Sometimes, no matter how careful we are or how hard we try, accidents happen that change our lives forever. These events go by several names, the most familiar of which is wrongful death.
Sometimes, whether accidentally or not, we will bring harm to another individual, whether a family member or a stranger. When we do, our lives changes forever, and as such we deserve legal recourse. What exactly is wrongful death though and why should you get legal help if you’re suffering from it?
Just keep reading and we’ll walk you through all you need to know about what’s wrongful death.
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What is a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is a type of civil action taken when a person’s death is due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another party. It is typically brought by surviving family members, on behalf of their loved one. These actions provide a mechanism for recovering damages associated with the death of a family member.
These damages refer to lost wages, lost benefits, funeral and burial expenses, and other costs associated with the death. It also allows family members to recover damages for their grief and pain. And also expenses associated with medical attention received before the family member’s death.
Generally, the maximum amount of damages that you can recover for a wrongful death action is within the state law where the death occurred. It is important to note that you need to file claims within a certain amount of time, depending on the state law. Failure to comply can result in not being able to get any claims at all.
Four Key Elements in This Claims
Four key elements are typically involved in wrongful death cases. These are proving negligence, proving causation, proving the financial loss, and proving a legal representative. To prove negligence, it must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to act reasonably, and their failure to do so caused the death of the victim.
Then it must also establish that the defendant’s actions or lack thereof, were indeed the cause of the death. This means that the death resulted directly from the defendant’s actions or lack thereof.
Finally, for a family to receive financial compensation for the wrongful death, it must be shown that the deceased suffered financial losses from the death. Representation usually comes in the form of an attorney who is familiar with these cases.
They can serve as an advocate for the family. So, if you’re interested in this type of claim, you should consider getting a local wrongful death lawyer.
Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
These lawsuits typically fall into three different categories medical malpractice, product liability, and negligence. In malpractice cases, the family of the deceased seeks damages from a healthcare provider for failing to provide the standard of care.
Product liability cases involve a defective product that caused or contributed to the death of the consumer. Negligence cases involve any wrongful conduct resulting in death. These include motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, and intentional acts.
The damages sought for these lawsuits are usually extensive. The goal of these lawsuits is to gain adequate compensation for the surviving family members and to seek justice for the deceased. Understanding the types of wrongful death lawsuits can give you information on how to tackle this case.
What Damages Can Be Cover?
In most cases, the damages are generally paid by the party or entity at fault in the form of damages. These damages known are economic and non-economic. Additionally, punitive damages may be awarded, depending on the specifics of the case, to punish the defendant and prevent similar negligent behavior in the future.
Depending on the circumstances and the law, certain family members might be entitled to recover damages. This financial compensation could be based on their loved one’s financial support, services, and/or companionship.
However, make sure to gather evidence for the case. This is to give you a better chance of winning the claim.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Claim
In most cases, it’s the responsibility of the family to file a wrongful death claim within a specified timeframe. Resolving such a claim can be a complicated process, especially when the parties involved disagree on who is responsible for the death. The amount of time to resolve the claim can vary depending on the particulars of the situation.
These could be whether mediation is necessary or if the parties will have to go to court. It can also be influenced by other factors such as the availability of evidence and witnesses.
Generally, resolving this claim may take several months to a few years, or even longer. This is if the issues in question are complicated and require extensive investigation.
How to File a This Type of Claim
To bring a wrongful death claim, certain elements must be established. Generally speaking, the family of the deceased must prove that their relative had a potential future financial status. The death was the direct result of the negligent or wrongful act that was committed by another.
And also that there were damages sustained due to the death. In addition, the family must be able to prove that they would have legal standing in the case. This means that the deceased person was a spouse, child, or parent.
In each case, different statutes of limitations may be applicable, so it is important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. An attorney can help the family determine if they have a claim, the type of evidence they need to prove liability, and how long they have to file a lawsuit.
Get Legal Help to Learn More about What’s Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is a complicated legal topic, but it is important to know the basics. These include who can file a claim and what damages are covered. Knowing and researching what’s wrongful death claim is beneficial to the parties involved.
As this type of claim can be difficult to navigate, it is important to consult an experienced attorney to assist with navigating through the complexities of filing a claim. If your family is dealing with a wrongful death, contact an experienced attorney today.
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