People file a wrongful death lawsuit when someone dies or is killed due to the negligence of another. This lawsuit is filed for seeking compensation for the loss of survivors. The loss includes lost wages, lost companionship, and funeral expenses. The wrongful death laws of each state are different. But wrongful death lawsuits are usually filed by a wrongful death lawyer or a representative of the estate of the deceased person.
When Are Wrongful Death Claims Applicable?
A wrongful death claim arises when a person dies or is killed due to the wrongful action of another person. This can happen in a number of situations.
A wrongful death claim happen when the victim is killed intentionally by another person, when the victim dies due to medical negligence, or when the victim dies in a car accident.
Filing A Wrongful Death Claim
An important question in a wrongful death lawsuit is that who can file a wrongful death claim? Usually, a wrongful death claim is filed by the representative of the deceased person’s estate. The representative files the claim on behalf of the survivors who had a relationship with the victim.
A spouse can bring a wrongful death action on behalf of his/her deceased spouse. If a minor person is killed, the parents of that deceased person can also file a wrongful death claim. If the parents are killed, then the minor children can collect the compensation. Different states have different laws when it comes to parents filing wrongful death claim over the death of their deceased adult children.
In some of the American states, marriage is not a requirement for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The romantic partner of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim. Anyone who can show financial dependence on the deceased can also file a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful Death Damages
The main measures of damages in a wrongful death claim are pain, pecuniary and financial loss. Pecuniary injuries are interpreted by the courts as the loss of support, services, medical and funeral expenses, and the lost prospect of inheritance. The damages also include the deceased person’s pain and suffering before his/her death.
Hiring A Wrongful Death Lawyer
Like most lawsuits, only a few wrongful death lawsuits are tried before a jury. Most wrongful death lawyers work out settlement deals to avoid the high expense of litigation. Also, an experienced wrongful death lawyer can negotiate a better plea bargain.