Wrongful death is the term given for the death or killing of a person by the negligence or misconduct of another. Surviving relatives of the deceased can sue the guilty party and seek compensation for emotional loss, funeral expenses, and the lost wages of the deceased.
A Wrongful death claim exists when the deceased was killed by the fault of someone else. This could be the driver behind the wheel causing a car accident or the bartender who provides drink to a drunk driver.
The laws that preside over the wrongful death suit will be different from state to state, never the less, they generally exist to define who can be sued and for a death and what compensations can be made. The original idea behind the wrongful death lawsuit was to provide for widows and orphans after a breadwinner has died.
Who can sue for wrongful death?
State laws allow a wrongful death lawsuit be taken out by the surviving spouse, children and even the parents of a deceased fetus. It really depends on the statutes set by the state in which the incident occurs. Typically, the wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estates.
Each state has their own civil “wrongful death statute”, this can also be a set of statutes that dictate how the proceedings will be handled.
The personal representative of the deceased can also bring personal injury, expenses incurred prior to the deceased’s death and many other factors into the wrongful lawsuit action. These damage awards will be placed in the estates and will be dispensed with according to the stipulations made in the deceased’s will.
Wrongful Death Damages
In a wrongful death lawsuit, pecuniary damage is the yardstick by which all damages are measured. Courts have decided that “pecuniary damages” can include lost prospects of inheritance, medical and funeral expenses. Loss of support or loss of services.
Most of the laws demand that all pecuniary damages be that are awarded to the survivors of a family member be fair compensation for the damages suffered. If those distributing the cash are also involved in paying for medical bills of funeral services, then they may also be entitled to a fair price. Finally, there will be a damage award added to the compensation as a form of interest from the date of the decedent’s death.
Considerations When Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer
As with the vast majority of lawsuits, very few trials will actually be placed before a jury. Due to the phenomenal costs of litigation most lawyers try to come to a settlement agreed upon outside of court. Lawyers will work to negotiate plea bargains and get the defendant off with as much as they can.
If you have been affected by the death of a loved one in an accident or wrongful death that was the responsibility of another person, company or entity, you have a right to compensation. In order to take action against those responsible it is essential that you obtain the best representation available to you. contact a qualified personal injury attorney today and see what option you have in your state.