Losing a close person, spouse, a family member is always a tragedy that radically changes your life. The stress you feel then can only be further increased by the fact that you have lost a loved one due to someone’s mistake, negligence, or carelessness. The main thing you should know in such situations is that you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. But what exactly is such a lawsuit referring to? We will try to explain it in this text.
What Is Meant By A Lawsuit For Wrongful Death?
The law most often determines wrongful death as a death that came by wrong or negligent conduct in certain situations. For example, such a case is death resulting from neglect or failure to fulfill obligations. These are situations in which death would not have occurred if a particular act or NO act had not led to it. The very notion of wrongful death is in a way reminiscent of situations in which the “deceased” if he had survived, could have filed a lawsuit for personal injury. In this sense, the claims for compensation are very similar – but in the case of wrongful death, they are usually submitted by family members of the deceased, and the compensation itself is in the case of the obtained process far higher.
When To Initiate A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful deaths are not something new that we have not heard of. Such experiences happen to many of us or from our surroundings. Traffic accidents, negligent treatment or medical abuse, workplace accidents with fatalities, etc. – these are just some of the examples of why such lawsuits are most often initiated. If it has happened to you that you have lost someone you love due to someone’s mistake or negligence – you have the right to file a lawsuit on these bases. However, you should know what it takes to start a dispute like this. Here are a few things we need to point out to you that you need to know in case you want to run the wrongful death lawsuit.
1. Who Can File A Lawsuit For Wrongful Death?
The closest members of the family are usually taking the role of the prosecutors. In most countries, this rule applies, although some countries have small, not very significant deviations. When we talk about family members who most often file this type of lawsuit, we primarily mean the spouse, partner, child, parents, or guardians of the late person. Also, it sometimes happens that the property manager, that is the representative of the property of the late person, also submits a wrongful death lawsuit. According to The Law Center, if any of these persons have suffered stress and other consequences due to the wrongful death of a loved one – that person is also entitled to claim damages on these grounds.
2. Find An Accomplished Legal Counselor
Losing a friend or family member is a troublesome and extremely emotional experience for any of us. Hiring an insufficiently skilled attorney for death lawsuits will add you some extra worry because of documenting a claim – so instead you have time for your grieve, you will have to worry about the things that are over your competence. That’s why you need a highly skilled lawyer, specializing in wrongful death cases. An accomplished legal advisor can direct you through the vital legal procedures and assist you in documenting a claim on time.
3. File A Lawsuit Within The Deadline
When enduring the wrongful death lawsuit it is important to react quickly. Namely, these lawsuits have a deadline within which the statute of limitations may expire. That period is generally three years, except in certain cases such as a motor vehicle accident. Such cases have a period of two years. Therefore, you must take strict care that the final date for filing your lawsuit does not expire. With all this in mind – you should hire a lawyer. You must do this on time, that is – before the expiration of the lawsuit deadline so that your representative has enough time for preparatory work. By this, we mean conducting an investigation into a wrongful death case and gathering all relevant evidence related to the case you are going to take to court.
4. Filing A Lawsuit
This type of lawsuit must be filed formally – therefore in court. When it comes to writing a lawsuit, your legal representative will do it. However, you must know what elements such a lawsuit must contain. You must state in your complaint all the items that may affect the number of damages. This means that you must have all the relevant evidence that the death of your loving person was due to negligence. Also, you have to prove to what extent it has damaged you – if you want to file a lawsuit because of your pain, stress, etc. Experienced lawyers in this area of law – will first assess your case and the merits of the lawsuit. There is a real possibility that they will file a lawsuit without any costs for you or that they will collect their costs after the payment of your compensation. Therefore, it is very important that the lawyer you choose is experienced in this area – but also compassionate enough to facilitate the whole process for the family of the deceased.
5. Present Evidence Before The Court
Here you will see the professionalism of a hired lawyer or legal representative. He has to prove in court a wrongful death lawsuit – so it is not an easy job to do. However, these lawsuits have similar elements as in cases of personal injuries. It means you should prove in court the negligence of the defendant, as well as the fact that the death of the subject was the result of such negligence. Your lawyer must show you in court how and in what way and to what extent such a death harmed the surviving family members. When proving the facts in court, you will have to use a police report, medical records, eyewitness statements, etc. You may also need an expert opinion in some cases where the circumstances of the accident require it. When you prove the damage suffered, you will need documentation such as medical bills, funeral bills, employment records, etc. You need to be aware that you are getting into a real fight in the arena because insurance companies will do anything to refuse or limit your claims.
Amount Of Wrongful Death Compensation
This is a very complex question and cannot be easily answered. Calculating damage is not always easy. It depends on many different elements. First of all, the life circumstances of the deceased person, their income, as well as the fact whether the deceased person had minor family members who are financially dependent on him – are taken into account. If you have an experienced legal representative in this area – you can expect a fair settlement or compensation for wrongful death lawsuits.