What Is A Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is the death caused by fault, negligence or misconduct of another. The person left by the deceased person or the survivors may sue for wrongful death claims. These lawsuits seek to compensate for the emotional loss, loss of earning capacity of the deceased, together with the medical and funeral expenses that the family of the deceased have suffered.
Generally, the statutes about wrongful death define who may sue for wrongful death. These statutes also provide the limitations of the award for damages. Although the statute about this may vary in every state, they all meant to compensate for the financial support needed by the relatives and loved ones of the deceased person.
Who Can Sue For Wrongful Death?
Every state has a statute that governs and establishes the procedures for bringing claims for wrongful death. In general, the personal representative of the state of the deceased brings about a lawsuit for a wrongful death. State laws, however, governs who may sue for a wrongful death, which may differ in each case.
The people who may claim damages by reason of the wrongful death are, the immediate family members, the surviving spouse, the children. The surrounding factors will all depend on the law of the state where you are planning to take the legal claim.
What Are the Elements Of A Wrongful Death?
There are four key elements that are involved in claiming for wrongful death. The plaintiff must prove these elements to win a case and compensate the damages that have the wrongful death has caused.
Here Are the 4 Key Elements Of A Wrongful Death Claim
The death must be proved as a resulting consequence of recklessness, carelessness, and fault or negligence of the defending party in part or as a whole. The party who is filing the wrongful death claim should prove this.
Breach of Duty
The party filing the wrongful death claim must prove that the defendant has a legal duty to the deceased victim. For example, a driver of a common carrier has the duty to maintain the safety of their passengers by driving safely and following the traffic laws. The doctors and medical health professionals have the duty to maintain their patients’ health. They are required to provide and attend to their needed medical care. The plaintiff has the duty to find ways on how they can establish the defendant’s legal duty to the plaintiff and how this duty was breached.
Aside from proving the breach of the legal duty of the defendant against the plaintiff, the plaintiff must also show that by reason such breach of duty, the victim died.
The death of the victim must have caused measurable damages such as hospitalization, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and funeral expenses. This will be filed together with the compensation for pain and suffering that deceased person experienced before he died.
Proving these key elements in court will require the production of pieces of pieces of evidence that will support your claim. Aside from that, expert testimonies will also help in proving your claim.
How To Prove Wrongful Death
To be successful in the wrongful death claim filed, the plaintiff must prove the following:
- The death of the human being;
- The death is caused by another person’s fault, negligence, and misconduct.
- The surviving family members suffered monetary damage as a result of such death.
Damages Resulting From the Wrongful Death
The main measures of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are the pecuniary, or financial injury that has been brought against the party filing the claim. Pecuniary injuries have interpreted to include the loss of support, services, lost of future inheritance, and medical and funeral expenses. Laws of the states provide that the damages that should be awarded by reason of the wrongful death should be fair, just and equitable to the damages and injuries that have caused.
The categories of losses that the representative or the family members of the deceased may receive includes:
- Survival claim includes the pain and suffering that the deceased experienced before his or her death
- Medical costs and expenses of the deceased as a result of the injury he has suffered
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of expected income of the deceased
- Loss of future inheritance as a result of such death
- Loss of care, guidance, and nurturing that the deceased would have provided if not for his death
- Loss of love and companionship
Consider Hiring A Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death lawyers have the knowledge and skills that you need to enable you to file the claim and compensate the damages that you are entitled to have. They can often negotiate better with the defendant and deals with the procedures and requirements for filing a claim.
Contact Legal Help
If you have a loved one who died in an accident or has suffered from an injury by reason of fault, negligence or misconduct by another person, you can bring a legal claim to compensate all the loss you have suffered.
You can contact a lawyer experienced with wrongful death lawsuits and start discussing your legal concerns. These lawyers will help you learn more about your rights and your options. They will inform you about the potentials of your claim and help you attain the justice that you and your family are rightful to have.