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Who May Make a Wrongful Death Claim in Rhode Island?

It is sad that every day people die from accidents of all types such as vehicle accidents, dangerous drugs, and medical malpractice. Rhode Island law allows claims to be filed for these losses in many cases where an individual or business is responsible for the death.

The Estate Has the First Right to Sue

In Rhode Island, the estate of the deceased person is allowed 6 months from the date of death to bring a wrongful death action in court. If the case is not filed by the estate, after 6 months one or more of the beneficiaries may sue on behalf of all the beneficiaries. Once that happens, the estate is precluded from bringing the case.

Additional Claims of Spouses, Children, and Parents

The law also permits claims to be brought for loss of consortium, society, and companionship. These claims are brought by the person or persons who directly suffer the loss. A married person whose spouse was killed by someone else’s negligence or carelessness may file a claim for loss of consortium. Children of a deceased parent are entitled to bring claims for loss of parental society and companionship. Parents may bring a claim for loss of a child’s society and companionship. These claims are in addition to the estate claims.

Rhode Island Wrongful Death Claims Have a Three Year Time Limit

Regardless of who hires the attorney to bring the case in court, it must be filed within three years of the death. Wrongful death cases can be very technical. There may be disagreements or conflicts among the beneficiaries. Some beneficiaries may wish to hire their own attorney separate from the one filing the case.

Please call Kiselica Law Firm at 401-421-0300 if you have suffered the loss of loved one.

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