The wrongful death law allows you to file a lawsuit against a person responsible for the death of your loved one. However, there are some exceptions that could limit your ability to file for wrongful death.
FindLaw explains that the main exception is if the person already received compensation for the injuries before he or she died. However, there are other points to note that could limit or prevent you from filing your claim.
Right to file
You must have a certain relationship with the deceased person to make a wrongful death claim. The law only allows you to file a case if you are a spouse, parent or child of the person who died. If you are a personal representative appointed by close family, you also may file the case.
As with all legal situations, the law sets a time limit by which you must take action. In a wrongful death situation, you have two years from the date the person dies to file your case. If you fail to file the case by that time, the court will throw it out as invalid.
Keep in mind that a wrongful death case can only provide compensation. It will not impose punishment against the other person. You may be in a situation where the person is also facing criminal charges, in that case, the time limit will usually extend to allow for the criminal case to be complete before you can file.
Before filing your case, make sure that you meet all the requirements. If you file and are not eligible, the court will dismiss your case.