When you lose a loved one, it is always a difficult situation, but a death caused by the negligence of someone else is even rougher. It may lead you to want to do something legally to stop the other person from harming anyone else.
In that situation, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. But Kentucky law limits the right to bring this type of case to court.
The law maintains the right to bring a wrongful death claim to a personal representative. This is someone who is representing the deceased person’s interests and those of the person’s family.
The personal representative is often the executor of the person’s estate. This is someone the deceased person trusted and appointed to represent his or her wishes after death.
It is important to note that a family member cannot file a wrongful death claim unless he or she is the personal representative. Kentucky is one of a few states that does not allow the family to file the lawsuit except in limited cases where the next of kin can file when the person died due to a deadly weapon or was a minor.
If the person has no estate plan or named personal representative, the court will choose someone to stand in that position.
In a case where the personal representative is victorious and wins damages, the distribution of those goes to the spouse and children. In cases where there is no spouse or children, it would go to the parents or siblings. In all other cases, the personal representative can use the money to pay debts and give the remaining to the closest legal relative.