Who Do I Sue?
In wrongful death and survival lawsuits, the defendants are typically the companies and people that caused the death.
Examples of wrongful death defendants include:
- product manufacturers
- drug and pharmaceutical companies
- property owners
- contractors at a worksite
- oil companies
- factories, plants, and refineries
- 18 wheeler trucking companies
- common carriers such as airlines, bus companies, and train companies
- stores and online retailers
The proper defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit may not be obvious at first glance. For example, you may not be aware that a contractor had partial responsibility for ensuring your loved one’s worksite was safe. Or you may not know, for instance, that the entity that sold the dangerous product or drug is just as responsible for your loved one’s death as the manufacturer.
In many cases, multiple parties cause or contribute to the death of a loved one. All of them may bear some responsibility, and under the law you may be entitled to separate compensation from each and every one.
Further, most states permit the judge or jury to allocate fault among several defendants. For example, in a workplace death case, a property owner may be held 50 percent responsible for the fatal accident, while a contractor may be found responsible for the other 50 percent. If the jury awards $1 million in that scenario, each defendant may be required to pay $500,000.
Time Is of the Essence: Contact an Attorney Now to Identify the Proper Defendants
Many states have legal deadlines to file claims. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to file a lawsuit against one defendant, conduct “discovery” to ascertain the other parties responsible, then add those additional parties as defendants.
Because of the deadlines, it is imperative to quickly identify all persons and entities that have liability for a wrongful death claim.