What is "wrongful death?"
Wrongful death refers to acts of negligence that result in death. Often, this can occur in the context of medical malpractice, car accidents, construction accidents or defective products.
In general, the elements of a wrongful death claim include:
the death was caused, in whole or part, by the conduct of defendant
the defendant was negligent, or strictly liable, for victim's death
there is a surviving spouse, children, beneficiaries or dependents and
monetary damages have resulted from the victim's death
Who may recover in a wrongful death action?
Under the law, surviving relatives such as spouses, children, siblings and parents may recover damages for their loss. This may include claims based on lost wages of the deceased person and lost services that the deceased person provided around the home including care and comfort.
How are damages calculated in a wrongful death case?
Each state has its own laws regarding the nature and the extent of recovery in a wrongful death case. However, certain types of financial losses are generally allowed and include:
Lost wages/income. A party suing for wrongful death is able to recover damages for any lost income that the decedent would have earned and/or used to provide for his or her family. Often, this is calculated using work history records and life expectancy tables.
Loss of care comfort and consortium. A wrongful death may deny family members of the decedent's care and comfort. Such a loss, even though difficult to value, is compensable under most state laws.
Pain and Suffering. In many instances, a recovery is allowed for the pain and suffering caused by severe emotional distress. Often, physical documentation of the pain and suffering is necessary.
How may we assist you in your wrongful death matter?
Wrongful death cases are always emotional. Our lawyers and attorneys have decades of experience representing families who have lost loved ones. We can assist you through this difficult transition period while seeking financial compensation for your loss.
Remember since every state law is different, it's very important to know what your state's law on wrongful death is. Applying the law can be complicated, and the best way to be sure you are protecting your rights is to consult with a wrongful death lawyer who is experienced.
Our experienced wrongful death attorneys can tell you if you still have time to file a wrongful death lawsuit, if you are eligible to bring such a suit, whether there is enough evidence that the defendant caused the wrongful death, what kind of damages might be recoverable, and the best strategy to settle or litigate your case. If you have a good case, our attorneys can help obtain information you need to win the case, such as medical evidence, police reports, physical evidence of an accident or violence, and expert evidence on many subjects, including faulty products, drug side effects, and medical malpractice. Our attorneys can interview and screen witnesses on your behalf.
It is important to remember, that when you are up against professional negotiators, as you always are if an insurance company is involved in your case, you will want a professional negotiator on your side.