Losing a loved one to a fatal accident is already painful. Worse, you may be certain their death was the result of someone else’s negligence, and now you may be eligible for a wrongful death lawsuit. But what do you need to know before you file a claim?
Because these claims can be complex, make sure you know everything you need to know before you file. We’re here to help you get informed and prepare for a wrongful death claim.
What Is Wrongful Death?
When someone dies due to negligence, a civil claim can be filed for wrongful death. It allows the deceased’s family to settle for compensation. The legal definition may vary by state, but it generally involves a person or organization’s negligent actions causing death. Medical malpractice, car accidents, and employer-caused workplace injuries are examples.
Holding those responsible for such tragedies accountable serves as a reminder to never ignore negligent behavior. Thus, families filing wrongful death claims often cite peace of mind as one of their biggest rewards.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The personal representative of an estate brings wrongful death claims on behalf of the deceased’s heirs, usually the spouse, children, or other close relatives. However, parents and siblings may also sue. Who can sue for wrongful death varies by state.
Some states limit this right to immediate family members who have suffered financial losses due to the victim’s death, and others require proof of dependency to file a wrongful death suit. However, many states allow distant relatives who had almost any relationship with the victim—even emotional support—to make a claim.
The Lawsuit Process for Wrongful Death Claims
The surviving family of a wrongful death naturally wants justice. Civil court wrongful death lawsuits can bring justice. Before filing a lawsuit, consult an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Wrongful death lawsuits are complicated, but they can help victims find closure. An experienced wrongful death attorney should be consulted throughout the lawsuit process to understand local laws and statutes. Taking action without legal advice could jeopardize survivors’ chances of receiving fair compensation.
After your legal team evaluates the wrongful death of your loved one and decides to file a civil court complaint, the legal process begins. Most states have wrongful death lawsuit forms and procedures. Your attorney should be able to provide you with the forms and paperwork needed to bring the claim to court.
Recovering Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death lawsuits can help families recover damages after a loved one dies. These damages compensate the family for emotional and economic losses caused by the untimely death. The facts and jurisdiction of a wrongful death case determine the financial damages awarded.
Wrongful death actions can recover compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages compensate families for income loss and quality of life. Punitive damages punish and deter the defendant’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing.
The victim’s family may be compensated based on medical records, funeral costs, lost wages, and expert testimony. Getting compensated without legal guidance, however, can be difficult and complex. Reach out for an attorney’s help if you’re struggling to recover the compensation you’re due.
Get Informed and Take Action with a Wrongful Death Lawyer
When you’ve lost a loved one, you may have grounds for a lawsuit, but there’s a lot you need to know about wrongful death claims before you take action. Without the help of a lawyer, it’s easy to make mistakes that may cost you your compensation.
Luckily, the lawyers at Pazner Law are here to help. If you’ve lost a loved one and you’re ready to file a wrongful death claim, reach out for a free consultation. Our attorneys can be reached when you call 313-822-2244 or when you fill out the following online contact form.