Question: My uncle was killed by nursing home negligence. Can I sue for wrongful death?
Response: Wrongful death recovery is generally available to the spouse, children and parents of the deceased. A close relative, no matter how well loved or a part of the family, often does not qualify for a wrongful death recovery in most states. However, there are various exceptions to this general rule in many states. Financial dependents may be able to sue for wrongful death if the deceased is a distant relative or a non-blood related caregiver.
There are even some states that allow any person who suffered financially, even if not related, to recover for wrongful death. A domestic partner or someone who mistakenly, but justifiably, believes they were married to the deceased may recover in some states. Some states allow more distant relatives, such as brothers, sisters and grandparents to sue for wrongful death. Consult an attorney to determine the wrongful death rules applicable in your state, but few scenarios other than financial dependence will allow a wrongful death recovery for the death of an uncle.
Answered by Coulter Boeschen
Additional Resources: Nursing Home Attorneys