When people are killed in accidents because of the negligence of others, people who have specific relationships to the deceased victims have the right to file wrongful death lawsuits to receive compensation for their losses.

Wrongful death claims can be filed in cases in which the victim would have had grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit if he or she had not passed away.

Who can benefit?

Kentucky law limits who benefits from wrongful death lawsuits. The law also lists the parties in order of priority.

  • If there are no surviving children, all proceeds go to the widow or widower.
  • If there are children but no surviving widow or widower, all proceeds benefit the children.
  • If there isn’t a surviving widow, widower, or child, the parents of the deceased victim receive the proceeds.
  • If there isn’t a widow, widower, children, or parent who survives the deceased person, the decedent’s estate benefits from the claim, to be distributed to any heirs or beneficiaries.

The person who files a wrongful death lawsuit is the person who has been named as the executor of the estate or who has been appointed as the administrator of the estate. When the executor or administrator files a lawsuit, it is filed for the benefit of the parties as previously listed.

Consulting with an attorney

People who lose loved ones in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence may want to meet with experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys to learn about the merits of their claims. A lawyer can be very important in the legal process.