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Can an Unmarried Partner File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Published on Feb 20, 2020 at 2:43 pm in Wrongful Death.

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Losing your partner in an unexpected death is hard enough. It’s even harder when their death could have been avoided. When that’s the case, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one. Since you’ve experienced a tragedy, you deserve compensation for you and your loved one’s pain and suffering, as well as other damages. But can you file a wrongful death claim when you and your partner were not married?

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Whether the action was intentional or not, if a person or company’s negligence causes the death of another person, their loved ones will want to file a wrongful death claim. Since a wrongful death claim is a civil case, it can be filed even if a criminal case is already happening. This way, the family or estate can win compensation for any damages, like pain and suffering, caused by the untimely death.

In one of these claims, you can seek compensation for:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical bills of final injury or illness
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased before death
  • Loss of remaining income if the deceased had lived
  • Loss of financial support of the deceased to their dependents
  • Loss of household services the deceased would have performed
  • Loss of love, affection, guidance, and companionship

Since your loved one was taken from you too soon, your compensation could cover everything they used to provide for you and your family and bring you peace of mind. But while you might live together and know you are each other’s life partners, if you’re not legally married, getting compensation will probably be more difficult for you.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

When you don’t have a marriage license, it’s hard to recover damages for your partner’s wrongful death. Even though your lives and finances were together, without the legal document binding you and your partner by law, you do not have the same rights as if you were married.

Unfortunately in Arkansas, unmarried partners are not part of the list of relatives who can recover compensation from a wrongful death claim of a loved one. As Arkansas law states, only a spouse, child, father, mother, brother, sister, or person standing in loco parentis can file a wrongful death claim for a person.

If you cannot claim wrongful death as an unmarried partner, there is another option for you to recover damages. You could recover damages if you are in your partner’s will. If you are the beneficiary on your partner’s estate, you can bring a wrongful death claim through the deceased person’s estate, and then the deceased person’s will decides what happens with the compensation if awarded. Otherwise, you will have to convince the executor of the estate to file a claim.

Contact Us Today To Learn More

At McMath Woods P.A., we understand how devastating the untimely loss of a loved one can be. You could have trouble providing for your family financially as well as emotionally after such a traumatic loss. Legal help can allow you to focus on yourself and your family when it’s most necessary. Contact us today for a free consultation so that we can handle your case while you grieve.

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