Your close family member may have passed away from a wrongful death situation, but that does not mean you’re eligible for compensation. The court’s determination for who should receive the settlement may differ from yours since their idea stems from individual state codes. Relatives may be quarreling about who will receive the biggest payout from the person’s death, yet none of you may have a shot in the end wasting your time filing the claim in probate.
We want to clarify who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit, whether you’re in Alabama, Vermont, or Georgia, so you don’t waste your time filling out paperwork at the courthouse.
And our wrongful death lawyers desire to inform you if you are a person the courts deem worthy of your loved one’s wrongful death settlement. You, of all people, would need financial support to pay for burial costs and lost wages, not to mention compensation for your pain and suffering.
What is Wrongful Death?
A family member or friend can experience wrongful death when someone accidentally kills them due to recklessness or negligence. These legal scenarios never deal with criminal cases where malicious intent is clear, as is with the lines a state draws with homicide and murder.
Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Claim
Different family members, whether direct or extended relatives, the deceased’s unmarried partner, or close friends, are eligible for the wrongful death proceeds. However, you must consider the state you reside in since each varies in its approach for deciding who has financial need and who are rightful heirs to the funds.
The state’s goal with distributing money from wrongful death claims is “for the benefit of spouse and next of kin,” ensuring they care for those closest to your deceased. They will receive money in proportion to the damages they have suffered, which could include the children losing relationship with their parent, the partner losing wages from your loved one that they relied on for income, etc.
The surviving spouse will obtain the entire wrongful death settlement if there are no kids to inherit the funds, and the parents will become the court’s next priority following them. In the event that no children, spouses, or parents are living, judges will determine who would be eligible to receive the settlement.
Vermont is aware that abandoning spouses and parents will hop back into your loved one’s life if they’re attempting to benefit from their death. The court system would not allow them to recover any money if they did not support your family member before their passing. However, if you or another interested party have evidence to prove a misjudged close relative, bring it with you on the court hearing, as it will be useful to the judge and jury.
Alabama is unique in that its wrongful death successors follow its intestate laws in determining who will receive money from the case. These legal codes also extend to property under a living trust, payable-on-death bank accounts, and joint properties from the deceased person’s estate.
They prioritize spouses and kids for inheriting the wrongful death proceeds like Vermont. However, parents will obtain the first $50,000 if sharing with their children and the first $100,000 if splitting with the deceased’s parents. They include your loved one’s siblings as eligible for receiving financial compensation for the negligent death, but only in the case where no children, spouse, or parents are alive.
Spouses and children will split the wrongful death money equally in Georgia, unlike Vermont and Alabama. While the living parent still retains authority over their minor children, the law will appoint each kid a guardian to manage their settlement money.
Surviving spouses will not earn less than ⅓ of the total settlement amount in situations where they have several children and many interested parties. Even though all the children have the right to their deceased parent’s claim, the law also supplies parents with most of it, entrusting them to act as primary caregivers and breadwinners.
How are Wrongful Death Lawsuits Paid Out?
You or other eligible family members will get the payout for your loved one’s wrongful death case from a judge or jury in court. They will call for an official hearing to weigh the case’s evidence and assess all family members and their relationships to the deceased person.
Finally, the judge will decide an amount based on your parties’ and the defendant’s insurance company’s settlement negotiation, and the courts will pay you afterward. Vermont and Alabama require a personal representative (also called an executor) to oversee the funds since they managed them for your loved one. So they will be your primary contact person for dispensing the funds to the correct parties, you too if you’re eligible.
We Fight for Your Wrongful Death Settlement
It can be a major waste of time to approach the courthouse with the impression that you can quickly secure money from your loved one’s death. They understand specific state statutes and how they consider certain family members eligible for compensation, of whom you might not be included. However, our team can figure out those things for you and fight for your wrongful death settlement, ensuring you obtain it if you legally deserve it.
Our team has recovered over $850,000,000 in settlements and judgments and have the probate experience to negotiate with the opposing insurance company that will try to mitigate the killer’s costs. We can see through their pampered arguments and deliver results that win your favor with judges through received compensation.
It all starts with setting up a free consultation so we can learn about your family and the wrongful death tragedy. We want to accurately assess the situation to tactically move forward with the case analysis and petition. Give our law office at (334).269.3230 so you can file a wrongful death claim with lawyers that do the court work for you!