Losing a family member is more than hard to handle. It gets even harder when you believe it didn’t have to happen because a wrongful death is when someone caused the death of another through reckless or negligent behavior or intentional harm.
When a family is in mourning, it’s difficult to even think about any legal procedures to take to compensate for that wrongful death.
But there is a statute of limitations on making a wrongful death claim, so the sooner you start, the better it is for you. Every state has a civil wrongful death statute that establishes the procedures for bringing wrongful death claims.
Here to help, we’ll tell you more about these kinds of claims.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death suit is a type of personal injury lawsuit brought against the person who caused the wrongful death.
The suit is usually brought upon by surviving members of the family of the deceased. A wrongful death claim can stem from many types of personal injury claims.
Because there is much involved, you would need more information from a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases to represent you to get you the compensations you are entitled to.
Types of wrongful death
Car accidents are a common reason to bring forth a suit if it is proven that the victim died due to direct injuries from the crash.
Medical malpractice could include any type of malpractice from the time of diagnosis where the patient was not provided with a standard level of health care and dies as a result. This also applies to misdiagnosis.
Sometimes a wrongful death suit is brought on after a criminal suit. Perhaps the most famous case was O.J. Simpson, who was found not guilty by the criminal jury but found guilty by the civil jury for the wrongful death of two people.
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How to prove a wrongful death
The person bringing the suit forward has the burden of proof, meaning they must prove a couple of things, mainly:
- The death was indeed caused by someone’s negligence, recklessness, or deliberate act and was not due to the actions or inactions of the victim. To prove this as a fact is much more complicated than what it seems.
- Surviving family members must establish that they suffered measurable damages due to their loved one’s wrongful death. This involves wage compensation, as that is measurable.
What kind of compensation can be collected?
- Medical bills and funeral expenses
- Compensation for lost wages from work had the person still lived.
- Compensation for damages for the pain and suffering underwent by the surviving family members.
Your Legal Rights
If you believe your loved one died a wrongful death, you might not know what you are entitled to or even what to do. Contact a professional attorney early on because if you pass the statute of limitations in your state, you won’t be able to file a suit later on. It’s hard enough to lose someone, so don’t forget your rights also.