A wrongful death claim is brought against a company or person that caused, in whole or part, by their conduct, the death of a loved one or family member.
What are the losses or damages that determine the compensation in a Wrongful Death claim?
A spouse is usually entitled to be compensated for the loss of the love, affection, companionship, support, and services of the deceased for the period of their joint life expectancy. Another example: a “minor” child (who might actually be in his or her twenties) is usually entitled to recover for the loss of the guidance, affection, support, and services of the deceased.
In each instance the law seeks to allow compensation for the actual losses that have been experienced by each individual survivor.
The estate of the deceased has the right to seek compensation for the loss of the prospective estate that would have accumulated had the wrongful death not intervened.
Who should file a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Any person who believes he or she may be a survivor entitled to compensation because of a wrongful death has the right to consider starting the investigation of a potential claim.
How is liability determined in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
It is necessary to prove that death was caused by the misconduct of another person or company. This can be difficult. In the case of medical malpractice, expert medical investigation and medical testimony is required by medical professionals. In the case of auto accidents, engineers, inspectors and investigators are often required to prove certain facts of a claim.
It is necessary to prove the life expectancy of the deceased in order to determine what the future losses would be. This is not a major problem when the deceased was in perfect health at the time of the accident. But, it becomes complicated when the deceased had a life-threatening or life-shortening disease or condition.
The nature of the relationship between the deceased and the survivor must be fully examined and documented in order to support the claim of the survivor.
The loss in a wrongful death claim not only economic but emotional in nature and must be presented to show the true pain and loss of the survivor.
What kinds of damages are recoverable In A Wrongful Death claim?
- Immediate expenses associated with the death (medical & funeral)
- Loss of victim’s anticipated earnings in the future until time of retirement or death
- Loss of benefits caused by the victim’s death (pension, medical coverage, etc.)
- Loss of inheritance caused by the untimely death
- Pain and suffering, or mental anguish to the survivors
- Loss of care, protection, companionship to the survivors
- General damages and Punitive damages.
No lawyer can tell you at the beginning of your claim how much your case is worth until he or she has all the medical records, bills and wage loss analysis in hand. However, by calling 800-437-2571 anytime and explaining the specific circumstances of your accident and injuries, one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, may be able to give you a “ball park figure,” or if you prefer, may also use our convenient Free Case Evaluation submission form.