A wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the negligence of another person. Common reasons for wrongful death include medical malpractice, car accidents or product liability. A wrongful death claim could apply if a person dies during surgery because the doctor makes a mistake. Drivers under the influence who get into a tragic accident could be sued for wrongful death. Automobile manufacturers that are responsible for defective vehicles or parts could be sued.
A wrongful death lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in these types of claims. Some lawyers will even specialize in certain types of wrongful death claims, such as construction employment or car accidents. A wrongful death claim can be very complex. Having expertise in a specific area of the law will increase the chance of success in your claim.
How Can Wrongful Death Be Proved?
If you are bringing a wrongful death cause of action, you must be prepared to show:
- The person died
- The death was caused by another person’s negligence
- The family members who survived suffered monetary damages
- The personal representative of the decedent’s estate
Demonstrating negligence can be the most difficult aspect of any wrongful death case. A wrongful death lawyer can help you present the evidence more successfully, because of his or her experience. Your attorney can also help show the financial impact of the loss based on the laws in your state.
Who Can Sue for a Wrongful Death?
Generally, it is a family member who must bring a wrongful death claim to the courts. Every state specifically outlines who can recover damages, a surviving spouse, children, parents or other members of the family. The damages recovered often belong to the estate of the decedent and will pass to the parties as directed by any will made by the decedent.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?
Many factors determine the monetary amount you can ask for in a wrongful death claim. While no amount of money can ever bring the person back, the claim can ask for loss income by the deceased and the expenses your family incurred due to the death. You may also ask for damages for loss of companionship and even future earnings. The goal is to bring some justice by securing your financial future, just as if the death hadn’t occurred.
Do You Really Need a Lawyer?
Your wrongful death lawyer can help you through the process to ease your burden and get the best possible outcome for your situation. Contact an experienced wrongful death attorney today.