Should I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
A person can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased loved one when their death arose from a situation that should have been avoidable, or as a result of negligence by another party. Not everyone can file a wrongful death claim, and the eligibility for filing one of these claims may vary from state to state. Research the laws in your area regarding who may or may not file a wrongful death claim. In many cases, the person filing the claim must be a direct relative of the deceased.
It is not uncommon for personal injury claims to be in process when the injured person passes away; at this point, the personal injury claim must be closed and a wrongful death claim may begin. If you are unsure of whether your loved one’s passing is eligible for a wrongful death claim, it may help to note that if a person would have been eligible to file a personal injury claim had they lived, it is highly likely that a wrongful death claim is a viable option. To learn more about filing a wrongful death claim or to discuss your case with an expert, reach out to a wrongful death attorney.
If a death occurred as a result of negligence or an avoidable situation, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
Figuring out whether you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased loved one is fairly straightforward, although the process of proving the claim may be more complex. As a general rule of thumb, if your loved one’s death occurred as a result of negligence by another party, or in a situation that could have been avoided with proper attention to safety, this is a strong indication that a wrongful death claim might be viable.
Similarly, if a loved one’s injuries were wrongfully sustained and later led to their death, this is another indication that you should consider filing a wrongful death claim. In this situation, you will first need to end the personal injury claim if one was filed, and then reach out to a wrongful death attorney to begin the process of filing a new claim.
A wrongful death claim can seek compensation for much the same damages as a personal injury claim would have.
Damages which can be sought compensation for in a wrongful death claim include but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Future lost wages and benefits if the person who died was a source of income for the family
- Mental anguish
- Loss of care, protection, training, and nurturing
- Pain and suffering before death
- Loss of love, society, and companionship
- Loss of consortium
- The costs of a funeral and burial
If your loved one died due to unjust circumstances, the wake of their passing is likely to bring with it a myriad of changes. You do not have to adjust to these changes alone. Contact a wrongful death attorney to discuss your situations and learn more about your options. Many of these attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t be required to pay a penny unless/until they win the case on behalf of your loved one.