In-Depth Information on Filing a Claim for Wrongful Death in Court

To lose a loved one is always tricky, but to lose them in an avoidable tragedy is incredibly agonizing. Losing a financial provider compounds the emotional turmoil of bereavement. Filing a wrongful death case against the responsible party may allow you and your loved ones to receive monetary damages to help you cope with the loss and move on with your lives.

So, what exactly is a case for “wrongful death”?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a personal injury claim filed against the at-fault party for the plaintiff’s wrongful death. When someone’s recklessness or malice results in the death of someone who would have had a viable personal injury claim had they survived, that’s grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.

To establish negligence, the plaintiffs must show that the defendant owed the injured party a duty of reasonable care or action that was breached. They also have the burden of establishing that the defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of the victim’s death and that the damages sought are consequential to the victim’s demise.

Is there a limit on who can file a wrongful death suit?

A representative of the individual or people financially harmed by the death must bring a wrongful death claim. The deceased person’s estate’s executor may serve as the representative. To comply with Florida law, the personal representative must be named in the decedent’s will or other estate planning documents. Those who are “partially or totally dependent on the deceased for support or services” are considered “real parties in interest” and include spouses, children, parents, etc. Wrongful death claims may be available in other jurisdictions.

Just who can file a lawsuit, exactly?

A wrongful death lawsuit might name more than one defendant. In the absence of any immunity from criminal death action afforded by state jurisdiction, individuals, corporations, and governments cannot be sued for damages following a fatal accident.

In the case of a deadly car accident caused by potholes, an intoxicated driver, and a defective airbag, a wrongful death claim might be launched against all of the parties mentioned above. A wrongful death attorney in Chicago may come in handy to help file these lawsuits.

How do the circumstances surrounding a fatality impact the amount of compensation offered?

Individual human life is hard to put a price on. Due to the unique circumstances of each case, wrongful death settlements can range substantially. However, the amount that the actual claimants might hope to collect is affected by a few constants.

  • Because of the greater length of life that may have been expected from younger, healthier victims, their settlements are likely to be more significant.
  • Individuals with higher earning potentials and higher levels of education are more likely to receive larger settlements.
  • An increased settlement amount may be awarded to a victim caring for a small child instead of a victim who is unmarried or has adult children.
  • The cost of medical care will determine the settlement amount, the price of a funeral, and the value of any benefits received.
  • The settlement amount depends on whether or not the matter goes to trial or is resolved by an insurance company. The insurance company may offer a lesser sum in the settlement if proving carelessness is brutal, in which case the case may be thrown out entirely.
  • Your situation could be affected by additional variables. An experienced wrongful death attorney can consult with economists and financial experts to determine a fair compensation amount, which is vital because insurance companies’ liability policies typically include a cap on payouts.

How long do you file a wrongful death suit after a car crash?

When suing for damages after a fatal car accident, the statute of limitations ranges from one to three years. The law of rules in Florida is two years from the decedent’s date of death. The best person to answer your questions about filing a lawsuit is a personal injury lawyer with experience in wrongful death cases. Since proving negligence is vital to a wrongful death claim, it is essential to work with an attorney with a track record of success in the courtroom and representing the families of victims before.

Suing for wrongful death must meet specific criteria

A wrongful death case requires the plaintiff to meet numerous criteria. Among these are:

  • The individual’s death must directly result from another’s carelessness or malicious intent.
  • Because of the death, the family must incur financial hardship.
  • There is a time limit on filing a claim in the state where the incident took place. When the cause of death has been determined, a lawsuit can be launched.

Wrongful death damages: three categories

In wrongful death litigation, monetary damages are the primary yardstick of success. They also include lost potential inheritance, medical costs, and costs associated with caring for a deceased loved one.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, state law often specifies who can sue for damages and what those damages can be. In addition, a predetermined sum is enough compensation for the monetary losses incurred because of a wrongful death, as set by law in each state.

Expenses for medical care and the deceased’s funeral can be reimbursed to the surviving joint owner of the estate. The court may also decide to award interest payments beginning with the date of death.

Losses in other categories include the deceased’s premortal agony and suffering, the loss of care and guidance, and the loss of love and companionship.

Number of people who can file a wrongful death suit

A wrongful death suit is typically initiated by a representative of the deceased’s estate on behalf of the deceased’s heirs. The degree of the link between the victim and these survivors varies from state to state.

In every state, a surviving spouse can file a wrongful death suit on behalf of their deceased partner. The same rules apply to the child when a minor’s parent dies. In the event of a parent’s death, dependent children are also eligible for financial support.

Different states have laws regarding wrongful death lawsuits brought by the parents of an adult child on behalf of their parents, siblings, grandparents, and other relatives. One’s ability to file a wrongful death suit decreases proportionally to the degree of estrangement between the deceased’s family members.

In some places, a spouse isn’t necessary for a partner of the deceased to file a wrongful death suit. A wrongful death claim might also be filed by a person who financially relied on the deceased individual.

In conclusion, a wrongful death will bring lots of heartbreak to loved ones, and you can only get justice by filing a wrongful death claim. The above are some of the things you need to know about these lawsuits.