Wrongful death is a situation where a person’s life is lost because of the actions and negligence of another. When your loved one dies because of reckless behavior from another person, you are entitled to a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit’s purpose is to seek compensation for the loss of the love or companionship, income, support, and other benefits offered by the deceased person while he or she was alive.
While compensation can never cure the pain or seal the void left by losing someone to wrongful death, it goes a long way in providing relief from the various financial burdens people suffer after losing their loved one. When dealing with a wrongful death lawsuit as the victim, here are some tips you can use to improve your chances of getting monetary compensation.
Just like many other cases involving compensation in court, wrongful death cases are surrounded by various complexities. The legal practitioners at David Resnick & Associates, P.C say that to win a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to prove that the defendant caused the death. The surviving family members also need to prove that losses were suffered because of it. In addition to the challenges involved in proving negligence, breach, or ill intention, there are deadlines to be met and legal fees to be paid. Moreover, determining how much your case is worth can be a real hustle. This is all the more reason to involve an experienced attorney all the way in your wrongful death claim process.
Only certain people can file a wrongful death lawsuit. They normally have a representative filing the lawsuit for them, but only specific people qualify to make such claims. Although the provisions may vary slightly from one place to the other some commonly eligible members include:
- The surviving spouse
- The victim’s children
- Victim’s parents
- The next of kin
- Closest blood relatives
The eligibility of the above people depends on whether the person above each isn’t alive as well. For example, the parent of the deceased individual may not be eligible if the spouse is alive or there are children in the picture. Needless to reiterate, different states have different eligibility rules, so make sure you know what works in your state.
After checking your eligibility, you need to make sure that the claim is applicable. The following are some situations that make a claim applicable:
- The deceased was murdered
- The cause of death was medical malpractice
- The cause of death was an accident
Other than the few examples above, there are many situations where you can file for a wrongful death claim. If you are convinced that the victim died because of negligence or the wrongful acts of another person, it is all the more reason to find a lawyer. They will help you determine if a wrongful death compensation claim is applicable. In a nutshell, lawyers help you file a wrongful death lawsuit in a situation where the deceased could have filed a personal injury claim had they survived.
There is no point in getting a lawyer and investing in a case if you have no way of proving your claim. You need to find a way to prove that the victim’s death occurred due to negligence or intent to harm the deceased. In most cases, the defendant should have owed the deceased a duty of care, which they breached and caused the deceased their life. You will need to compile these pieces of evidence for your claim to be successful. It is advisable to seek a wrongful death lawsuit lawyer’s services to smoothen your way and increase your winning chances in court.
When you are sure that the evidence you have will suffice in court, you need to decide whether you will file the lawsuit. The first thing you will do is get an attorney to help you submit a notice and complaint in a court of law. Check with the laws of your state on the right procedure to submit such a lawsuit. The finer your lawyer is, the higher your chances of winning the lawsuit are.
You should also keep in mind that these lawsuits can take years before they are completed. At times if the evidence is good enough, you might receive your compensation before going to trial. Alternatively, you can have your attorney calculate what the court might offer you and present it to the defendant to see if you come up with an agreement without going to court.
After you have filed the lawsuit, what follows is a court hearing. Suppose your evidence and the police report add up, then what is left is for you to receive your compensation. Keep in mind that such money is usually tax-free. The compensation may also include medical and burial costs.
Once you have lost a loved one out of another person’s negligence or intent, it is usually advisable to get an attorney and file for a wrongful death lawsuit. You will be compensated for the monetary gap left behind by the loss of your loved one.