As the name suggests, wrongful death is a situation when someone loses their life due to the negligence or carelessness of another person. This is something unfortunate for the victims and their families. Though nothing can make up for the loss, the law comes to the aid of the bereaved families. They can file a wrongful death lawsuit and claim compensation from the guilty party. If you encounter such an adverse situation, you need to know everything about wrongful death claims before filing one. Here are some facts that will make you understand them better.
Wrongful death cases are often complex
To start with, you need to understand that these cases are often complex. It may be tricky to comprehend the damages that are available for the victim’s family and which of the members are eligible to receive them. Considering the complexity of these cases, it is best to hire an attorney who specializes in this domain to handle your case. It can make all the difference to getting a favorable verdict and rightful compensation for the loss of a loved one.
They are similar to personal injury cases
In practice, wrongful death claims are quite similar to personal injury claims. The only difference is that the victim is dead rather than injured due to the wrongful actions of the guilty party. This could happen in a variety of situations. Car accident fatalities and death caused due to medical malpractice come under wrongful death cases. Workplace injuries also fall under these laws because accidents are common in high-risk jobs such as those in oil fields and chemical factories. You need to learn more about such cases before you seek compensation for the death of a family member. If your loved one is killed intentionally, you can claim compensation under this law.
Survivors of the deceased can file a claim
The next thing that you need to know is about the people who are eligible to file a claim for wrongful death compensation. The laws vary from state to state but the deceased’s spouse is the person who is usually the first in line. If the victim has minor children, the spouse can represent their interest as well. In case the deceased is not married, the surviving parents are entitled to the compensation. Even the siblings and extended relatives can sue but the eligibility is decided on the basis of state laws.
The damages you can claim are extensive
The damages that you can claim for the wrongful death of a loved one are extensive in nature. Primarily, these include the value of the life of the deceased in the form of lost wages. Other losses that are covered in the claim are the cost of final injury, funeral and burial costs. Loss of inheritance due to death can also be claimed. Beyond the monetary loss, you can claim compensation for intangible things such as emotional trauma and loss of companionship and care.
Besides knowing these key facts, you should also be aware of the time limits for filing the case according to the law in your state. The best approach is to have a trustworthy lawyer handling the case from start to end.