Wrongful death lawsuits provide critical compensation to family members who have lost a loved one in an accident. With this type of lawsuit, a family can receive money when their loved one is killed due to the neglect, default, or wrongful act of another person.
A good way to think about this type of claim is that it is similar to the personal injury lawsuit a loved one could bring had he or she lived. Because they died, family members must step into their shoes and file a wrongful death claim.
The Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations sets out the maximum amount of time a person has to bring a lawsuit. Many people are surprised that the state sets a deadline for bringing claims. But it does so in order to make sure that courts decide cases using only fresh evidence.
A wrongful death case in Wyoming must be filed within 2 years of a loved one’s death. So if your husband died on September 1, 2019, the wrongful death needs to be filed by September 1, 2021.
If not, then a judge will probably toss the case out of court, which has disastrous consequences. It means it will be very difficult to receive compensation from the person responsible for the death. There might be exceptions to the wrongful death statute of limitations, but you should not depend on them. Instead, meet with an attorney right away to see if you can bring a claim.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Now that you know the wrongful death statute of limitations in Wyoming, you might be wondering how to file. First, you need to know who files the case. According to Wyoming law, the personal representative for your loved one’s estate files the lawsuit in court. This personal representative is tasked with handling all claims involving the estate and distributing assets according to a will.
Your loved one should have identified their personal representative in a will. If they died without a will, then the probate court will appoint a personal representative. Usually, a close family member serves in this capacity.
Receiving Compensation in a Wrongful Death Case
Although the personal representative files the suit, family members end up receiving any compensation awarded. These family members may include a surviving spouse, children, parents, or other dependents. If you have a question about whether you can receive compensation, meet with an attorney.
Compensation will be in the form of money damages and can be obtained for things like the loss of companionship, care, comfort, or society. A family member might also sue for pain and suffering caused by the loved one’s death. These types of losses are necessarily subjective, and an attorney can use his experience to help you identify how much you might qualify for.
The estate can also receive compensation because of the wrongful death for things like burial and funeral expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering your loved one endured before death.
Meeting with an Attorney
If your loved one died under suspicious circumstances or in an accident, then you should meet with an attorney to review your case. At Platte River Law, we are happy to meet with anyone who has questions about a wrongful death lawsuit in relation to the death of a loved one.
To better understand whether you have a claim, a lawyer would like to see:
- Any police report filed in connection with your loved one’s death
- If your loved one died at work, an incident or accident report
- The names of witnesses who might have seen the accident
- Any medical records you have related to your loved one
- Your own memories of the incident that led to the death
- The name of who you suspect is responsible for your loved one’s death
With this information, we can get a better handle on what happened. If necessary, we can file a lawsuit to make sure you don’t go outside the Wyoming statute of limitations for wrongful death cases.
Being Unsure if You Have a Claim
As seasoned wrongful death lawyers, we encourage everyone who suspects they might have a claim to reach out to an attorney. There is no reason to delay. Grieving family members are not expected to understand inside and out. Let a lawyer analyze the circumstances and decide whether more investigation is necessary.
Contact Platte River Law today. We have years of experience bringing successful wrongful death claims, and we will happily meet with you for a free consultation.