Wrongful death is when a death occurs because of the legal fault of another person. The legal fault may result from intentional conduct, but it may also be negligence resulting in an accident. The party responsible for causing the death may owe the victim’s family compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. The claim allows the victim and their family to receive justice by bringing a case for wrongful death.
What Is the Purpose of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
There are two purposes to a wrongful death case—justice for the victim and financial compensation for the victim’s family.
1. Justice for the victim with a wrongful death claim.
The victim of a wrongful death deserves to have the dignity of justice. Wrongdoers should have to account for their actions. Through litigation, they have to answer to what happened and the harm that resulted. While it can’t bring the victim back, it can provide a measure of fundamental fairness where the victim is honored and their story is heard. Wrongful death litigation can also result in changes and social awareness that ultimately saves lives in the future.
2. Compensation for the victim’s family
When a family loses a loved one, they have a variety of losses. They may have relied on their loved ones for financial support. The victim may have provided companionship and care for family members. They are a treasured member of the family who is suddenly gone. The surviving family may receive needed compensation that can help them meet expenses and look to the future. The payments may be a welcome relief that eases suffering and helps the family rebuild with a new normal.
Elements of a Wrongful Death
The elements of a wrongful death claim are negligence, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
● Negligence – A failure to live up to the standards of an ordinary, reasonable person with due care and caution.
● Breach of Duty – Occurs when a person does not live up to the duty of care imposed upon them as a member of society for the safety of others.
● Causation – A link between the negligent actions of the other party and the accident
● Damages – Fatal injuries that occur to the victim
If all of the claim elements are present, you may be successful in suing for wrongful death. The value of the case is based on actual injuries and damages as well as the law in the jurisdiction that applies to the case.
Most Common Grounds to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Common grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit include:
● Car accidents – Even a car accident at a relatively low speed can result in a tragedy. Many car accidents can be traced to a driving error or negligence on the part of one or more parties.
● Workplace accidents – Falling objects, dangerous equipment, inadequate training, and a lack of safety equipment are just some of the reasons that workplace accidents may become fatal.
● Medical malpractice – When a person requires medical attention, they expect to be helped. Unfortunately, they may end up being hurt instead.
● Slip and falls – A slip and fall can occur from ground level, or it may occur from an elevated surface.
● Assault and battery/Homicide – Intentional acts that result in death may form the basis of a claim for wrongful death compensation.
● Other transportation accidents – Accidents that involve airplanes, trains, public transportation, and buses may qualify for a claim.
How Are Damages Determined?
Damages in wrongful death depend on the unique situation and the state laws in place for the claim. Every wrongful death is a catastrophic event with a high amount of damages. To determine the exact amount, it may be appropriate to total economic damages, final expenses, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional anguish.
State laws vary significantly about how damages are determined in a wrongful death lawsuit. There may also be options for how to best pursue the case, given the types of damages that are appropriate. It’s important to thoroughly explore the state law that applies to the claim so that the family has a clear understanding of the approximate damages for the claim and the basis for determining these amounts.
How Much a Victim Received Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
How much a victim receives in compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit depends on several factors. How the family goes about pursuing the case can make a significant difference. A lawyer can help you determine the maximum compensation amount, who qualifies to bring the claim, and the best way to go about pursuing compensation.
Is It Mandatory To Attend Meditation?
While the thought of attending a mediation can seem intimidating, it can be beneficial to reaching a favorable result in the case. The courts facilitate alternative dispute resolution to allow the victim’s family to be heard and reach a settlement on their own terms. A wrongful death attorney can assist you with making the meditation session productive and handling the negotiations on your behalf.
Should the Family Attend the Wrongful Death Lawsuit Trial?
Whether you want your day in court by attending the wrongful death lawsuit trial or you want to reach an out-of-court settlement, an attorney can help you reach your litigation goals. Most wrongful death cases don’t end with a stressful jury trial and lawyers pounding on the table. In many cases, when you work with a lawyer to build a strong case, the parties can work towards a resolution that achieves justice for the victim and the family. Your attorney for wrongful death can help you explore your personal goals to ensure that your case is resolved appropriately for your unique situation.
What Is the Best Way To Hire a Lawyer for Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
A wrongful death lawyer can help you understand the litigation process and investigate your claim. Their experience can ensure that your claim goes smoothly and that nothing is left to chance. Let a lawyer help you understand your legal rights and the claims process. In addition, they should be able to answer any questions that you have and explain the representation process. Together, your legal team can work with you to achieve justice in your wrongful death lawsuit.