A wrongful death attorney does a lot of things that help in calming the minds of the grieving loved ones of the deceased. They can examine the situations that led to the death of the family member, determine the liability, and give you proper advice about your legal rights. He also files a lawsuit on your behalf so that you can obtain compensation for your losses that stemmed from the passing away of the loved one.
A Wrongful Death Claim – What Is It?
A wrongful death claim occurs whenever a person expired due to the legal blunder of someone else. The right enjoyed by a person to file a lawsuit for wrongful death is a rather new concept as ‘common law’ didn’t give permission to such a lawsuit. However, in the last century, federal and state courts brought forth this new right to bring action towards wrongful death. After this step, now every country enjoys some kind of wrongful death law.
Wrongful death claims comprise different kinds of fatal accidents, from simple car accidents to complex product liability or medical malpractice cases. Companies, individuals, and even government agencies can be at fault legally for not acting responsibly or for acting purposefully.
Who Has the Right to Sue for Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death claim has to be filed by someone who is a representative of the survivors who is suffering from the death of the decedent. This person will be the executor of the estate of the decedent and is called ‘real parties in interest’. Some of these parties can include:
- Immediate members of the family- In most states of the U.S., the immediate members of the family like children, spouses, and parents of unmarried children are allowed to file a wrongful death claim.
- Financial dependents and life partners- In some states, a life partner or anyone who’s economically dependent on the decedent will have a right to file a wrongful death claim.
- Anyone who suffers financially for the loss- There are some states that permit all persons who are affected financially due to the wrongful death of the person to file a wrongful death claim. Even if the people are not blood-related or by marriage, they can still bring on a wrongful death action.
- Parents of a departed fetus- There are few states where the death of a fetus can occur due to wrongful action. In many other states, parents can’t take a wrongful death action to recover for emotional and financial losses that result from a fetus’s death. You have to check with the state law and consult a wrongful death lawyer in Orlando if you stay there. For more info, you may check out https://www.777injury.com/.
When Can a Wrongful Death Claim Be Legally Applicable?
A wrongful death claim arises post instances where a victim, who could sustain a personal injury but gets killed due to the wrongful action of the defendant. Examples of such situations include:
When the Victim Is Killed Purposefully
Did you know that O.J. Simpson was charged in civil court for the wrongful death of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown? Hence, these were civil lawsuits that were brought by the families of the victims and they were different from the criminal case of the state against Simpson.
When the Victim Expires Due to Medical Malpractice
There are instances where a doctor is unable to diagnose a physical condition or he is careless about the level of care that should be provided to a patient. As a result of this negligence, the patient dies. In such a case, a wrongful death action can be taken against the doctor.
When the Car Accident Victim Dies Due to Negligence
In case there is a car accident victim that dies due to car accident injuries, you can bring forth a wrongful death claim.
Above-listed is a few instances of personal injury cases that get transformed into wrongful death claims due to the negligence of some party. Hence, it can be understood that a wrongful death claim can arise from any kind of personal injury situation.
A Wrongful Death Attorney Explains Your Legal Rights
As already mentioned earlier, the laws for wrongful death lawsuits vary from one state to another. Based on the state you live in, you may not even qualify for compensation. This is because there are some states that restrain the right to sue family members while some other states allow you to sue distant relatives to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In other states, family members might not even sue you but only a representative of the victim’s estate can file a death suit. States differ with regards to the statute of limitations too. Depending on the place you live, the time frame for filing a lawsuit may be a year longer or less. A wrongful death lawyer is well-versed with the laws of the state and will explain what you should know about the case.
An Attorney May Ask for Financial Compensation
A wrongful death attorney can ask for awards to cover both non-financial and financial damages. Financial damage can comprise medical care expenses that the family member incurred before the death, burial, and funeral expenses. This also includes the loss of income that the deceased member could have earned if he was alive.
Non-financial damages are, on the other hand, tougher to quantify. Some such damages may include the following:
- The suffering and pain that the loved one experienced before his demise.
- The emotional grievance caused by the wrongful death of the person.
- The loss of support, companionship, love, and affection that the survivors get from their relatives.
Therefore, if you have suffered from the wrongful death of a person in your family whom you loved dearly, you are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, it is certainly better to do things under the guidance of a wrongful death attorney as he is the best one to guide you with the steps to take in order to receive a rightful compensation amount.