It is devastating to lose a loved one. However, the situation is worse if the death is avoidable. This is often the situation in wrongful death claims. These types of claims include car accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability. Who is entitled to file a claim on behalf of the deceased? The answer depends on where the victim lived. In some states, the victim’s estate or close family members must file the claim. Likewise, some states allow life partners to file. Other family members may be able to file, as well. For instance, a grandmother who is raising the victim’s child can file on behalf of the grandchild.
People who are unsure about filing should contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Tacoma. The lawyer will investigate the matter and determine if a claim exists. Just about anyone or any entity can be sued for wrongful death. However, governments may have immunity. Also, courts determined that the makers of some medical devices are immune to lawsuits. The lawyer will try and negotiate with the insurance company to reach a settlement.
However, that is not always possible. The insurer must pay damages for the loved one’s mental suffering. Further, the law says people are entitled to damages for the care they would have received from the deceased. Most importantly, spouses are entitled to damages for loss of consortium. Indeed, it is difficult to put a monetary value on the love two people shared.
If the case goes to trial, a Wrongful Death Attorney in Tacoma may use witnesses. These witnesses make it easier to calculate damages. For example, the deceased’s lifetime earning potential must be calculated. It is even harder to place a value on the work that someone does at home. Imagine, a spouse who loses his stay-at-home wife must pay for someone to care for the children. A jury may award punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct was especially bad. Interestingly, one can recover three times the damages in cases involving nursing homes. Additionally, courts almost always make the defendant pay the plaintiff’s attorney fees and court costs. There is no doubt the lawyer will make sure the plaintiff gets the highest award possible.