If someone dies due to the negligence and misconduct of other people, the family can file a wrongful death claim. These lawsuits lead to compensation for the survivors. For example, a wrongful death settlement could cover lost wages of the deceased person, companionship, funeral costs, and more.
A wrongful death claim happens when one person dies due to the negligence of another person. The negligent party could be a driver, a doctor, a bartender, or anyone else. The statutes of wrongful death differ from case-to-case, and many times, the guilty can be sued. As Houston personal injury lawyer Tim Tate explains, wrongful death lawsuits were originally created to help care for orphans and widows.
Who can sue for a wrongful death?
States laws allow for the settlement from a wrongful death claim to be given to the surviving spouse and immediate family. This includes the parents of the deceased as well as their children. Many aspects are considered, depending on the situation of the wrongful death. The suit for such a case is brought by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. Each state has their civil ‘wrongful death statute,’ which has a process for filing a successful claim.
As Benjamin Sansone a wrongful death attorney in St. Louis MO explains, the laws concerning wrongful death lawsuits vary from state-to-state, so you want to talk to a legal expert in your area.
How to provide wrongful death?
The lawsuits for wrongful death often come along with criminal trials. The process can be incredibly stressful for people who are already grieving the loss of a loved one, so most people going into this process hire an attorney. The attorney collects evidence that can prove the other party caused the death of the plaintiff’s loved one. For someone to successfully win wrongful death case, the following aspects must be covered:
- The death of the person must be caused by another person’s negligence or harm.
- The surviving family of the deceased are suffering financial harm due to his or her death.
- There is a need for a personal representative for the assets of the descendant.
Wrongful Death Damages
As VA personal injury lawyers Robert Haddad and Robert Ruloff explain, financial injury is usually the main measure to calculate the damages of a wrongful death. Courts mark it as ‘pecuniary injuries’ and include money to support and serve the people who lost a family member. The settlement can be used for medical expenses, funeral costs, and inheritance. Laws state that the damages awarded for wrongful death must be just for pecuniary injuries that result from the death.
What to consider when hiring a wrongful death lawyer?
Few wrongful death lawsuits end up going to trial. Lawyers generally try to reach a satisfactory settlement without going to trial, because trials can be long, emotionally difficult, and expensive for both parties. As John Demas, a wrongful death attorney in Sacramento explains, a good lawyer will work hard to get your case settled in the quickest and least emotionally stressful way possible for you, so that you can focus on grieving your loved one, not on complicated legal cases.