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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.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|