A wrongful death claim is a claim against a person or entity (corporation, organization, city, school, etc.) that can be liable for someone’s death. There are many possible scenarios that may lead to a wrongful death claim for someone’s death, including negligent medical care, car/motorcycle/pedestrian accidents, or intentional acts including murder. These cases often make front-page headlines, especially when juries award large monetary awards. 

Wrongful Death and Workers Compensation

Although there are exceptions involving dangerous or defective products, fatal accidents at work are usually handled through a workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes a wrongful death claim will be filed alongside a criminal case when a death is caused intentionally. The civil wrongful death claim in the OJ Simpson case is a famous example of a wrongful death claim. 

In Rhode Island, the wrongful death statute can be found in Rhode Island General Laws § 10-7-1, et. seq. In Rhode Island, a wrongful death claim must be brought by an executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate. The estate of the victim has the first right to sue. After 6 months, if the estate does not file a claim, beneficiaries including spouses, children or parents may bring claims.  If someone dies without a will, the court will appoint an administrator to bring the action in court. The law in Rhode Island is different than other states, so it is important to work with an attorney licensed in Rhode Island who understands the unique rules. 

Every state, including Rhode Island, has a time limit called a statute of limitations that sets the amount of time in which someone can bring a case. In Rhode Island, claims must be filed within three years of death. In the interest of evidence preservation, witness recollection and closure for families, it is always advisable to file these claims as soon as possible. 

Call a Providence Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Dana and Dana have been handling wrongful death cases for more than 25 years in Rhode Island, and have appeared on NBC10 in Providence to discuss cases. To learn more about your legal rights in a wrongful death claim, contact us for a free consultation.