Hawaii’s wrongful death law is a bit unusual. Unlike most states which exclude the significant other who was not married to the deceased, no matter how long they lived together or how marriage-like the relationship, Hawaii statute and legal precedent may provide for you to have a claim, even if you are unable to prove that you had a legally valid common-law marriage. Contrary to popular belief, common-law marriages cannot be formed in Hawaii, no matter how long you live together. An experienced Hawaii wrongful death attorney can help you determine if you have a claim.
Is Your Common-Law Marriage Recognized in Hawaii?
Although you cannot form a common-law marriage in Hawaii, the state does recognize common-law marriages that were formed in states that allow it. If you formed a common-law marriage while living in another state, meeting that state’s requirements, and you can prove it, then your marriage is no different to a formal marriage.
Hawaii Wrongful Death Beneficiaries
Hawaii allows the following to recover wrongful death compensation:
- Surviving spouse
- Reciprocal beneficiary
- Anyone who was wholly or partly dependent on the deceased
While you may discover that you did not have a valid common-law marriage, you may still be able to recover compensation as someone who was wholly or partly dependent on your significant other. It may not be necessary to prove that you were financially dependent, but that you were emotionally dependent on your lost loved one.
To learn more about your rights, please browse this directory to find an experienced Hawaii wrongful death attorney today.