Wrongful death is the most tragic of claims that are filed and the ones that should be treated with the utmost care and attention to detail.
Wrongful death claims can be done in many different ways and are oftentimes absolutely necessary because of the nature of the incident. For the loved ones that have suffered because of a wrongful death, it is important that you talk to a legal professional about how you can handle the death of your loved one in court.
On this page, we will go through what exactly is a wrongful death and when it is applicable. Also, we’ll go over what needs to be proven for a case to be successful and who can file a wrongful death claim for a loved one who passed away.
What Is Wrongful Death?
You can claim wrongful death when the person who was affected could have claimed a personal injury but died because of their injuries.
One example is when a victim is intentionally killed and another party’s negligence was a direct cause in their death. The civil lawsuits in the famous OJ Simpson case found him liable for his wife’s death even though he was found not guilty of murdering her himself.
A much more common example is during cases of medical malpractice where a doctor fails to provide proper medical care and it results in the death of that patient. The doctor’s negligence to provide proper care would make them liable for their wrongful death and their families could make a strong claim in a lawsuit.
Also, car accidents are where you see many wrongful death claims arise from. If a person dies from a car accident that they were found not at fault for, the other driver can be held liable for that and the family of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
These, of course, are just a few examples and there are many kinds of ways a wrongful death claim can be made. Essentially all personal injury cases can become wrongful death cases if the person who was injured dies because of their injuries.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
As to who can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim varies depending on the state, however, it is usually a close relative or loved one who can file on their behalf.
In every state, the spouse can make a wrongful death for their deceased spouse and parents can also make a claim in the event one of their children dies. Also, minors can collect compensation for a parent’s death if there is no spouse.
Past these direct family relationships, it depends on the state whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. For grown children, siblings, aunts, and uncles there is usually a list of priority as to who can file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a loved one.
For those unsure of whether or not they can file a case for wrongful death of a loved one or not, you should contact a lawyer to check on whether your state allows you to do so.
What Needs To Be Proven?
For most cases of wrongful death there will have to be some kind of proof of negligence. What negligence means, is that the party who is being held liable for the wrongful death owed them a duty to protect the victim from that outcome. The negligent party did not perform that duty or tried to sabotage it, and the person’s death was a result of that.
If you can prove that negligence of any kind happened that resulted in a loved one’s death, you have a strong case for a wrongful death claim.
Damages You Can Receive Compensation For
The compensation for wrongful death cases are a bit different from personal injury claims. In some cases, the medical bills are not very costly because the person died before going to a hospital. However, loved ones can experience much financial hardship because of a wrongful death. Some damages you can get compensation for in these cases are:
- Pain and suffering
- Any medical treatment prior to their death
- Funeral costs
- Expected income of the deceased
- Value of service the deceased would have provided
- Loss of companionship and love the deceased would have provided
For some of these, it can be difficult to put an exact number to what kind of compensation they can provide. With things like loss of companionship or pain and suffering, the number usually comes from financial experts who specialize in this subject.
Typically, this depends on the previous health conditions of the deceased and how important they were as a provider to their loved ones. This will vary greatly depending on each specific case, so it is best to contact an expert lawyer to see exactly what compensation you are looking at in your wrongful death claim.
Contact Trusted Lawyers for Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is the most serious personal injury lawsuit a person can make and deserves intense attention to detail by an expert who can get the victims the justice they need.
Fortunately, legal organizations such as Law Leaders are available to help Americans build strong wrongful death cases. Their team of committed attorneys are highly experienced in personal injury claims of all kinds and can help you get the proper compensation for the unwarranted death of your loved one.
Contact Law Leaders today for more information on how they can help build your case!