Coming to terms with the loss of a loved one can be challenging. But, if you feel that someone is responsible for your loved one’s death, you may feel that that you cannot get closure until they are held accountable for their actions. A wrongful death case is one of the ways that you may be able to civilly hold a responsible party monetarily responsible for your loved one’s death. One of the questions many people have or are confused about is whether wrongful death is a personal injury case and whether you should hire a St. Paul personal injury lawyer, or whether wrongful death is a different type of case. Read on to learn more about this type of civil case.
What Is a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death case is a type of civil case that is designed to provide payment for medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, and financial compensation for loss of affection if a person or company is responsible for someone else’s death. Someone can be directly responsible for someone’s death through their direct actions, or their lack of negligence can also be a cause of wrongful death.
One of the most common types of wrongful death cases includes cases where someone was driving negligently and hit and killed someone. Medical negligence and medical malpractice are also common types of wrongful death cases. Companies that manufacture products that malfunction or are not properly designed can be held liable for wrongful death. Finally, if someone criminally kills someone, such as shooting or stabbing someone and killing them, they can be tried both criminally and civilly.
Is Wrongful Death a Personal Injury Case?
A wrongful death case does fall under the civil umbrella of personal injury cases. This means that the cases are heard in civil court, and most personal injury cases must meet the same or similar criteria in order for someone to be held liable for the injuries or death that they sustained. While every wrongful death case is a personal injury case, not every personal injury case is a wrongful death case. And, while a wrongful death case is a personal injury case, some states have different statutes of limitations for injury cases versus death cases, so it is important to ensure you look at the right statute for the type of case you are filing in the state you are filing it in.
What Are the Different Types of Personal Injury Case Types?
When it comes to personal injury cases, personal injury is an umbrella term, much like the term criminal case. There are many different types of crime that someone can commit to be charged with a criminal case. The same is true with personal injury. There are many different types of personal injury cases, and each one is slightly different. Some of the most common types of personal injury cases include car accident injury cases, slip and fall cases, dog bite injury cases, nursing home negligence or abuse cases, medical malpractice claims, pedestrian injury cases, motorcycle injury cases, watercraft injury cases, product liability cases and wrongful death cases. To sum it up in a nutshell, if someone was injured or killed due to someone else’s actions or negligence, they may be sued for a personal injury case.
How Does Wrongful Death Case Differ From a Traditional Personal Injury Case?
The biggest difference between a wrongful death case and other types of more traditional personal injury cases is that someone has unfortunately passed. Since the individual has passed, the courts have the ability to award their loved ones money for expenses that are not typically awarded for personal injury cases, including the costs associated with funeral and burial expenses, as well as possible loss of consortium, or basically the loss of the love and influence that a spouse, partner or parent would have with their family members. It is important to note that in some states, loss of consortium is filed as part of a personal injury case, while in other states, loss of consortium can be a standalone case.
What Can You Recover Money For in a Wrongful Death Case?
If your loved one has passed away, you may be able to recover money from the responsible party. Courts will base the amount that you are awarded based on many factors. An award will cover outstanding medical bills or ambulance bills that were sustained as a result of the incident that killed your loved one. The award will take into account how much your loved one made per year, as well as their age, to award a spouse or children the money their loved one would have earned for them. The award covers a set amount, which varies from state to state, for funeral and burial costs. The award amount may cover loss of consortium. Lastly, the award amount may also cover pain and suffering, on behalf of your loved one’s pain and the emotional pain you and your family feel.
What Must Be Shown In Order to Win a Wrongful Death Case?
The top hurdle that needs to be cleared in order to win a wrongful death case is showing that someone’s direct actions or their lack of actions, led to your loved one’s death. For example, if your loved one was killed in a car accident, that does not automatically mean you have a wrongful death case. Your loved one may have been responsible for the accident, or it may have been just a terrible accident. On the other hand, if you can show the other driver was speeding or drunk, you can show why they are at fault.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Attorney For a Wrongful Death Personal Injury Case?
If you have a loved one who has died and you feel someone else is to blame, you may find yourself wondering if it would benefit you and your family to hire an attorney to pursue a wrongful death personal injury case. There are a number of benefits associated with doing so.
One of the first benefits associated with working with a lawyer for a wrongful death case is that they can help you determine if you have a case. Some people who do not have a case pursue a case, and others who do have a case don’t pursue one. A lawyer can help you understand if you have a case and why they feel that way.
Another major benefit is a lawyer can help to guide your case. They can work to answer questions, help you to understand the laws, and help to maximize any award you are entitled to after your loved one has passed away.
As much as you may wish you could, you cannot bring a loved one back after they have died. But, you and your family should not have to suffer the loss of income or be on the hook for medical bills if your loved one passed away and someone is responsible for their death. This is what a wrongful death case is all about. While wrongful death falls under personal injury civil lawsuits, you still need to find a St. Paul personal injury lawyer who has experience handling wrongful death cases to help you with your case.