The death of a family member, friend, or loved one, in general, is always tough to deal with. But it is even more painful if said tragedy is at the hands of others.
Whether it is from a fatal car crash, workplace accident, or someone’s ill actions, it always sparks a range of emotions.
The law holds the person whose actions caused said tragedy to wrongful death. And you have every right to file for a wrongful death lawsuit. That way, you capitalize on the power of the law to hold the person accountable for their actions. Also, wrongful death lawsuits provide bereaved families with financial compensation for their loss.
This article explores the nuances of a wrongful death lawsuit. It highlights why hiring a lawyer for wrongful death should be your first move. Also, it outlines vital information that will prove helpful in the long run.
But first, let us start by gaining an in-depth understanding of what wrongful death is.
Wrongful Death and Its Corresponding Lawsuit
Wrongful death is a civil case against a person who knowingly or negligently causes the death of a person. The deceased’s family or dependent files a wrongful death lawsuit.
The plaintiff may file a wrongful death lawsuit against a person facing criminal charges because of their actions. However, if the court finds the person innocent of the criminal charge, they are still liable for the wrongful death lawsuit.
However, this lawsuit has a lower burden of proof than criminal charges. In addition, state statutes govern wrongful death lawsuits; as such, they tend to differ from state to state. But the common ground is that the jury awards the plaintiff damages from the case.
Certain states would award punitive damages if the cause of death were due to recklessness. Punitive damages serve to punish the defendant, discouraging future misconduct.
Overall, the plaintiff receives financial compensation for their loss. Still, the jury determines how much compensation they receive based on several factors. These factors include the deceased’s income beforehand and presumed future income.
The jury also considers the family’s level of dependence, typically in cases where the deceased is the breadwinner. Also, the jury may decide to award damages for funeral expenses. Finally, they may also award damages because of the emotional harm the person faced before passing.
It is important to hire credible lawyers for wrongful death claims if you are going to file a claim. There is no corner of the law that wrongful death attorneys do not know. Wrongful death lawyers will offer proper advice on your rights. You can also use them to identify who is responsible for the event, which is crucial for a successful lawsuit. All-in-all, they have the tools to handle and win these claims.
What Is Considered Wrongful Death Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a type of medical negligence that can result in wrongful death. It centers on medical professionals’ acts or lack thereof leading to patient’s injury or death.
In cases where medical malpractice results in death, the deceased’s family has the right to file a wrongful death.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney for Wrongful Death
Here are some benefits of hiring wrongful death attorneys.
Handle Insurance Claim
In certain wrongful death lawsuits, you may seek compensation from an insurance company. But insurance companies are well-known for their complex legal procedures. That is because most insurance firms try to wiggle their way out of paying damages.
That is where your attorney comes in. Your wrongful death attorney takes on the task of persuading the insurance company. They fight their client’s legal battles, make insurance companies pay the claimants.
Carry Out Investigations
Sometimes, the cause of your loved one’s death is unclear. Other times, the responsible party might try to evade taking responsibility. Unfortunately, this prevents you and the rest of your family from getting justice.
A wrongful death lawyer helps to piece together the puzzle. That is because they have the knowledge and tools to conduct a proper investigation.
From analyzing police reports to questioning eyewitnesses, your attorney connects all dots and fills all the gaps. That way, they have all the information necessary to take on the case.
Ease the Legal Process
Having an attorney to help with your wrongful death lawsuit makes things much easier. For starters, they are familiar with the law. As such, the bits of advice given are credible and reliable.
Also, they save you the stress of dealing with the legal system. Likewise, they also cut down the cost of running everything alone.
For the most part, legal cases demand that you file multiple documents. And for that, you need to gather relevant information. So, yes, you need to gain access to relevant information to build your case.
You may need police reports, surveillance videos, statements, and other legal documents. Getting this information can be taxing for anyone who is not a lawyer. And they will take a heavy physical, financial, and emotional toll on you, especially when grieving. However, your wrongful death attorney wastes no time completing these tasks to build your claim.
How to Win a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Two things are essential to make you eligible for a wrongful death lawsuit. The first is; filing a valid claim, and the second is; having a good lawyer. In general, those eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Immediate family members
- Life partners, financial dependents, and putative spouses
- Distant family members
- Anyone who suffers financially
- Parents of a deceased fetus
To file a valid wrongful death claim, you must check out all 4 elements.
- Negligence: You must prove that the reason for your loved one’s death was due to the other person’s negligence.
- Breach of Duty: You must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care which they failed. Take driving, for example. All motorists are responsible not only for themselves but other road users. As such, reckless driving is a breach of said duty.
- Causation: This goes alongside proving the defendant’s breach of duty. As such, you must prove how the defendant’s action resulted in the tragedy.
- Damages: The final step is generating quantifiable damages. While these damages cannot equate to loss of life, they must be substantial.
After the death of a loved one, it’s natural to seek justice. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is the best way to do so. But you should also know that justice is inevitable!
Likewise, it is vital to entrust the case to a credible lawyer. It may cost you some money but at the end you will realize that it was worth hiring a wrongful death attorney.