Who Receives the Money Recovered from a Wrongful Death Case?

Who Receives the Money Recovered from a Wrongful Death Case?

Following a car accident, on-the-job injury, or incident such as medical malpractice, many victims choose to pursue a personal injury case. Recovering from an injury is expensive, and another person’s negligence can leave a victim with costly medical bills and other injury-related expenses such as lost wages.

When a person dies as the result of the negligence of another individual or entity, the family is left with the responsibility to pay those bills, as well as funeral expenses and the immeasurable cost of losing a loved one. In these cases, the family of the deceased can pursue a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death lawsuits are meant to provide compensation for those affected by a death, but who can recover that compensation is limited by the law.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit is generally reserved for a person who was appointed as a representative of the deceased’s estate. Identifying a representative is a procedure that, usually, must be completed as part of the subject’s creation of a will, and other elements of organizing their after-death affairs. In many situations, this is done before the person dies. However, cases of wrongful death are often untimely, and harm someone who was too young to have these affairs sorted. In these cases, the court system may have to posthumously decide on a representative.

Wrongful Death Claims in Kentucky

In the state of Kentucky, the law allows for the damages recovered through a wrongful death lawsuit to be distributed to the victim’s family members. The people who actually receive compensation will depend on the victim’s family structure.

For example, if the victim was married with children at the time they died, the money recovered in the wrongful death case will be distributed between their spouse and their children. If the deceased person has a spouse but no children or vice versa, the damages will be awarded to either of the surviving family members. Spouses and children are almost always considered as the closest living relatives in a wrongful death case.

If a victim who was not married or had any children at the time they died, the money that was recovered through the wrongful death case on their behalf will be attributed to their parents if they are still alive, or the people named in the victim’s will if their parents are not alive. If there is no will, the courts may have to determine a rightful heir. The circumstances of distributing compensation without surviving family members or a will varies between cases.

The attorneys of Goeing Goeing & McQuinn PLLC are committed to helping those who have been impacted by the negligence of others, and helping you understand your rights. Contact us for a free evaluation of your wrongful death or personal injury case.

Send us a message or call (859) 534-9327 to get in touch with the team.
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