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Far too often, negligence causes fatal injuries. We know that you can file a claim to pursue maximum compensation when you suffer a serious injury due to negligence. What happens, however, if someone you love suffers a fatal injury?

In North Dakota, certain parties can file a wrongful death claim to pursue compensation on behalf of the decedent. To file a wrongful death case, you must show that the act was wrongful or negligent and that the decedent would have been able to file a claim had they survived.

Below, we’ll explain who can file a wrongful death claim and what type of compensation you may recover.

Who Can File?

Under North Dakota Century Code section 32-21-03, only a select few loved ones can file a wrongful death. You may be able to file a wrongful death claim if you are the decedent:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving child
  • Surviving parent
  • Surviving grandparent
  • A personal representative of the estate
  • Guardian and you had primary physical custody

If more than one of the above exists, the law will consider the order listed in the statute to allow certain parties to file a wrongful death claim. For instance, if the decedent has a surviving spouse and parents, the spouse will have the first right to file a claim.

What Compensation Is Available?

Like most personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits allow parties to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover expenses associated with the death, including funeral and burial costs, medical expenses, lost income, and lost potential earning capacity.

Non-economic compensation can cover the pain and suffering you and your family experience after losing someone you love. Mental anguish is a real thing and losing companionship or consortium can significantly impact your quality of life.

If you want to know what your rights are to pursue compensation, our North Dakota wrongful death lawyers will be right by your side. At Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., we go above and beyond to help you obtain the maximum compensation available to your family during such a difficult time.