Signs You May Have a Wrongful Death Claim
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Richard Richardson with Siegal & Richardson.
Whenever someone’s death occurs as the result of another party’s negligence or intentional acts, their surviving loved ones may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims are a type of civil lawsuit in which the family of the deceased can sue the at-fault party for the same damages their loved one could have if they survived, in addition to certain damages specific to wrongful death claims.
Some of the damages that may be compensable in a wrongful death claim include compensation for the loss of income the loved one provided, something which may be sorely needed if the deceased was a primary earner for their family. If you suspect your loved one’s death was the result of negligence, reach out to a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to discuss your family’s options for recovery.
Any of the following signs may indicate you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one:
- Your loved one’s death could have been prevented by basic attention to safety by an employer, co-worker, vehicle driver, medical professional, etc.
- Your loved one’s death was intentional, as in the event of violent crimes.
- Your loved one’s death was directly related to a specific product that should not have been dangerous, such as an appliance or pharmaceutical.
- Your loved one’s death occurred due to an unsafe condition on another person’s premises, including private properties, public properties, and businesses.
- Your loved one died from a medical procedure after which the medical staff did not want to release their records or discuss the treatment/operation with the family.
- Others have suffered injuries or death from the same cause or situation.
- You are an immediate family member or the executor of the deceased’s estate or will. Depending on your state, the rules for who can file may vary.
If any of the above signs sound familiar, or you and your family have identified other signs not listed here that may indicate your loved one’s death was wrongful, do not wait to seek legal counsel. The statute of limitations or window of time in which a family can file a wrongful death claim ranges from 2 to 4 years from the time of death, depending on the state.
Damages that may be compensated in a wrongful death claim include but are not necessarily limited to the following:
- All medical expenses related to the deceased’s injuries and death
- Wages lost during the deceased’s medical treatment
- Future lost wages and benefits the family relied upon receiving from the deceased
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before death
- Mental anguish of the deceased and their family
- Loss of care, protection, training, and nurturing the deceased would have provided
- Loss of love, society, and championship the deceased would have provided
- Funeral costs
- Burial costs
If you suspect your loved one’s death was the result of another party’s negligence or intentional behavior, it’s important to reach out to a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. These attorneys are familiar with the painful transitions a family must go through after losing a loved one, both emotional and financial, and can help ease the way and compensate for some of the loss.
If hiring an attorney sounds out of the question, it may help to note that many wrongful death attorneys offer free consultations to grieving families and work on a contingency fee basis, which means clients’ don’t pay for their services unless they win their case. To learn more about signs that may indicate wrongful death, or for help filing a claim, reach out to a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.