The laws of your state can determine who can file this type of legal action.
Generally, these family members can include the following:
- Financial dependents
Depending on where you live, the state may impose different guidelines illustrating who can pursue financial recovery. A wrongful death occurs when a person dies because of intentional actions or negligence of another individual or company. Wrongful death lawsuits seek a civil remedy in the form of monetary awards against a party who played a role in the death of another individual.
Every state allows immediate family members to seek legal ramifications in the case of wrongful death. Eligibility to file a wrongful death claim will depend directly on the specifics of the case as well as the state statutes regarding wrongful death lawsuits.
In some states, the estate of the decedent alone may bring a wrongful death claim. These cases compensate the estate for any losses suffered as a result of the decedent’s passing.
In this type of case, a personal representative of the estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit. A personal representative may include a person appointed by the probate court who has responsibility for administering the assets of the decedent. A personal representative for an estate would bring the wrongful death lawsuit under their own name. Still, any awards recovered from the party at fault would go in a special trust for designated beneficiaries.
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Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims
When filing a wrongful death claim, the losses that the plaintiff seeks can fall under general and specific damages. General damages cast a broad net over intangible losses that cannot be easily assigned a monetary value.
These can include:
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Lost wages of the deceased family member
Specific damages include items that have a concrete price tag. By holding onto certain evidence, such as medical bills or other receipts, you can help your legal team determine the exact value of these losses.
Specific awards may include the cost of:
- Medical care
- Assistive equipment
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of inheritance
There is no data available that indicates the average award recovered following a wrongful death claim. However, depending on where you live, the state may impose regulations on the amount of money you can receive for certain damages.
Wrongful Death Can Happen in Many Situations
When people hear the term “wrongful death,” they may assume that these cases can only happen under certain circumstances. The fact is that wrongful death can occur under any instance where the negligence of another party resulted in an innocent person’s passing. If your loved one passed away as a result of a sudden, unexpected accident that no reasonable party would anticipate, it may be difficult to assign liability in a wrongful death claim. However, if, for example, a loved one passed as the result of defective machinery at their workplace, responsibility can rest on the employer for not taking precautions to protect their workers.
Other situations that can result in wrongful death can include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Premises liability
- Workplace accidents
- Exposure to asbestos or other toxic chemicals
- Aviation accidents
Working with a legal professional can determine the cause of your loved one’s passing and evaluate the details regarding your wrongful death claim. By collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing other relevant records, your legal team can better form an idea of who bears responsibility.
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Pursuing Legal Representation
If a family member lost their life and you believe another individual’s negligence caused it, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Some of the services our legal team can provide include:
- Negotiating with the insurance companies and parties involved.
- Initiating prompt legal action.
- Collecting evidence to support your account of events.
- Protecting your rights throughout the legal proceedings.
- Working to help your claim fall before your state’s statute of limitations deadline.
- Representing you in court, if necessary.
These types of cases can prove complicated, depending on the evidence involved in the case. Wrongful death claims require a certain level of proof. A lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you file a wrongful death claim, which would relieve you of the burden of going through the legal process alone. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you pay nothing upfront. When you choose to work with our dedicated team, we do not request any payments until we are able to recover compensation for you. Contact us at 800-593-3443 for a free case evaluation.
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