Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Everything You Need To Know
Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Everything You Need To Know
Sometimes an accident results in death. If the accident is due to someone’s negligence, it could be time for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Have you heard that term before? This kind of lawsuit does not help the victim of an accident. However, loved ones of the deceased could benefit from winning the lawsuit. Awarded funds can help cover funeral expenses and support a family who depended on the income from the lost loved one.
What does that really mean? If you are wondering “what is a wrongful death lawsuit,” keep reading to learn more about it.
What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
To win a lawsuit when someone dies a wrongful death, your legal team must prove that another person caused an accident due to negligence. This means the other person or people involved in the accident did not take prudent action to avoid the accident that caused someone’s death.
Negligence can be difficult to prove. However, accidental or unintentional deaths are the third-highest cause of death in the U.S. With a statistic that severe, a family should not suffer a financial loss when someone else causes the death of a loved one and provider.
Nothing can bring back a loved one who died due to someone else’s negligence. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can help give a family some financial peace and assurance that a loved one can still provide for their family after a wrongful death.
Who Can Pursue A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Knowing someone who died in an accident is not enough cause for you to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. The law is specific about who can make a wrongful death claim.
If you fall into any of these relationship categories, consider how a wrongful death lawsuit can benefit you after the loss of a loved one:
- Immediate family. Spouses, children (included adopted children), and parents of unmarried children can file a wrongful death claim for a loved one.
- Distant family members. If immediate family members are not available or living, sisters, brothers, or other related financial dependents could pursue a lawsuit against the person or people who caused the death of a loved one.
- Life partner or a putative spouse. In some states, a life partner can legally claim wrongful death on behalf of their partner. A putative spouse who believed they had a legal marriage with the deceased might also have a case to pursue a wrongful death suit.
- Financial dependents. In some cases, anyone who was financially dependent on the deceased person could sue in a wrongful death case.
A wrongful death lawsuit is not an easy or pleasant process. However, you should not be afraid to take action if your loved one did not survive an accident caused by a person or entity.
A wrongful death lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible to file a claim. Then, it is time to figure out who is at fault for your loved one’s death.
Who Can You Sue?
In a wrongful death case, you might be able to sue more people than the individuals directly involved in the accident. But how do you know?
Start with the negligent person, then ask some questions with your lawyer.
- Did someone run a red light and run into your loved one? If the driver was on a drive for personal reasons, that might not limit you to suing only that person. If their car suffered a defect or other factors contributed to the death, there could be more people held responsible.
- Was the accident caused by a driver making deliveries for a company? Depending on the circumstances, the driver and the company could be negligent.
- Did the accident occur at work due to unsafe workplace conditions? You could have a case to sue the company as well as equipment manufacturers.
- Was the death a result of a medical procedure? You could include the doctor, the hospital, other medical staff, and drug or medical equipment manufacturers in your lawsuit.
- Did a lapse in supervision result in the death of your child? The teacher, school, daycare, or transportation service could be negligent and included in your claim.
A wrongful death lawsuit is not meant to retaliate against the people or companies who cause the death of your loved one. However, as a dependent or spouse, you can recover losses as a result of the negligence involved with the death of your loved one.
What Can You Recover?
Wrongful death lawsuits help you pursue financial responsibility for the death of your loved one. No one should suffer financial hardship as a result of accidental death.
Your lawsuit can include damages for hospitalization and medical expenses during the treatment of your loved one’s injuries before death. You can also recover funeral and burial costs after the loss of your loved one.
If you depend on your spouse or loved one’s income, you can claim the loss of income while they suffered from their injury. You can also claim the loss of potential earnings.
There is also a financial value for pain and suffering. While money can’t replace your loved one or truly ease the loss you suffer, a judge can award a fair monetary amount for your ongoing pain and suffering through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Understanding A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Help You Recover
We hope you and your family never experience the wrongful death of a loved one. However, taking time to help your family understand what is a wrongful death lawsuit can prepare them for action in case a death ever happens a result of some else’s negligence.
At Sweet James, we take care of families suffering through the wrongful death of a loved one. We are here to consult with you about the death, the involved parties, and how we can help you receive financial compensation for your loss.