Wrongful death suits are either settled out of court or are decided in the court via a trial. Then the settlement amount is given directly to the beneficiaries or given to the estate of the death person from where the monies are paid to the beneficiaries. There is no fixed rule as the rule varies from one state to the next based on the prevailing probate laws in the state. However, the general process of paying out wrongful death suits is the same in all the states.
When wrongful death occurs, one person who is the representative of the deceased as named in the will ends up being the plaintiff in the lawsuit. This person is the one who will fight the lawsuit on behalf of the person who has died. However, before proceeding with a wrongful death lawsuit, the family of the deceased has to set up an estate and a representative of the estate has to be named.
Once the settlement amount is decided either by the jury or out of court, then the amount is distributed among the beneficiaries. This distribution is done based on the wrongful death laws prevailing in the state. The settlement amount can be a lump sum or it can be in the form of structured payments. It is best to consult a lawyer to find out the advantages and disadvantages between the 2 types of payments.
The payment received for wrongful death can cover expenses related to the funeral, medical needs before the person passed away, compensation for loss of companionship, and compensation for loss of any future earnings or profit. It may also be possible for the family of the deceased to get punitive damages. This basically means the economic loss that the family has to endure due to the untimely death of the person. This amount is seen as a way of punishing the person who caused the death.
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