What You Need To Know About Wrongful Death Claims

When we think about a wrongful death claim, we often think of medical malpractice leading to death and other instances of untimely death as the result of negligence. If this is the case, the loved ones of the deceased may consider filing a wrongful death claim against the party that they feel was negligent in the matters. However, this isn’t something that we go through on a daily, weekly, monthly or even annual basis. That being said, if you are considering filing a wrongful death claim, there are a few things that you are going to need to know that are outside of the general scope of legal knowledge that the average consumer possesses. Here are a few things that you will need to know when filing your claim.

Not Everyone Is Eligible To File A Wrongful Death Claim

Although, we like to think that anyone who loved the deceased is eligible to file a claim against the negligent party or parties that lead to death, this is not exactly the case. Because there are various limitations with regard to who can file a claim on a state to state basis, there is no one size fits all answer to the question of, “Who can file?”. However, on a universal level, it is generally accepted that heirs to the estate are able to file. In most cases, this includes the list of “typical heirs” such as parents, children, step children, adopted children and spouses. However, to decide if you are able to file, it is best to figure out the laws in your state and consider hiring a wrongful death attorney.

What Do I Need To Prove In My Claim

When thinking about a wrongful death claim, you may think that any untimely death may be considered a wrongful death. However, these are 2 completely different matters. For instance, if a person jumps out of a 3 story window, this is untimely but not wrongful. However, If that 3 story window was an office building window and, the building owner neglected to clean a spill that lead to an employee slipping and falling out of the window, this could be considered a wrongful death. In short, when you file a wrongful death claim, you have to prove that the deceased party died as the result of negligence, recklessness or illegal conduct of another person.

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What Monetary Damages Can Be Expected

If you are able to prove your case in a court of law and do a good job of it, you may be rewarded monetary compensation as a result. When it comes to rewarded damages in wrongful death cases, they are considered compensatory damages. Compensatory damages generally cover burial costs, medical costs and loss of income based on the age of the deceased at the time of death. However, in cases of wrongful death, the court may include compensatory damages for grief, stress and the loss of companionship. As far as the total number you may be rewarded, there is no way to properly forecast how much money you may or may not be awarded.

How to Find Out If Your Claim Qualifies

The best way to go about finding out if you have a leg to stand on in a court of law would be to contact a wrongful death attorney. However, I can tell you that the most common wrongful death cases that you will find revolve around car accidents. This is because, when someone dies as a result of a car accident, it is most likely accompanied by recklessness, disregard for property and negligence. However, it is not uncommon to see medical malpractice and accidents in the workplace that lead to wrongful death claims.

Final Thoughts

The wrongful death of a loved one leads to emotions and losses that no amount of monetary compensation can ever make up for. However, the monetary compensation that you do receive can help to reduce the risk of future financial burdens and provide you with financial stability as you work your way through figuring out what to do next.

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