WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYERS
In legal terms, a “wrongful death” is when someone dies or is killed due to the negligence of another. That negligent party could be the other driver in a car accident or a company that failed to maintain proper safety standards. Wrongful death lawsuits are brought in pursuit of compensation for the survivors’ loss, including lost wages from the deceased, any pain and suffering the deceased suffered before death, loss of companionship, and funeral expenses. If your loved one died in an accident caused by someone else, it’s important to speak with experienced wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible.
WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT PROCESS WITH A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYERS
If a person’s death is caused by the negligence or intentional act of another person or entity, the estate of the deceased or the deceased’s surviving family members may have the option to bring a civil lawsuit seeking damages. This is called a wrongful death lawsuit. Each state has different laws governing the wrongful death process, so for the best description of how your state handles wrongful death cases consider consulting an experienced wrongful death attorney. Regardless, there are some common pieces that are prevalent all across the country.
In wrongful death claims, the party bringing the suit has the burden of proof and must prove that the opposing party was at fault for the deceased’s death. This is most likely proven through negligence. If this is proven, then damages may be awarded. Damages can again range from state to state but usually include compensation for pain and suffering incurred, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and loss of future income or companionship. Alternatively, the defendant may choose to instead settle before trial on an agreed-upon amount.
WHO CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?
The people who can file a wrongful death lawsuit varies from state to state. To get the most accurate description of who is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit consider consulting an experienced wrongful death attorney. That being said, there are some common parties that may file wrongful death claims across the states.
All states allow wrongful death lawsuits to be filed by immediate family members.
In most cases, spouses of the deceased may bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
If the deceased was a child, some states allow the parent to bring the lawsuit.
If the deceased was a single adult, some states allow extended family members to bring the lawsuit. Examples of extended family members include siblings, grandparents, or stepparents.
If the deceased had a will, the wrongful death lawsuit is usually brought by the executor or personal representative of the estate. If the court determines that the executor personal representative is the best party to bring such a claim, then they will likely have the exclusive right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?
States vary on the amount of time parties have to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These time limits are called “statutes of limitations.” Statutes of limitations strictly dictate how long a party has to file such claims. If a party waits too long, going beyond the statute, the courts may prevent them from filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
In order to get an accurate timeframe on when you must file your wrongful death lawsuit, consider consulting with an experienced wrongful death attorney. An experienced wrongful death attorney can explain to you your state’s wrongful death statute of limitations and apply that timeframe to the unique facts of your case. This is very important if you hope to seek maximum compensation for your loss, so consulting with an attorney may be your best option.
Areas of PRACTICE
Environment & Natural Resources
Environment & Natural Resources