If a loved one is killed in a work-related accident, that fatality classifies as wrongful death. While many don’t want to think of the financial aspect of it all, a common reality is that they depended on the deceased for a large portion of their income. In most states, a number of family members can file a wrongful death suit and get compensation to help make the financial transition of their loss a little easier. However, that family member must have been financially dependent on them.
However, what happens when there is more than one person in the family that was financially dependent on the deceased? Typically the settlement is awarded to the primary family member like the spouse or the surviving children. However, what happens if there was a secondary, like a parent, that was dependant on a portion of the income?
There is normally not more than one settlement. In most cases, the family members will split it to help with expenses, but the decision to do so is by choice rather than any responsibility to do so by the courts. However, if non-primary family members are part of the family that can be entitled to wrongful death settlements in your state, such as parents opposed to extended family like aunts or uncles, and can prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased, they do have some options.
If those two qualifications are met, they do have the right to challenge a settlement and the courts can force the primary family member to split it.
If you have suffered a wrongful death in the family and found a family member challenging your settlement or are looking to challenge the settlement of another, contact us. Wrongful death cases are hard enough as it is, we can help make getting your compensation a little easier.