If you recently lost a loved one, then you probably have a lot on your mind. You might be dealing with a number of financial hardships, including a future without the wages of your loved one. To help ease your burden, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit, but you should be aware of all the facts before you proceed. Here are some of the relevant rules and laws that you will encounter when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuitt in Alaska:
The Statute of Limitations
Alaska requires that you file your lawsuit within two years of theddeath. If you are familiar with the statute of limitations in the related field of personal injury lawsuits, then you might also be familiar with some of the exceptions that can be used to extend the statute of limitations, including the idea of discovery.
Wrongful deaths are a little less lenient, and you may find it very difficult to extend your window of opportunity beyond the initial two years. If you do discover that the death was due to negligence on behalf of another party (medical malpractice and fraud can lead to this situation), and that you were misled about the nature of the death, then you can likely get an extension, allowing you to file long after the two years is up.
Parties That Can File
In order to actually file a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to be the personal representative of the deceased's estate, or a direct dependent, including spouses and children.
If you are not one of these parties and wish to file, you will likely to be unable to do so. However, exceptions do exist, so if you believe that you have a particularly strong case for whatever reason, then it's a good idea to consult a lawyer. From there, you can decide whether you should proceed.
The amount of money that you can win in your case is generally divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include financial costs, such as the price of a funeral and future lost wages. Economic damages are also rarely limited, meaning that you can ask for as much as you are owed.
Non-economic damages are restricted to $400,000 or $8,000 per year of remaining life expectancy, which basically means that the cap is $400,000 unless their life expectancy exceeded 50 years. This restriction applies to any sort of emotion suffering, including loss of consortium and general disfigurement.
To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer like Henry C. Devening.