Losing someone you love is a confusing and brutal experience. When the person in question has died due to the negligence of someone else or a company of people, things can feel even more nonsensical. No amount of financial recompense could ever make up for the loss of a family member. This being said, the law has created space for financial compensation to be given in cases where a death was caused by the negligence of another person, company, or party.
There are often financial burdens associated with death like medical bills, funeral expenses, and, in the longer-term, the loss of an entire income for a family. In addition to these burdens, there can also be a financial compensation granted for mental pain and suffering, the loss of companionship, and the loss of support.
A wrongful death suit is a lawsuit that is filed in response to a death that was caused by negligence or intentional action that resulted in death. These suits are civil, not criminal, and are most often brought to court by family members or the estate of the person who has died.
This route, while emotionally draining, is often looked at because a wrongful death claim can be the solution to the financial aspects of this suffering. Most states have specific procedures designed to be followed to place a wrongful death claim. Often there are limitations on the amount of time after a wrongful death claim can be filed, and almost always, this process is guided with the help of an attorney specializing in wrongful death cases.
While each case is different and should be approached with the specifics of your particular scenario, some common incidents produce wrongful deaths. Car accidents, medical malpractice, elder abuse, defective products, pedestrian accidents, premises liability accidents, and fatalities related to unsafe work environments are all examples of common wrongful death claims. There is also an increasing number of claims specifically having to do with those who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime and given the death penalty. If this is the type of claim you are considering, you might be able to find additional support from organizations dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty.
Each state has individual specifics regarding how long after the wrongful death a suit can be claimed. As a general rule, it is usually better to take action earlier rather than later. This will allow your attorney time to do the necessary work to give your case the best chances it can have. Sometimes research needs to be done, and this can take some time, depending on how accessible certain information is.
Wrongful death claims are unlike any other personal injury claims. Because of this, it is crucial that if you are considering pursuing a wrongful death claim you need to work with a professional attorney that specializes in this area of law. The law is a complicated system often written out in antiquated legal jargon that requires years of study and practice to understand.
Beyond this, it takes years of highly specialized experience and training to be able to navigate this specific area of law successfully. Beyond the specialization, it is also important that you seek out an attorney who practices and has experience in the state where the tragedy and case are to occur. Laws differ from state to state, and because of this, a lawyer working in Texas might not be equipped to handle a case in Illinois.
It can be incredibly challenging to determine the financial value of someone’s life. Experts at https://www.curcio-law.com/practice-areas/wrongful-death/ explain that because of this, there are forensic accountants and economists whose job it is to help people assess the financial loss and future financial requirements their family might have after a wrongful death. Many attorneys will be able to recommend good sources of these services for you. Some law firms even have staff that can provide these services for you.
Any person who has suffered because of the death can file a wrongful death suit. Most often, this is a family member. Usually, this person is agreed upon by those affected to represent everyone who is suffering. It is important to carefully think about who this will be, as likely everyone involved is struggling mentally and emotionally, and participating in a lawsuit is an incredibly stressful thing for most people. Whoever is chosen will likely need additional emotional support from other family members in this tough time. If you are unsure who should file the actual suit, you can bring up your concerns with your attorney. Your attorney will be able to share additional information about the process in your state that can help you make an informed decision.
Given the drastic and sudden shifts experienced by everyone and everything in response to COVID-19, it is no surprise that wrongful death claims are also being affected. Many people are wondering if certain circumstances surrounding a coronavirus-related death would be considered a wrongful death. Several of these lawsuits have been filed. It is expected that more may follow.
Employers of essential workers did and still do, owe a duty of care to their employees. This could include implementing procedures that reduce the risk of the virus spreading according to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control. If the death occurred due to coronavirus contracted in a workplace environment where disinfection and social distancing measures were not implemented could qualify as wrongful death. Likewise, if appropriate measures were not taken to reduce the risk of coronavirus being contracted by nursing home residents could also count as wrongful death. If your suit pertains to COVID-19, speak to an attorney.
Being in the position to file a wrongful death claim can be confusing and add to the emotional strife of having lost someone. It is important to remember that there are people in the world who will assist you with the claim. Reaching out for guidance and help is one of the best things you can do in this situation. The weight of this type of burden is too great to carry alone.