If a member of a lower numbered class is living, then that member can bring a claim, and none of the members of the higher numbered classes can bring such a claim. For example, if a spouse or child of the deceased is living, he or she can bring a claim, but no parent, sibling, or grandparent can bring a claim.
If there are no surviving family members and no one has been named to represent or manage the decedent’s estate, there can be no wrongful death claim. It is also worth noting that adopted and illegitimate family members may file a claim, while certain family members may be excluded from filing. You should consult with an attorney to discuss whether you fall under the class of individuals who have the right to bring a wrongful death claim.