First, we are very sorry for your loss. The death of a loved one can be devastating –especially if it’s because of someone’s negligence. Our wrongful death lawyers are here for you during this difficult time. When someone dies due to the misconduct of another, the family members of the deceased, or the personal representative of his estate, can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. These suits are filed against the responsible party and allow the survivors to be compensated for their loss.
This idea may not sit well at first – assigning a dollar amount to an individual life seems out of the ordinary. All of us would certainly prefer to be remembered for a lot of things other than some amount of money. But in life, people support each other in many ways (including financially) and a wrongful death judgment makes responsible parties compensate you as best as possible for the loss of this support.
A “wrongful” act can cover a broad scope of behavior. Negligence and breach of a contractual duty are specifically mentioned in the wrongful death statute. If someone who has died would have been entitled to recover had he or she not been killed, only injured, damages could be recovered for his or her wrongful death. Common situations where wrongful deaths occur are motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents and medical malpractice.
Who Can Make a Claim?
Only a “survivor” can bring a wrongful death claim. A survivor is a spouse, child, parent, or other blood relative or adoptive sibling who depended on the deceased for support or services. Services are usually those of a household nature. Support typically means financial. The person bringing the claim has to show she has suffered emotionally and/or financially from the loss of this person. Thus, close family members – spouses and children – will have an easier time showing the emotional and financial hardship caused by the loss of this person in their lives, compared with a distant cousin who rarely saw this person.
The relationship between the deceased person and the person bringing the claim will determine the answer to this question. Some of the damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim include:
A legal professional can determine whether a wrongful death claim is appropriate in your specific circumstances. If you have recently lost a loved one, it can be hard to have one extra step in the process; however, we believe contacting a lawyer who is experienced in wrongful death will be the best thing you can do right now. Contact us today at (386) 777-7777 or fill out our free, online form for a case evaluation.