If a member of the family dies as result of a wrongful act or negligence by another person, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Such claims are specifically designed to compensate family members of the deceased for losses sustained because of the death. Here we’ll discuss who can file such a lawsuit, and how to go about the legal process.
- When a Wrongful Death Claim is Applicable
A wrongful death lawsuit can be applied when the deceased who would have otherwise benefited from a personal injury claim dies as a result of either an intentional harmful act or negligence by the defendant. This occurs in different situations, which include:
- When the victim dies because of medical malpractice
- When the victim is killed intentionally
- When the victim dies after a car crash resulting from negligence
What Should be Proven in A Wrongful Death Claim?
To place the defendant liable during a wrongful claim, the plaintiffs who are normally the dependents or family members of the deceased must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the victim would have covered their essential needs had he or she lived. So with negligence as an example, it means showing the court that defendant did owe the deceased duty of care, and that the defendant fell in breach of this duty which subsequently led to the demise of the victim, as well as that the death brought about damages the plaintiff is still trying to recuperate.
Who Is A Eligible for Filing A Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death claims are normally filed by representatives of the estate of the now deceased victim, on behalf of any survivors who had some form of relationship with the deceased. As for these survivors can be differs across different states.
Designated beneficiaries include:
- Immediate family members such as children, spouses, parents of unmarried children and adopted children
- Distant family members like grandparents and siblings
- Life or domestic partners
- Parents of a deceased fetus
- Financial dependents as well as those who lose their financial security because of the death.
Wrongful death damages are losses of which the survivor(s) may receive compensation, and these include:
- Medical costs the deceased incurred because of the injury prior to their demise
- Costs involving funeral and burial
- The deceased’s pain and suffering prior to their death
- Loss of expected income from the deceased
- Value of services the deceased could have provided while alive
- Loss of any inheritance because of the death
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of guidance, nurturing and care the deceased would have provided
- Loss of consortium
If you find yourself wanting to file a personal injury claim to someone who is deceased, you best bet would be to seek counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she will guide you through the whole legal process, represent you and increase your prospects of being compensated what you deserve.