When someone dies because of the negligent or willful actions of another person or company, the deceased’s family members may have the right to pursue compensation for their measurable damages. Unfortunately, families often find the process of seeking compensation confusing. Knowing their rights and the process helps families ensure they receive the fair compensation they deserve for the death of their loved ones.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs when a person can be held liable for death because of their actions, whether willful or negligent. Wrongful death claims are one of the most difficult to prove because the entire weight of proving the claim rests on the shoulders of the family members. Family members of the deceased often need an attorney to help them ensure they receive compensation.
Five Things Families Need to Know About Wrongful Death Claims
Losing a loved one is extremely difficult. The difficulties increase when the death is caused by negligence or willful actions. The following offers five things families need to know about wrongful death claims. Being aware of these will help individuals make sound decisions that will benefit their case outcomes.
- · One of the most important things a person needs to know is that not all deaths are considered wrongful. According to most state laws, wrongful deaths only occur when had a person survived, they would have had the right to pursue a personal injury claim. Wrongful death claims often result from car accidents, assault, medical malpractice, and defective products.
- Families also need to know only certain people can bring a wrongful death claim. Only a personal representative of the estate can bring a wrongful death claim. Spouses, parents, children, and siblings may also have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim.
- In some states, families may only recover punitive damages. Some states allow families to recover lost income, funeral expenses, and other measurable damages. Families must learn as much as possible about their state’s laws so they will know what to expect from the process.
- Families have a limited amount of time to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations limits the amount of time a person has to pursue compensation, and the clock starts ticking as soon as the death occurs. Waiting too long to pursue a lawsuit could lead a person to void their rights to seek compensation for the death of their loved one.
- A family also needs to hire a lawyer to help them through the process of pursuing compensation for wrongful death. Getting legal help will allow the family to learn more about their rights and the process of pursuing compensation.
Schedule a Consultation
Scheduling a consultation appointment with a lawyer becomes integral for families of wrongful death victims. Some lawyers offer free consultation appointments for the families of deceased victims. Preparing for the consultation appointment allows families to ensure they communicate with the lawyer effectively.
Once the family begins working with a lawyer, the lawyer takes over the full investigation into the death. Gathering evidence is an integral task of the lawyer. The lawyer will also negotiate with the at-fault party and their insurance company.
If the negotiations fall through, the family has the right to pursue the wrongful death claim in court. Getting help from a lawyer from the beginning will help families protect their rights.
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