While it is generally understood that there is no amount of money that can possibly make up for the loss of a family member or spouse, it may be important to consider the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit. If the worst has happened, and a loved one has died through no fault of their own, a wrongful death action can help to compensate grieving family members. You may be able to receive compensation for the financial and emotional loss which is a direct result of the death of a loved one.
Q: What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?
A: When someone else’s negligence has led to an accident resulting in fatal injuries to a loved one, you may have grounds to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death lawsuits may be filed as a result of many different types of accidents including:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck wreck
- Slip and fall
- Car-pedestrian accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Dog attack
- Other acts of negligence which result in a fatality
Q : Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A: Certain parties may file a wrongful death claim after being affected by an accident involving a fatality. In most cases, only immediate family members may initiate a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Most often, the parties who would be eligible for filing an action in a wrongful death lawsuit would include:
- A surviving spouse
- A legal domestic partner
- Children of the deceased
In certain cases, other parties may qualify for compensation, such as a former spouse, stepchildren and even surviving parents. This is where your wrongful death lawyer will help you to determine if you may be eligible for recovery by filing a wrongful death settlement or lawsuit.
Q: What Damages are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A: Damages are categorized according to two main areas:
- Economic damages –This would cover things such as medical bills which arose from the circumstances of the death, any funeral or burial expenses; and loss of income and financial support
- Non-economic damages – These losses include those which are emotional or psychological in nature. The law recognizes the loss of emotional support, parental guidance, affection, and similar damages.
Q: I think I may have a Wrongful Death Lawsuit. What do I do next?
It is imperative that you contact a wrongful death attorney to discuss the specifics of your case. Time limits do apply in the filing of a settlement or lawsuit; a personal injury lawyer can advise you about the timeline of your particular case.
Wrongful death laws vary according to jurisdiction and circumstances and an attorney will help you to better understand all of your options. Contact Jeffrey Dawson to schedule a free consultation and discuss your wrongful death case.