As the surviving heir who is bringing a wrongful death lawsuit, would I be subject to discovery from the lawyers defending the person or entity that cause the wrongful death?
There is always a possibility that anyone involved in a lawsuit is going to have to submit to a deposition. In a wrongful death case, the deposition will help the defense raises the issue of what kind of recoverable damages are available.
An heir to the estate may be awarded damages for their grief and sorrow over the loss of support going forward, companionship, society, consortium and damages for the decedent’s pain and suffering.
The heir cannot recover for medical expenses and funeral expenses and are not liable for any debts of the decedent. If they are filing a lawsuit as the heir, and they are claiming loss of consortium, loss of support, grief and sorrow, they are going to most likely going to be deposed on those issues, and the defendant’s attorney is going to ask questions about the level of their grief, the support that the decedent was given and questions of that nature that can help the defendant’s insurance company argue for lower damages.
A personal representative of the decedent’s estate can also file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek special damages, which are the decedent’s medical bills, funeral expenses, and any punitive damages that the decedent would have recovered had he lived.
Personal representatives won’t get pain and suffering damages or other damages of that nature, so in that instance, the personal representative may not be deposed because they are not seeking personal damages.