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Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Claims

At DeLuca, Weizenbaum, Barry & Revens, Ltd. in Providence, we represent clients in a range of personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Our attorneys combine experience, assertive advocacy and personalized care in every case we handle. If you have lost a loved one in a tragic accident, please find some answers below and reach out to a lawyer from our firm to learn more.

1. What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

A lawsuit filed after the death of an individual caused by another individual or an entity (company, agency, etc.)

2. Do I need a wrongful death attorney?

These suits are very complex, and the defendant(s) in the case will have legal representation by experienced wrongful death attorneys. It is essential to have your own representation to participate fully in the legal process.

3. Who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit?

The money is awarded to the party or parties that filed the suit, including people filing on behalf of surviving minor children.

4. How are wrongful death settlements paid out?

Payments can be made in one lump sum or through ongoing structured payments.

5. Are wrongful death settlements taxable?

Typically, these settlements are not taxable for compensatory damages (medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.). If punitive awards are included, they may be taxable based on the specifics of the settlement.

6. How much can you get in a wrongful death suit?

The size of a settlement is based on multiple factors and the types of damages awarded. Cases with punitive awards tend to have much higher settlements.

7. Who can file a wrongful death claim?

In Rhode Island, the executor of the estate files the wrongful death claim. If there is no will, the court appoints an administrator who files. In some cases, a family member may file if the court does not appoint an administrator.

8. How long does a wrongful death lawsuit take?

These cases may be lengthy, and many settle out of court. Settling out of court shortens the process.

9. What does a wrongful death statute allow for?

The lawsuit can include coverage for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages and benefits, property damage, and pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages are included.

10. Who pays for a wrongful death lawsuit?

The defendant(s) named in the lawsuit or their insurance providers

11. Who can file a wrongful death suit?

The executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased

12. What’s the time frame for filing a wrongful death claim?

In Rhode Island, the claim must be made in three years from the time the negligence was discovered, not necessarily the death of the individual.

13. Is there an average in wrongful death settlements?

In Rhode Island, the state law sets a minimum settlement at $250,000 in damages. Talk to a lawyer at DeLuca, Weizenbaum, Barry & Revens, Ltd. to get more specific information.

Contact DeLuca, Weizenbaum, Barry & Revens, Ltd.

We offer free initial consultations, so there is no financial investment to talk with our attorneys about your next steps. We are here to help you. Call us at 401-354-7233 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation with an experienced attorney.