The pain of losing someone we love sometimes seems just too much to bear, but when that life is lost due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, the pain is only magnified. When someone dies due to someone else’s poor judgment or recklessness, the guilty party should be held accountable. If your loved one died due to the carelessness or misconduct of someone else, you may have a valid legal claim.
We understand that no amount of money will bring your loved one back, but the party responsible for the death must be held accountable, and in some cases, punitive damages should be assigned to prevent future similar bad acts. In simple terms, a “wrongful death” occurs when someone dies as the result of another’s reckless, negligent or intentional act.
Negligence is the basis for most wrongful death lawsuits. An experienced wrongful death attorney will be able to prove certain elements that are required in all successful wrongful death claims. Your attorney will need to prove that the wrongdoer acted in a manner, or breached his/her duty to act in a responsible manner, which caused the death of a loved one. Though specific laws regarding wrongful death vary from state to state, the same general principles apply to all wrongful deaths. Generally speaking, a wrongful death claim consists of these four elements:
- The death was caused, in whole or part, by the defendant’s conduct.
- The defendant was negligent or strictly liable for the victim’s death.
- There are survivors (spouse, children, beneficiaries)
- Monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.
Wrongful deaths may occur as a result of:
Compensation may be awarded for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills
- Loss of past and future income
- Loss of companionship for the spouse and children
- Pain and suffering
Many wrongful death claims are settled prior to going to trial, but failing this, be prepared for your claim to take several years in court. Claims must be filed within a given time period, so please search our directory for an experienced wrongful death attorney in your area today.