Death is the inevitable destiny of every person who takes birth on this earth. But when a loved one succumbs to death due to the deliberate or negligent behavior of another person or party, the family members may come up with unfair death lawsuit against that person or party. Such a lawsuit enables the victim’s family members to get monetary compensation for the untimely death of one of their loved one. While monetary compensation may not be able to fill the void left behind a dear person, it can help the surviving family members to ease some of the financial constraints faced due to the passing away of that person.
What are the grounds for filing such a claim?
A wrongful claim can be made when an individual dies because of the fault of another individual. This fault can be misconduct, negligence, or even intentional harm. The basis of a wrongful death claim lies in the reasoning that when a person loses his life due to the act of another person, his or her family members are impacted financially and emotionally due to the death.
Two things are needed to be established for the family members to be successful in such type of claims:
- They have to establish that the death of their loved one was caused due to the reckless or deliberate action of another person or party. In other words, the demise did not happen due to the action or inaction of the victim.
- The family members have to establish that they suffered significant damages as a result of the wrongful and untimely death of their loved one.
Among the common grounds for wrongful death claims are medical malpractices, automobile accidents, airplane accidents, work-related accidents, death during a supervised activity, or an unlawful action resulting during a crime.
Who can file for a wrongful claim?
As per the law, a wrongful claim may be filed by the surviving family members who have been impacted due to the victim’s death. They may also take the help of a representative to file the claim on their behalf. Though the real parties in interest may differ from state to state depending on the law, some family members have the right to file such claims in every state. Such parties include the immediate family members like surviving spouse and children of the victim. Parents of a minor are also entitled to claim compensation if the child’s death occurs due to the negligence or intentional act of another individual or party. Even minors can claim compensation for the wrongful death of their parents. Some states even allow siblings and grandparents to file wrongful death claims.
Against whom the claim for wrongful death can be made?
Wrongful death claims can be filed against various people, firms, companies, employees, and even government agencies. Sometimes there can be more than one party who can be held responsible for the wrongful death. In such cases, the claim can be made against all such parties.
What type of damages can be claimed by the surviving family members?
Family members of a victim can claim compensation for various types of damages, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Compensation for the lost wages of the loved one due to the untimely death
- Compensation due to the emotional suffering and pain endured by the family members due to the dear one’s death
- Compensation due to loss of companionship
Do you need to consult a lawyer to make a wrongful death claim?
It’s not always easy to establish against whom the wrongful death claim can be filed. Moreover, filing for such claims involves several legal procedures that a lawman may not be aware of. Consulting a lawyer is the best way to go about in such cases. A competent lawyer will be able to guide the claimants and offer the best advice. Seeking legal help also ensures that claimants receive better compensation. This is because lawyers dealing with such cases are better at negotiation. They can make sure that the claimant receives the maximum possible compensation.
What are the factors to consider when hiring a wrongful death lawyer?
One of the prime factors to consider is the time. The death of a loved one can leave his/her family in a shaken state of emotions. But if they delay seeking legal help, crucial evidence may get lost in the meantime. If a lawyer is contacted right after the incident occurs, he/she will be able to gather evidence and witnesses for the case. That is why it is necessary to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after the death of a loved one. The other thing to consider is that the lawyer must be an expert in dealing with such cases. Having a competent lawyer will invariably increase the chances of the victim’s family members to receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.