
Life Partners or Spouses
Besides legal spouses, life partners or the companion of the deceased in a long-term basis and putative spouses are also given the right to file wrongful death claims in some states. Putative spouses are those who believe in good faith of being married to another individual but legally invalid.
Individuals who would not be able to support themselves for the loss of their dependent may also bring wrongful death claims to court even if they are not related by any means. Similar to the previous claimants, this condition is only permitted in some states. California is one of them but with several limitations.