Losing a loved one is not easy at all, especially in certain cases when negligence is involved. Wrongful deaths are usually more hurtful. For example, if you lose a loved one in a fatal accident caused by the negligence of the driver, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Here is everything you need to know about who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit.

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Who Can File It?

Before getting money for wrongful death, a claim must be made. In general, family members closest to the departed may be able to file the wrongful death lawsuit. They will also be eligible to receive a payment which will eventually be split among the parties of interest.

Note: Not any family member can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Most states require that you must only be a direct family member to file. Extended families, children out of wedlock, and other factors may affect your eligibility.

The Spouse

The spouse or romantic partner of the deceased can file and get money in a wrongful death lawsuit. If the romantic partner who is benefiting from the wrongful death lawsuit was not lawfully married to the person that died at the time of the death, this may affect whether they can receive a settlement.


Most of the time, the child of the person that died can get money from the wrongful death lawsuit. Some factors may affect whether the child of the deceased gets compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. If the child is a product of a past marriage, if the child was adopted, if the child is a stepchild, or if the child was not yet born at the time of the death of the parent.


Parents of the deceased can also get money from a wrongful death lawsuit. Whether the deceased child was a minor or an adult, parents can decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue damages. Adoptive parents, step-parents, and other people with parent-like relationships with the deceased will make the lawsuit more complicated.

Household Dependents

A dependent according to the law is a person that lives in your home and you financially support through providing shelter, food, and other means of living. Dependents are eligible to get money from a wrongful death lawsuit too.


In most states, wrongful death lawsuits usually provide payment to loved ones who lost support due to the death of their loved one. A sibling may be named in a wrongful death lawsuit compensation but it depends on their relationship to their dead sibling at the time of the death. Sometimes, if they were receiving financial support at the time of the death is a factor that would be considered.

Wrongful death lawsuits can become very complicated. Right from the court determining that the death was caused by negligence down to naming family members who will receive the money can be a very complex process.

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