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Nothing is more devastating than losing a loved one unexpectedly, but it simply adds insult to injury when this devastation is due to the negligence of another person. This is where wrongful death claim lawsuits come into play. Each year there are thousands of wrongful death cases that are brought, many which result in compensation. Though the laws for each state will vary, somewhat the basis is nearly identical; you will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:
• Cause- The more proof you have that the defendant in the case was directly responsible through negligence or outright action for the death of your loved one the better. The conduct of the defendant has to be wholly or mostly responsible for the death.
• You must be able to prove assertions of liability.
• There must be surviving beneficiaries such as spouse, children or beneficiaries.
• There has to be monetary damages as a result of the victim’s death.
These are of course only the base guidelines for a wrongful death claim; each of the 50 states can have additional requirements, which is why you need a knowledgeable attorney from your area to bring wrongful death cases before a judge and jury.
One final piece of advice on this subject is this; do not assume that a wrongful death claim would be dismissed simply because the defendant is found innocent of criminal charges. A person can be financially responsible even if a criminal case failed.
Nearly every state has created statutes allowing wrongful death lawsuits. Generally the deceased is considered not the only one to suffer in the wrongful death. Those who depended on the deceased for financial support or emotional support are those able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The death must have resulted from negligence or careless act, a reckless act or even murder. Murder will be tried in Federal court while a wrongful death lawsuit is tried in a civil court.
Some states allow only the direct family member the right to file a wrongful death suit but a consultation with a wrongful death law firm will know what your state’s specific laws are regarding this. It is advisable you have several consultations with wrongful death law firms until you find one you feel comfortable with and confident in their ability to represent you. Come prepared with questions, such as how often or what percent of time they are able to get a guilty award. Also, do they have trial experience in the event the other party does not wish to make a settlement offer, which is fairly common in cases with merit.
A wrongful death law suit will likely be a lengthy process and take a good amount of time. A good wrongful death law firm will keep you notified at every juncture of what is going on in your case and what to expect next. The entire case will be investigated in order to determine blame and responsibility even if no legal charges were filed. If no legal charges were filed it may be harder to prove responsibility or negligence but not impossible.
Car accidents resulting from carelessness or recklessness, nursing home abuse leading to death, and homicide are all possible grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. If you feel you have suffered a wrongful death you should seek a consultation with a wrongful death law firm.
The wrongful death law is generally one which is used when a loved one has died as the result of negligence or carelessness on the part of another.
Though each state is different, there are a number of factors that are the same throughout the country regarding what constitutes a wrongful death or allows for a wrongful death claim.
The death must have been caused in whole or in part by the defendant. This will have to be proven in a court of law and there are many Attorneys familiar with the wrongful death law available to discuss your case with.
The defendant has also got to be negligent or liable for the victim’s death. Often times you will be dealing with an insurance company who represents the defendant and they will have many resources to fight your case so it is important that you find the right Attorney who understands and is familiar with the wrongful death law.
There has also got to be a surviving spouse, children or dependents to file a wrongful death claim.
Also there must be monetary damages that have resulted from the victim’s death, such as medical bills or loss of family wages, which will be a part of what the jury is asked to award when a lawsuit involves the wrongful death law.
If you feel you may meet the criteria for the wrongful death law it is important you seek the advice of an Attorney.
A wrongful death suit is any legal action taken to compensate one for the wrongful death of a loved one caused by any number of factors. This could be negligence, lack of proper medical treatment, nursing home abuse that led to the patient’s death or even an automobile accident where the deceased was not at fault.
Generally wrongful death suits take anywhere from a year to several years to settle due to various appeals and procedures used to prolong the suit by the defendant. If you feel your loved one has suffered a wrongful death you should seek a consultation with an Attorney who specializes in wrongful death suits.
The Attorney will know what and what is not considered a wrongful death in your state as well as what criteria must be met to file suit against the defendant. Often times the defendant is an insurance company, as drivers, medical personnel and most large companies has liability insurance for just this purpose. It is seldom you will be filing a wrongful death suit against an individual and though you may file one and be awarded a guilty verdict along with a financial damage award they are sometime’s very hard to collect from.
A wrongful death suit is likely to take a while to settle but if you feel strongly in your case the final defendants verdict of guilty may be worth the wait.
Filing a lawsuit to recover damages for medical costs and the loss of income is crucial when a loved one has suffered a death from the negligence of someone else or from a defective product. Most importantly, a lawsuit will provide you and your family with a fair and reasonable amount of compensation for the damages of pain and suffering endured from loosing a loved one.
When deciding to file a lawsuit to recover the damages from a wrongful death, making sure that you have a smart, educated and well respected attorney is crucial. Wrongful death attorneys specialize in these particular types of cases so their expertise and knowledge would be beneficial in you receiving the most amounts for your claim.
A family that looses a loved one has suffered a great loss and needs an individual to represent them in the court of law to maximize their financial compensation. Wrongful death attorneys are the people to contact for a family to receive the attention they need and deserve.
The hiring of a wrongful death lawyer can be stressful and overwhelming. Generally those looking to hire a wrongful death lawyer are already in the process of grieving for the loss of a loved one and now have yet another decision to make after the difficulty in dealing with a funeral home and the details of a funeral.
Hiring a wrongful death lawyer should still not be an easy decision as you want to be assured you are getting the best you possibly can. Taking advantage of free consultations and comparison interviewing will help you decide on which is right for you and your circumstance.
It is important that you ask questions such as how experienced the lawyer is in wrongful death claims? Does he have trial experience if a settlement cannot be reached? How much trial experience does he have? Does he charge a percentage only if he wins your case for you? How strong does he feel your case is? You also want one who is accessible when you have questions or concerns, not one who is impossible to reach. Obviously he should a member of the state bar Association and any other specialty areas he may have such as wrongful death.
Use word of mouth if possible to get any referrals your associates and friends may have used. If not you can use the phone book but remember to consult several, it is likely if you have several to choose from you will feel more comfortable in making the decision of which one you want to hire. Ask for his track record, how many times has he got an award from the defendant or a guilty verdict from the jury?
Understand that it is likely to be a lengthy process as most wrongful death lawsuits are but as long as you can be confident you wrongful death lawyer is representing you to the best of his ability and keeps you informed of every step then you will be aware of what is going on with your case and less likely to grow impatient and become dissatisfied.
Wrongful death can be defined as when one person is killed as a direct action or inaction of another person. These actions can encompass negligence, abuse, misuse of authority, and malpractice by a healthcare practitioner just to name a few.
A wrongful death Attorney’s job is to look into and investigate fully the details surrounding the loss of your loved one and determine if there is criteria to consider it a ‘wrongful death.’ Only the deceased's immediate survivor can file a wrongful death suit and each state has statutes in place as to what is considered a wrongful death case.
The wrongful death Attorney will attempt on your behalf to collect fair and just compensation for your loss and suffering. Many factors will be used to determine this amount such as the deceased’s age and amount of time he/she would have ordinarily been employed and the loss of that income, and also loss of parental guidance in the case the deceased has children.
It will be the wrongful death Attorney’s job to provide the court with enough evidence to convince them there was negligence or fault on the part of the defendant. It will be the jury; however, who decides the amount to award based on a number of factors. Considering the state you’re in you may or may not be able to collect punitive damages.
If you feel a loved one has passed away due to the fault of another, you should seek the advice of a wrongful death Attorney to determine what your options are.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|