Losing a loved one can be an emotionally draining experience. If the loss was caused by someone’s negligence, the grief can become overwhelming and is often accompanied by a desire for justice.
Wrongful death cases can be complicated to prove. If you lose a loved one, you can only get compensation if you prove that the death was “negligent.” The grief and funeral and burial arrangements can be exhausting and leave the family members with no time to sue the negligent party. Hence, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney (For more info, visit MayFirm.com). Proving guilt can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to mourning a loved one. Wrongful death attorneys have the expertise, knowledge and resources to gather evidence and prove the liable party’s negligence.
When Can I File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If the negotiations with the liable party are not successful out-of-court, it’s time to file a lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits protect immediate family members by law. They are intended to compensate eligible survivors for the financial and economic losses suffered as a result of the negligence of others. If you believe that the negligence or malice of a person or entity caused your loved one’s death, you may be able to sue for wrongful death.
The first step to filing a lawsuit is known as pre-litigation. This includes setting up the deceased’s estate, investigating the case, and identifying the liable parties.
Surviving family members who can seek damages vary from state to state. These claims are usually limited to those close relatives who are most affected financially and emotionally by the death. For example- spouse, parents and children.
Remember, in the case of wrongful death, the time frame is important. The surviving family members have three months to file a wrongful death action. If they miss any deadlines to file the case, they may risk losing their right to seek compensation.
How Is The Investigation Performed?
Every wrongful death case begins with an investigation done by attorneys with the assistance of legal experts. The process begins with gathering evidence, interrogations, documentation and reporting. To prove a wrongful death claim, it is essential to establish three key factors:
Breach Of Duty Of Care
It is critical to proving that the defendant owed a “duty of care” to the deceased within the meaning of the law. For example- all drivers must follow the law and drive safely, as stated by the law. If a driver responsible for the death of your loved one was found to be driving under the influence, he has breached the duty of care and can be proven guilty.
Breach Of Accountability
If a driver fails to drive safely and violates their duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians, they are accountable for their actions. In a wrongful death trial, the defendant must prove that he acted negligently or willfully in breach of his duty of care.
To successfully pursue a lawsuit and obtain damages, you must prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused the death of your loved one. Every wrongful death case can be different, and a wrongful death attorney can help you better understand how to prove causation.
The most common types of evidence in wrongful death claims include:
- Physical Proof: Blood alcohol records, dog bites, property damage, medical malpractice records or photographs of incidents can all be considered physical evidence.
- Testimony: Experts, witnesses and survivors can all be called to testify.
- Medical and Police Report: Reports and medical records can reveal the cause of the accident and the extent of damage the accused inflicted on the deceased.
How Are Damages Calculated?
Wrongful death cases may result in eligible economic and non-economic damages. Property damages are paid to compensate living family members for:
- Inheritance or loss of household income
- Loss of income
- Loss of support
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses incurred to treat the deceased due to events before death.
Other damages include:
- Mental Pain
- Lack of emotional support
- Loss of friendship
Your legal team can manage the case carefully, not only to prove the misconduct and get the justice you deserve but also to calculate the damages correctly to maximize the amount of your compensation.