Legal Guide

4 Things About Wrongful Death Cases You Should Know About

When someone's negligent conduct leads to the untimely demise of another, the family of the deceased can potentially pursue civil action, known as a wrongful death case

Wrongful death lawsuits are arguably the worst types of personal injury cases since the victim is deceased and won’t personally benefit from whatever compensation a judge awards. But the deceased's family can get justice on behalf of the deceased.

You need a good personal injury lawyer. Ensure the lawyer you retain has a track record of handling wrongful death cases to increase your odds of a successful outcome. Some personal injury lawyers specialize in different areas of the law like car accidents or slip-and-fall incidents. You need a lawyer who knows wrongful death situations inside and out.

While no family wants to find themselves speaking to a lawyer about a wrongful death case, knowing what to do in a nightmare scenario will ensure you know what to expect. 

Keep reading to see four things you must know about wrongful death cases.

1. Only Certain Family Members Can File Wrongful Death Cases

While family members of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit, that doesn't mean all members of the family are entitled to do so. 

Depending on the jurisdiction, family members typically allowed to file lawful death lawsuits include spouses, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, and kids. Again, the list may be different depending on where you live. That’s one reason it makes sense to speak to a personal injury lawyer who deals with wrongful death cases. You can get answers to vital questions.

2. There Is a Time Limit for Filing Claims

Another thing to know about wrongful death cases is that there is a time limit for filing claims. Different states may have different timelines. That’s one reason you shouldn’t dilly-dally if your loved one dies tragically and you want to hold the at-fault party responsible. 

When dialoguing with a lawyer about a wrongful death situation, you’ll get information about the timelines and deadlines. The last thing you want is to find out that the time for pursuing legal action has expired.

3. Different Types of Compensation Apply

There are different kinds of compensation when considering wrongful death cases. For example, you can get compensation for the loss of housekeeping services, compensation for the funeral service or cremation costs, and compensation for the loss of family income. 

A death in the family can hit everyone especially hard. That’s especially true if those left behind depended on the deceased. A lawyer can help you determine what compensation types you and your family qualify for.

4. Wrongful Death Claims Require Four Essential Components

A lawyer will assess your case to see if it meets four essential elements. The first one is negligence. In other words, your family must show that negligence was behind the demise of your relative. The second element is a breach of duty. Your family has to demonstrate that the accused breached their duty toward your deceased loved one. 

The third key element is causation. Your family has to show how the breach of duty and negligence resulted in the death of your family member. And the fourth and final key element of a wrongful death claim is damages. After the loss of a loved one, your family may struggle without the financial support the deceased had provided before their death. You can seek damages to cover some of the lost resources.

No family wants to deal with a wrongful death case. But if a tragedy strikes and you need to call a personal injury lawyer, you’ll want to find the right legal professional.

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