Losing a loved one is awful. Even in the case of a peaceful, natural death, there is grief involved for the surviving family members. And in cases of a death caused by a crime or negligence, family members often feel anger and a profound desire for justice, prompting them to seek the services of a wrongful death lawyer.
An experienced wrongful death lawyer is skilled at discovering evidence and knowing how to utilize it in combination with laws governing negligence. They would know what legal options there are to present a case on behalf of their client in an attempt to get compensation for their client for the loss of a loved one. Without the assistance of an attorney specializing in this type of litigation, it would be easy for someone emotionally impacted by the death to make a wrong decision in the pursuit of compensation or justice. For example, the person who lost someone might not be aware of the statue of limitations governing the filing of this type of case. They might not realize who can be sued and whether there are compensation limits. These factors vary from state to state, but an experienced wrongful death lawyer would be familiar with these details.
The causes of a loved one’s passing impact the way the wrongful death lawyer would present the case. A fatality resulting from a traffic accident would be handled differently from the loss of a family member resulting from medical malpractice. A death resulting from a firearm accident would be handled differently in court than the loss of a loved one resulting from the failure of mechanical equipment or a public structure, such as a roadway or bridge. However, a wrongful death lawyer retained to litigate this type of case would know the differences and the survivor’s options.
So what type of compensation may be available in a case concerning the loss of a family member or loved one? While there are differences among states, there are essentially two types of compensation. Compensatory damages are one type. These exist to compensate the family of the victim for their emotional loss, loss of income if the deceased was the economic provider for the family, funeral costs, loss of health benefits that the victim may have been responsible for, lost wages, and more. The second type of compensation is exemplary damages. This type of compensation is to monetarily punish the party or parties responsible for the death through their action, inaction or negligence.
Seeking damages for the immediate family members of those who died as a result of someone else’s negligence allows the surviving family members to move forward with their lives. Thus the attorney becomes part of the healing process by handling the stressful ordeal of the court process so that the family can properly grieve, recover and resume their lives.