The death of a loved one is never a pleasant thing to deal with, and the after effects for those left behind are emotionally draining. The situation is made even more stressful when the death is declared wrongful.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. Wrongful death lawsuits can arise from several instances, such as:
* Emergency Room Medical Malpractice – surgical errors, misdiagnosing a patient, failing to pick up a pre-existing condition such as an allergy, or prematurely discharging a patient.
* Anesthesia Malpractice – if the anesthesiologist administers an incorrect and ultimately fatal dosage.
* Vehicle Accidents – drivers and/or manufacturers can be held responsible, depending on the circumstances
Those who were dependent on, or who are a beneficiary of, the deceased person may be entitled to claim financial compensation from the parties responsible for the death. Although this won’t bring back your loved one, it may help to make the day-to-day realities of life easier to deal with.
Do I Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?
It’s important to remember that the criminal justice system will initially take over the case against the person responsible for your loved one’s death. The district attorney’s office will decide whether or not to indict, and a judge or jury will then decide on whether or not to send that person to prison.
However, if the person is not arrested, or is acquitted of the charges, you should definitely speak with a wrongful death attorney.
The burden of proof is less in civil courts than in criminal ones, which means a wrongful death attorney could successfully sue someone and recover monetary damages, even if they weren’t successfully prosecuted in criminal court.
It is important to remember that there is a time limit within which wrongful death suits have to be filed. If you don’t stick to this limit, there is a strong risk you may lose your right to claim compensation.
What Compensation Can I Expect?
There are several factors that influence the amount of compensation you may be awarded. These include:
* The degree to which the survivors were dependent on the deceased person.
* The amount of money the deceased earned before his or her death
* Loss of companionship
* Medical and funeral expenses
The laws governing wrongful death lawsuits are sometimes complicated, and vary from state to state. Visit Malman Law to learn more about how you can claim the compensation to which you’re entitled.