Like most lawsuits, there are exceptions to every law and every rule. It is why you should always hire a lawyer to handle your legal matters because your case may just be one of those exceptions. In the case of wrongful deaths, a wrongful death attorney knows that there are definitely exceptions, and if these exceptions apply to your case and the loss of an immediate family member, you may not have a case at all. Here are those exceptions that you should know before you attempt to proceed with your wrongful death case.
Family Cannot Sue Family
If your son was killed by your daughter driving recklessly, you cannot sue her for your son's wrongful death. If your husband or wife accidentally killed the kids, you cannot sue him or her for the deaths of the children. There is a law in most states stipulating family immunity, which protects family members who are charged with or found guilty of causing the death of one or more close family members. The exception may be intentional homicide with any negative impact against the deceased's estate, but that is for the courts to decide whether or not you may pursue such a case if it is applicable to you.
You Cannot Sue the State or Federal Government
Sovereign immunity is granted to state and federal governments such that you cannot sue them for wrongful death either. For example, if your spouse works as a postal worker and delivers mail in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the area and is gunned down in the streets, you cannot sue the U.S. Postal Service because they are under federal jurisdiction. Only in the event that the government surrenders its immunity may you proceed with your wrongful death suit, and that situation does not occur all that often.
You Cannot Sue the Military
It is a given that when someone signs up to serve his/her country in a branch of the military, death is very likely and very imminent. The soldier or officer knows this when he/she signs up/enlists/enrolls. Even if he/she dies on a military base at home in a non-war zone, you cannot sue the military for wrongful death. The circumstances surrounding his/her death would have to be truly extraordinary in order for the military to grant you the right to sue them in court. Even then, you would probably have to pursue the case in military court and not in public court.