Wrongful Death

The wrongful death statutes in Rhode Island allow the family of a deceased person to bring a lawsuit in the victim’s name. A representative of the deceased (typically a surviving spouse or child) stands in for the victim and brings the claim against the defendant. A wrongful death lawsuit can stem from any type of personal injury claim that is the result of another person’s negligence, such as: auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, and more.


Calculating the damages in a wrongful death case can be a complex matter. Relevant considerations include:

  • The age and life expectancy of the victim
  • His or her earning capacity and loss of future earnings
  • If there are children left behind the Courts will consider the loss of parental guidance and potential inheritance
  • Loss of emotional support
  • Outstanding medical and funeral expenses

It is also important to know that the House of Representatives in Rhode Island voted to approve a bill which amends the wrongful death statute to allow parents to make a claim for loss of parental society and companionship even if the child is over the age of 18 and no longer a minor.

The truth is no lawsuit will ever compensate for the loss of a family member and loved one. It is, however, important to understand your rights and contact an attorney who can help the family get their feet back on the ground.

Contact my office for a free consultation.

See Also:

Rhode Island Wrongful Death Statute Now Allows for Punitive Damages

Parents Can Now Collect Damages for Loss of a Child over 18 years old