When someone is killed due to misconduct or negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. These types of lawsuits seek to compensate the survivors of the deceased for lost wages, companionship, and funeral expenses. The suit is usually filed by a representative of the estate on behalf of the surviving family members and all other affected parties. The largest deciding factor in a wrongful death suit is whether the wrongful death was caused by the other party. To prove this, a few steps must be taken.
How to Prove a Wrongful Death:
- Death. The death of a human being caused by another party’s negligence or with harmful intent.
- Duty of Care. In a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the deceased person a “duty of care”.
- Breach of Duty of Care. The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the deceased.
- Loved Ones’ Loses. The plaintiff must show that the loved ones left behind are suffering monetary injury as a direct result of the wrongful death.
- Causation of Death. The plaintiff must show that the breach of duty of care was the cause of the wrongful death.
Wrongful death statutes vary from state to state but generally define who may sue for wrongful death and any limits that may be applied. Surviving spouses, immediate family members, and parents are usually able to sue for wrongful death depending on state laws.
The surviving family members and loved ones may receive monetary compensation for damages including, but not limited to, funeral and burial costs, medical costs, pre-death pain and suffering, loss of care, inheritance, and loss of love or companionship. In most states, you may bring forward a wrongful death claim if you can show financial dependence on the deceased.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be an extremely trying time. Due to expense and time of litigation, most wrongful death suits can be worked out in a settlement. It is best to have an experienced team of lawyers by your side during this process.
If a loved one has passed away after an accident or injury, and you suspect it was caused by the misconduct or negligence of another person, company, or entity you may be entitled to bring forth legal action to receive the compensation you need. If you wait too long, you may risk losing your right to financial compensation.
Potter Burnett Law wants to provide you with the security, justice, and compassion necessary to aid you in your journey to find closure. Contact Potter Burnett Law today to receive a free consultation with our experienced team of lawyers regarding your wrongful death lawsuit. We will fight to protect your rights.