As mentioned, an individual who lost his or her life due to a property owner’s negligence can not file a claim for damages. Therefore, surviving family members are entitled to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. A surviving spouse, or registered domestic partner, has first priority when it comes to filing a wrongful death claim for damages. But the children of the deceased may also file, as well.
In order to bring a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the landlord, or whomever was in charge, was guilty of negligence and that their negligence was the primary reason why an aggrieved individual lost his or her life.
The statute of limitations in a wrongful death claim is two years from when the death occurred.
In order to successfully prove premises liability against a property owner, surviving family members must show that:
- The property owner had a duty of care toward the deceased individual(s)
- The property owner breached their duty of care by failing to take action that another reasonable property owner would have given the same circumstances
- The property owner was negligent and that their negligence directly caused the death
- Surviving family members suffered losses as a result of the wrongful death
Available damages in a wrongful death claim may include:
- Lost benefits
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and support
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses