Wrongful death cases are more prevalent than you may imagine. They happen when someone dies following the carelessness, negligence, incompetence, or failure to act of another person. The cases include an innocent passenger being hit and killed by a drunk driver or a mugger accidentally killing someone in an attempt to get their purse. Anyone can be a victim.
If your loved one has been the victim of a wrongful death incident, you may need to seek the help of a lawyer. A wrongful death attorney will help you pursue and receive the compensation you deserve. These lawsuits have no criminal charges. They help your family cover the cost of medical bills and other relevant expenses. They may also compensate you for pain and suffering, stress, and the loss of personal relationships. Here are a few things you need to know about wrongful death legal cases.
There are many reasons you may need to file a wrongful death claim. The claims are valid regardless of whether negligent or intentional actions caused the death.
Wrongful death cases cover all sorts of personal injuries that lead to death. The basic rule is that these deaths must have been caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct. Common examples include product liability, medical malpractice, car accidents, and intentional killings. The burden of proof is just like what is needed for personal injury claims.
The primary purpose of wrongful death cases is to seek compensation for the affected families. Even though the victim may have died, their family still deserves compensation. According to the Kendall Law Firm, the compensation might be used to pay for medical bills, funeral expenses, and other monetary expenses. The family of the deceased may also get compensation for non-monetary factors like pain and suffering.
You can go on to pursue a wrongful death action even after filing a criminal case. Wrongful death claims are civil suits typically filed by a representative of the deceased party. Criminal cases, on the other hand, are filed by federal or state governments. The burden of proof in criminal cases is different from wrongful death. There are various expressions for determining guilt and liability. However, you can present both cases to the court at the same time.
Working with an attorney may help you present both of them at the same time. The available types of compensation include:
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering for the deceased party
- Loss of companionship and love
- The costs of funeral and burial
- Loss of income
- Loss of nurturing, care, and guidance
- Loss of inheritance that the dead would have received
- The value of services offered by the deceased
Usually, wrongful death claims are filed by the representatives of the deceased. They do so on behalf of the deceased and their estate. They may also file a claim on behalf of the victim’s survivors. Different states have different definitions of who the survivors can be.
Generally, spouses and children are always considered survivors. They can submit a wrongful death compensation on behalf of their deceased partners or parents. The parents of minors also have the liberty to file wrongful death cases on behalf of their children.
In some states, the parents of adult children aren’t allowed to sue. Adult children may also not be able to sue for wrongful death for their parents. Another area where different states disagree is compensation for siblings, uncles, aunts, and other relatives. In most cases, distant family relationships attract little or no compensation. The process of pursuing compensation for wrongful death may be long and frustrating.
In some parts of the country, romantic partners may present wrongful death claims to court. Marriage is not always a requirement. If you can demonstrate financial dependence on the deceased, you may also file a wrongful death claim. The conditions vary depending on where you live.
In conclusion, wrongful death cases are more common than you may imagine. They are filed against a defendant who may have caused another person’s death due to their negligence or intentional actions. Compensation is offered to the survivors of the deceased. Even though the laws regarding wrongful death vary from one state to another, they are generally filed by representatives of the dead person’s estate.
While the cases can be straightforward, working with an attorney is always a good idea. They represent your interests in court and ensure that you get the best compensation possible. The best wrongful death attorneys are skilled and experienced. They can improve your chances of getting compensation significantly.