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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

cremation container and sad family

Losing a loved one due to someone else's negligence or intentional actions is a devastating experience. In such cases, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you seek justice and compensation for your loss.

However, understanding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit and the eligibility criteria is crucial. In this blog post, we will provide comprehensive information on this topic, ensuring you are aware of your rights and options during this difficult time.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Losing a family member or loved one is undoubtedly a painful experience. However, not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Here are the key parties who can typically file such a lawsuit:

Spouse or Domestic Partner

The surviving spouse or domestic partner of the deceased holds the primary right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes legally married spouses and registered domestic partners. If you fall into this category, it is essential to understand your rights and consult with an experienced attorney to navigate the legal process effectively.


In the absence of a surviving spouse or domestic partner, the children of the deceased may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes biological children, adopted children, and stepchildren. However, it's important to note that the laws regarding children's eligibility may vary from state to state.


If the deceased individual does not have a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit may pass to the deceased person's parents. Depending on the circumstances, this includes biological parents, adoptive parents, and sometimes even foster parents.

Personal Representative

In cases where none of the above parties are available or willing to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the responsibility may fall upon the personal representative of the deceased's estate. The personal representative acts on behalf of the estate and represents the interests of the deceased person's beneficiaries.

Understanding the Legal Process of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Once you determine your eligibility to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the legal process involved. Initiating a lawsuit requires gathering evidence, filing the appropriate legal documents, and navigating complex legal procedures. To ensure you have the best chance of success, consulting with an experienced wrongful death attorney is highly recommended.

Seeking Legal Assistance From Our Experienced Attorneys at Slusser Law Firm

Losing a loved one is emotionally challenging, and dealing with legal matters can be overwhelming. At Slusser Law Firm, we understand the pain you are going through and are here to provide the legal support you need. Our experienced attorneys specialize in wrongful death cases, and we are dedicated to helping you seek justice and fair compensation.

If you believe you are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit or have any questions regarding your rights, contact our compassionate team at Slusser Law Firm today. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and provide you with the guidance you need during this difficult time. (570) 405-9953

Remember, understanding your rights and eligibility is the first step towards seeking justice for your loved one's wrongful death.