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Who can sue for wrongful death in Delaware?

Although many people are impacted emotionally, and maybe even financially, after a Wilmington, Delaware resident dies unexpectedly, not everyone can file a wrongful death suit after a fatal accident, even if the accident was caused by someone else's carelessness.

Although this blog has discussed this before, several months ago, it is worth repeating who can sue for wrongful death and, assuming compensation gets awarded as a result of the suit or of a settlement, who will receive payment.

Under Delaware law, the people who have priority for suing for wrongful death or the deceased person's husband or wife, children, brothers and sisters, or parents. If those people are unable to decide to file a suit, then any person who is related by blood or an in-law can file a wrongful death action. The idea behind the law is to balance the fact that others really are hurt when someone dies unexpectedly and the death is preventable against the fact that the law simply cannot allow anybody to sue in these circumstance.

The proceeds from a wrongful death case, if any, will go to the deceased person's heirs or those whom the person wanted to inherit as specified in the patient's will. This makes sense because those close to the person are the most likely to suffer emotional damages and also the most likely to feel the financial pinch of the person's death.

Although not every accident is necessarily anyone's fault, many accidents in Delaware that lead to the untimely death of a person are preventable. In such cases, a grieving family should remember that they have legal options for pursuing compensation, and they may even wish to discuss these options with an experienced Delaware wrongful death attorney.

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Murphy & Landon

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Wilmington, DE 19805

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