Every day there are millions of accidents happening around the world. A big percentage of these accidents are as a result of negligence. Due to negligence, millions of families lose their loved ones in situations that could have been easily avoided.
Such negligence is often followed by a wrongful death lawsuit. Read on to find out more about this sensitive issue.
In simple terms, wrongful death is described as the death of an individual due to the negligence of another. The person would probably not have died if a careful person was in the same situation.
Under the law, close relatives can get compensated for the wrongful death of a loved one. A wrongful death suit seeks to compensate the family members for the loss of inheritance, wages, funeral costs as well as the loss of love and companionship.
The lawsuit may not relieve the pain of losing a loved one, but it will help reduce the financial burden. It takes time, effort and the will to file such a lawsuit. The reasons for filing a wrongful death suit may vary depending on the situation. Some may want justice for their loss.
You want the parties involved held accountable. It could also be for compensation or closure.
Accidents are bound to happen, but a big percentage of these accidents can be avoided. In case of such accidents family members and loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, these types of lawsuits tend to be very complicated.
You will face a lot of hurdles in your way thus understanding how wrongful death lawsuit work will make your work easier. Among the commonly asked questions are:
You could file a lawsuit if a loved one due to the negligence of another person. However, depending on the statutes of the state, a wrongful death suit can only get filed by first or second class families.
These include immediate family members such as children, parents, adopted children, spouses, siblings, grandparents, life partners, financial dependents, etc.
When filing a wrongful death suit you can any of the two main systems: the Lord Campbell System or the Loss-To-Estate System.
If a loved one dies while working, do you sue for wrongful death? In most cases, workers have insurance for injuries associated with work. The workers are often compensated for their injuries and barred from suing the employers.
According to employers, the compensation is enough to cater for medical bills, lost wages and any other damages resulting from workplace accidents.
Since the employees get covered by the compensation insurance, they are barred from using the company. However, the same doesn’t apply if an employee dies due to the negligence of other workers. A good case study is the factory worker who died in 2012 while working at Bumble Bee Foods.
Wrongful death damages typically fall into two categories. The two categories are differentiated by time periods. The first category represents damages from the period of the negligent act to death.
For instance, if you’re involved in a car accident either due to negligence or defective parts, the damages will cover from the moment of occurrence to death as a result of the injuries. This category includes lost wages, mental and physical pain, as well as funeral and burial expenses.
The second category covers financial loss. This type of damages seeks to compensate for the remaining family members for their loss. Depending on the state, family members can be paid total wages the deceased would have earned up to retirement.
In some states, spouses, immediate family members and children can claim loss of consortium. This is the loss of love, companionship, and guidance.
Depending on the circumstances leading to the death of a loved one, you can sue for emotional distress. If it was a gruesome death that caused emotional, shock and physical trauma, you could pursue a claim.
However, you have to get examined by a professional and expert testimony provided. You will also need a skilled attorney to substantiate your claims.
Each of the 50 states has a wrongful death statute, but the particulars may vary from state to state. These statutes limit the period when you can file a wrongful death suit regardless of whether it’s genuine or not. The period can be a few months to several years.
For example, California has a 2-year time limit for wrongful death claims against corporations, businesses and private persons. Against public entities, you have to file the claim within a year. In Florida, the limitation is two years.
The length of the wrongful death case will vary depending on several factors. Some of the factors include whether liability was admitted or disputed. Others include the location of potential defendants and the amount of insurance coverage.
The case can be solved faster if one party admits liability and agrees to pay the settlement. However, the probate court has to approve that the agreed settlement is sufficient.
Losing a loved one or a family member is always hard and filing a lawsuit is probably the last thing you are thinking about. However, if you want justice, you need to find a good lawyer who can handle a wrongful death lawsuit.
You want a lawyer who has experience handling such cases and won. Preferably, look for one that specializes in wrongful deaths.
If you’re suing a big company, they will probably hire the biggest law firm in town. Their goal is to ensure that their reputation doesn’t take a hit while avoiding compensation.
Schedule a consultation before you decide to hire the attorney. During the consultation, you can gauge if the attorney is well equipped to handle your case. Are they able to answer your questions about the case?
Do more research on past cases and their outcomes before signing the contract. Also, ask for references. At Dante Law, we have experienced wrongful death attorneys that will ensure you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.