Wrongful Death Law Information by State

State Statute Ala.Code 1975 § 6-5-410 AS § 09.55.580. ARS § 12-611/612/613 A.C.A § 16-62-102 Cal.C.C.P § 377.60 C.R.S.A § 13-21-202 C.G.S.A § 52-555 Del.C. § 3724 DC ST § 16-2701 F.S.A § 768.16-768.28 Ga. Code Ann., § 51-4-1 –> 51-4-6 HRS § 663-3 I.C § 5-311 740 ILCS 180/1 IC 34-23-1-1 I.C.A § 611.20/611.21/611.22/633.336 K.S.A. § 60-1901/1902/1903/1904/1905/1906 KRS § 411.130 LSA-C.C. Art. 2315.2 18-M.R.S.A § 2-804 MD Code § 3-904 M.C.L.A § 2 M.C.L.A. § 600.2922 M.S.A. § 573.02 Miss. Code Ann. § 11-7-13 V.A.M.S. § 537.080 MCA 27-1-513 Neb.Rev.St. § 30-809 N.R.S. 41.085 N.H. Rev. Stat. § 556:19 N.J.S.A. 2A:31-1/31-2/31-3/31-4/31-5/31-6 N.M.S.A. § 41-2-1/41-2-2/41-2-3/41-2-4 EPTL § 5-4.1/5-4.2/5-4.3 N.C.G.S.A. § 28A-18-2 NDCC § 32-21-01/32-21-02/31-21-03/31-21-04/31-21-05/31-21-06 R.C. § 2125.01/2125.02/2124.03/2125.04 12 Okl.St.Ann. § 1052/1053 O.R.S. § 30.020 Pa.C.S.A. § 8301 Gen. Laws 1956, § 10-7 (Chap. 7 – Death by Wrongful Act) Code 1976 § 15-51-10 SDCL § 21-5-1/21-5-2/21-5-3/21-5-4/21-5-5/21-5-6/21-5-7/21-5-8/21-5-9 T.C.A. § 20-5-106 V.T.C.A. § 71.002 U.C.A. 1953 § 78B-3-106 14 V.S.A § 1492 VA Code Ann. § 8.01-50 W.Va. Code § 55-7-5 W.S.A 895.03 W.S.1977 § 1-38-102
Statute of Limitations 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years 3 Years 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years (some exceptions but no claims after 5 Years) 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years (some exceptions) 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years 1-2 Years Depending 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years (usually) 1 Year 1 Year 2 Years 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years 1) 1 Year (intentional act)
2) 3 Years (negligence)
3 Years 3 Years 2 Years 2 Years 6 Years 2 Years 3 Years 2 Years 2 Years 3 Years 2 Years 2 Years 3 Years 2 Years 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years 1 Year 2 Years 1-2 Years Depending 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years 3 Years 2 Years
Who Can Bring Claim Personal Representative Personal Representative Personal Representative, surviving spouse, child, parent or guardian, decedents estate Personal Representative (If none then heir at law of deceased person) Personal Representative, Surviving spouse, domestic partner, Children or Surviving Issue 1st Year – Spouse of deceased/heirs of deceased(by letter of spouse)
2nd Year – Spouse/heirs/designated beneficiary/Mother or Father(if unmarried & no designated beneficiaries)
Executor/Administrator a) Spouse, parent, child, & siblings of deceased
b) If none who qualify under a),anyone related by blood or marriage.
Spouse/Domestic Partner (If none, then next of kin) Personal Representative (If none then one is appointed by the court) – On behalf of spouse/children/parents/any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is partly or wholly dependent on decedent Surviving Spouse (if none) –> Surviving Children Deceased’s Legal Representative, spouse, reciprocal beneficiary, children, parents, or any person wholly or partly dependent upon deceased Personal Representative, heirs, spouse, children, stepchildren, parents, and those wholly or partially dependent on decendant Personal Representative, Spouse, Next of Kin Personal Representative MUST bring case (damages can be distributed to widow/widower/dependent children Personal Representative of Estate/spouse/children/parents “Heirs at Law of Deceased” (Usually means surviving spouse/children/parent/siblings) Personal Representative (damages distributed to estate/spouse & children/parents) Spouse/Children, if none –> Siblings, if none –> surviving grandparents Personal Representative Spouse/Parent/Children, if none –> Any person related by blood or marriage Executor/Administrator Personal Representative Trustee appointed by written petition by surviving spouse or one of the next of kin Surviving Spouse/Children/Siblings Surviving Spouse, children, or grandchildren Personal Representative Legal Representative of deceased’s estate Heirs/Personal Representative of deceased Any person interested in the estate of a person deceased may begin an action as administrator Administrator/Executor of Will (Damages go to Dependents & those inheriting from decendant) Personal Representative (damages distributed to estate/spouse & children/parents/Siblings) Personal Representative Personal Representative Surviving Spouse/Children/Parents/Personal Representative/Person who had primary physical custody of decedent before wrongful act Personal Representative (for benefit of: Spouse/Children/Parents) Personal Representative Personal Representative OR one who may benefit under such a claim (surviving spouse/children/parents) Spouse/Children/Parents/Personal representative Executor/Administrator (in benefit of spouse/children/parents) Spouse/Children, if none –> Siblings, if none –> surviving parents Personal Representative (benefit of Spouse/Children/Parents Personal Representative/Spouse/Children/Parents Spouse/Children/Parents/Executor/Administrator Heirs/Personal Representative Personal Representative Spouse/Children/Parent/Any heir Personal Representative (on behalf of spouse/children/parents) Personal Representative Personal Representative (on behalf of beneficiaries who have sustained damage)
Damages Available Punitive – Alabama solely focused on the behavior of wrongdoer and not so much compensating a loss of injured parties. Compensatory – Deprivation of expectation of pecuniary benefits/Loss of contributions for support/loss of assistance/loss of consortium/loss of prospective training & education/medical & funeral expenses Punitive – Mitigating circumstances
Compensatory – very broad “Fair and just w/reference to injury. Includes financial dependency of the survivors/historical earnings of deceased & future earnings/Medical, Funeral, & Burial Costs/Value of emotional damage & Loss
Compensatory – 2 Types of Claim: 1) Estate Claim = funeral & burial costs/medical bills/Pain & Suffering of deceased/loss of value of deceased’s life including wages he or she was likely to earn. 2) Family Claim = loss of financial support of deceased/loss of Household Services/Loss of care, comfort etc. Compensatory – Damages not in 377.34 (i.e. damages that would occur after death) financial support contributed by deceased/loss of gifts or benefits to heirs could have expected/Funeral & Burial Expenses/Companionship/Affection etc. Punitive – Exemplary Damages taking into account aggravating circumstances.
Compensatory – Economic Loss (medical/funeral bills) & Noneconomic Loss (Pain & Suffering/emotional stress/loss of companionship etc.)
Compensatory – Economic (medical/funeral bills) & Noneconomic (Pain and Suffering/loss of enjoyment of life activities/loss of income)
Punitive – damages can be doubled or tripled according to C.G.S.A. § 14-295(when recklessly operating motor vehicle)
Compensatory – Economic (reasonable funeral costs not more than $7k/loss of expectation of pecuniary benefits/loss of contributions for support/loss of parental, marital, & household services including cost of caring for minor child) & Noneconomic (mental anguish for beneficiaries under (a) Compensatory (based on injury suffered by beneficiary from untimely loss of family) – Economic (funeral costs/medical costs/ lost wages and benefits/other contributions the deceased would likely have made) Compensatory – 2 Types of Claim:
1) Estate Claim = lost wages & benefits deceased would’ve made/lost prospective net accumulations of estate/medical & funeral expenses paid by estate.
2) Family Claim = value of lost support & services/medical & funeral expenses/loss of companionship/mental and emotional Pain & Suffering.
Compensatory – 2 Types of Claim:
1) Estate Claim = funeral, medical, & other necessary expenses resulting from injury.
2) Family Claim = full value of life of deceased (lost wages, & benefits including what deceased might have reasonably earned/loss of care, companionship, & other intangible benefits)
Compensatory – 2 Types of Claims:
1) Estate Claim = reasonable expenses of the deceased’s last illness and burial (funeral, burial, and medical costs/lost wages)
2) Family/Beneficiary Claims = loss of society, companionship, or comfort/loss of marital care, attention, or advice/loss of care/loss of filial care/loss of parental care, training, or education
Compensatory – Economic (medical, funeral, & burial/loss of financial support by family members who relied on deceased/loss of the reasonable value of household services deceased provided) & Noneconomic (loss of “care, comfort, and society”) Compensatory – Economic damages (medical, funeral, & burial costs) & Noneconomic (grief, sorrow, & mental suffering) Compensatory – Economic (medical, hospital, funeral, & burial costs –> Go to estate) (lost wages, & benefits etc. –> go to widow/widower/dependent children Compensatory – Depends on who bring claims. Estate = medical/funeral expenses/lost wages. Compensatory – Economic (funeral/burial/medical/lost wages/value of household services) & Noneconomic – capped at $250k (mental anguish/loss of society, companionship/loss of marital care, attention/loss of filial care attention/loss of parental care Punitive – “if act was willful or the negligence gross”
Compensatory – Economic (funeral/burial costs – Goes to Estate) & Noneconomic (loss of care/companionship, etc. – Goes to family)
Punitive – Some exceptions (ex. If injuries caused by DWI)
Compensatory – Economic (funeral/burial/medical bills) & Noneconomic (as to injury resulting from loss, i.e. loss of companionship etc.)
Punitive – capped at $250k
Compensatory – Economic (Medical/funeral/burial costs/loss of compensations/loss of expected wages) Noneconomic – capped at $500k (loss of comfort, society, companionship/Emotional Distress
Compensatory – Economic (Lost wages/medical, funeral, and burial costs) & Noneconomic (loss of society, comfort, marital care, guidance/Emotional Pain and suffering Punitive – not less than $5k if death caused by malicious/reckless conduct or gross negligence.
Compensatory – Economic (funeral, medical, burial costs/loss of expected wages) Noneconomic (loss of services/care/assistance/society/companionship/guidance
Compensatory – Economic (Medical, Funeral, burial costs/loss of financial support) Noneconomic (loss of companionship/Pain & Suffering of deceased) Punitive – Pursuant to § 549.20
Compensatory – Economic (reasonable funeral, burial, medical costs/loss of income, wages, benefits) & Noneconomic (sorrow, mental anguish)
Compensatory – “such damages allowable by law as the jury may determine to be just, taking into consideration all the damages of every kind to the decedent and all damages of every kind to any and all parties interested in the suit.” (Medical/funeral/burial expenses) Punitive – Mitigating circumstances
Compensatory – Economic (funeral/medical bills) & Noneconomic (Loss of consortium/comfort/guidance)
Compensatory – Economic & Non-Economic damages may be awarded Compensatory – Economic (medical, funeral, burial costs/lost compensation) & Noneconomic (pain and suffering/loss of companionship 1) Estate Claim – Punitive Damages/medical/funeral costs.
2) Family Claim – Loss of support, companionship/pain & suffering of decendant
Compensatory – Economic (Reasonable expense on estate/lost wages) & Noneconomic (Loss of comfort/companionship –> only for SPOUSE & max $150k/Loss of familial relationship –> only for children & max $50k/claimant) Compensatory – Economic (Hospital, Medical, Funeral Expenses) & Noneconomic (Loss of companionship/support) Punitive – “having regard to the mitigating and aggravating circumstances,” & “the jury…may give such damages, compensatory and exemplary.”
Compensatory – Economic (medical, funeral, burial expenses) & Noneconomic (Mental Anguish caused by death/Pain & Suffering deceased suffered/loss of companionship)
Compensatory – Economic (Medical, Funeral, Burial costs/lost wages between final injury and death of deceased/Pain & Suffering of deceased/value of lost services) Punitive – pursuant to Chap. 1D of General Statutes.
Compensatory – Economic (medical, funeral, burial costs/present monetary value of decedent to persons entitled to receive damages –> loss of services/loss of net income) & Noneconomic (loss of society/companionship)
Compensatory – Economic (Medical, funeral, burial costs/loss of earnings, income/loss of employment benefits) & Noneconomic (Pain& Suffering/Mental & Emotional Distress/Loss of consortium/loss of companionship) Compensatory – Economic (Funeral, burial, medical costs/loss of financial support/loss of services) & Noneconomic (Mental Anguish/loss of companionship, care) Punitive – pursuant to Sec. 9.1 of Title 23 of Oklahoma Statutes
Compensatory – Economic (medical, funeral, burial costs/loss of financial support/loss of wages, benefits) & Noneconomic (loss of consortium/Pain & Suffering of decedent)
Punitive – in some cases
Compensatory – Economic (Medical, funeral, burial costs/loss of income, wages, benefits/loss of financial support) & Noneconomic (Pain & Suffering of decedent/Loss of companionship)
Compensatory – Economic (medical, funeral, burial costs/lost wages, benefits) & Noneconomic (loss of companionship, society/pain & suffering of decedent) Punitive – pursuant to § 10-7-7.1
Compensatory – Economic (lost wages/loss of services to house/funeral, medical, burial costs) & Noneconomic (loss of consortium/loss of companionship/Pain & Suffering of decedent)
Punitive – “if act was result of recklessness/malice”
Compensatory – Economic (medical, funeral, burial costs/loss of wages, income, benefits) & Noneconomic (mental anguish & suffering/loss of companionship)
Compensatory – Economic (loss of value of household service/loss of value of financial support/medical, funeral, burial expenses/lost wages, benefits) & Noneconomic (loss of companionship, etc.) Compensatory – Economic (funeral, burial, medical costs/loss of earning capacity during period of injury and death/loss of wages) & Noneconomic (Mental & Physical Pain and Suffering of deceased/loss of companionship) Punitive – “if death was caused by willful act or gross negligence”
Compensatory – Economic (lost earning capacity/lost care, services deceased would have provided) & Noneconomic (lost companionship/mental and emotional pain and suffering)
Compensatory – Economic (funeral, burial, medical costs/lost wages) & Noneconomic (Pain & suffering of family members/loss of care, companionship)
Compensatory – Economic (Lost wages/medical, funeral, burial costs/loss of household service, chores) & Noneconomic (loss of companionship) Punitive – if there was willful or wanton conduct
Compensatory – Economic (medical, funeral, burial costs/loss of income, services, benefits) & Noneconomic (sorrow, mental anguish, solace –> includes companionship, etc.)
Compensatory – Economic (loss of income/medical, funeral, burial costs) & Noneconomic (loss of services, protection, care, assistance/sorrow, mental anguish, solace –> includes companionship, guidance, etc.) Punitive – pursuant to W.S.A. 895.043
Compensatory – Economic (medical, burial, funeral costs/loss of income, financial losses etc.) & Noneconomic (Loss of society, companionship –>max $350k for deceased adult/max $500k for deceased child)
Punitive – “as deemed fair & just”
Compensatory – Economic (funeral, burial, medical cost/loss of wages, income) & Noneconomic (pain &suffering of deceased/loss of companionship)

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