Who can sue for wrongful death in Kentucky?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Personal Injury

Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult. It becomes even more painful when the death results from someone else’s negligence.

In such cases, wrongful death claims offer a path to justice for the grieving family. These legal actions can hold the responsible parties accountable and provide financial support during a challenging time.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, certain rules determine who has the right to file a wrongful death claim. The law gives this right primarily to the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.

This representative could be in the deceased person’s will, or the court could appoint the person if there is no will. Often, the personal representative is a close family member like a spouse, parent or adult child. The personal representative acts on behalf of the deceased’s estate and family members to seek compensation.

A notable exception to this is if the death was due to assault or homicide by a deadly weapon. In this situation, the surviving spouse or children automatically have the right to bring the claim if the personal representative is a different party.

Who gets the compensation for wrongful death?

When the court awards compensation for a wrongful death claim, it gets distributed to specific family members according to Kentucky law. The first priority typically goes to the surviving spouse and children.

If the deceased had no spouse or children, the parents receive the compensation. If no immediate family members are available, more distant relatives, such as siblings, may get the award. This distribution ensures that those most affected by the loss receive financial support.

Claimants should know that there is a strict time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in Kentucky. Usually, this period is one year from the date of death, and waiting too long can prevent the family from seeking justice and compensation. Consequently, families should prepare to take swift action to honor their loved one’s memory and secure the justice they deserve.