Each day, motor vehicle accidents happen in Minnesota. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that someone will walk away from one alive. After a fatality happens in a car accident, surviving family members can take the at-fault party to court. Here’s more information about the elements of a typical wrongful death claim.
Another driver caused the death
One of the first elements of any wrongful death claim is proving another person was responsible for an accident. If someone was driving and fell asleep behind the wheel, there likely wouldn’t be another party to blame. However, wrongful death claims in accidents involving more than one party are far more common.
Your family suffered monetary damages
When a vehicle accident happens that results in a fatality, it can have a significant financial impact on a family. If someone passed away in a car accident and was the primary earner for their family, it can leave surviving family members in financial ruin. In these situations, it sometimes leaves single parents to raise an entire family on one income. That’s why many wrongful death claims seek damages from the other party or parties.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Almost every state has its own set of laws regarding these types of claims. In many of them, the party or parties that are eligible to bring such an action are the decedent’s surviving spouse or, if there is none, other close next of kin. In others, it is the decedent’s personal representative. Minnesota law, however requires the decedent’s surviving spouse or next of kin to petition the court to appoint a plaintiff, called for this purpose a “trustee”.