Unfortunately, wrongful death law suits are common practice in today’s legal world. From medical malpractice to vehicle accidents, these cases are the result of ill-fated events that leave surviving family members at a loss. It is important for those impacted to seek the help of a professional specializing in such claims in order to recover any losses they are eligible for.
WHAT CONSTITUTES WRONGFUL DEATH LAW SUITS?
Also referred to as accidental death, this type of claim can be presented when an individual dies as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another individual or business entity. A wide range of circumstances can lead to this loss, such as:
- Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to deliver care within the standards of practice and safety they are to adhere to. This may include surgical errors, fatal medication dosage and premature discharge.
- Motor vehicle accidents occur due to the improper operation of cars, trucks, boats, airplanes and other moving vehicles. Common causes of such incidents include driving under the influence, distracted driving, and the violation of traffic laws such as speed limits and traffic signals.
- Product liability claims can be brought against manufacturers, distributers, and retailers due to defective parts or design.
- Job related accidents can be prevented when employers follow the safety standards set forth by OSHA. Some examples include slips, falls, faulty equipment, electrocutions, and contact with lethal substances.
- Criminal activity can result in both civil and criminal convictions, yet the burden of proof is less severe for civil cases.
DAMAGES CAN BE RECOVERED
Surviving family members including parents, children, and spouses may file a claim to recover both compensatory and punitive damages depending on the specifics of the case. Punitive damages are sought to punish the responsible party for their gross negligence resulting in the irreplaceable loss of a loved one. On the other hand, compensatory damages are necessary in order to minimize the financial impact on the family. This compensation will be determined based upon:
- age, health condition, and life expectancy of the deceased
- loss of wages and future earning capacity
- the extent with which survivors were financially dependent upon the deceased
- loss of benefits
- medical expenses
- funeral expenses
- mental anguish and the resulting loss of income
- loss of inheritance
LEAVE IT TO THE PROFESSIONALS
While family members focus on the grieving process, a professional specializing in wrongful death lawsuits should be left to deal with the legal details. A qualified attorney will have the knowledge and experience to handle the case and maximize the damages recovered. They will work to determine what occurred and prove who is at fault via witnesses and other evidence. Understanding the process and applicable laws including the state’s statute of limitations are pieces that only a professional can bring to the table. From drawing up the necessary documents to representing the deceased’s Estate in court, their expertise will impact the financial relief the family will ultimately have. Many reputable attorneys and/or firms provide free case evaluations up front and will only accept payment if and when monetary damages are awarded to the Estate.
While the legal system cannot bring back the deceased, working with an experienced attorney can ease the stress and burden placed upon surviving family members during an already difficult time.