by Adeline Robinson
Losing a loved one can cause a kind of trauma that cannot be immediately explained and taking time to cope with and heal from the situation isn't always something achievable in the immediate future. This is much more so if your loved one was caught in a wrongful death, as there are factors involved that would have to be corrected to at least allow your loved one to rest easier. As such, there are some things to consider to ensure things are properly arranged in order to "right" the wrongful death your loved one has experienced. Below are what to consider legally if your loved one was caught in a wrongful death.
Do remember however that the things listed below aren't to be treated as legal advice, and it's important to consult a lawyer such as those from this site about your next actions in an auto accident as they may have positive or negative effects on your situation.
Wrongful Death: The Basics
According to All Law, remember that wrongful death claims are, by nature, against a person who may have caused someone else's death through harm that is intentional or through sheer negligence. The procedure allows the estate of the person who experienced the wrongful death to file against the party liable for the death of the said person. This suit is normally filed by someone representing the estate on behalf of the family members left by the person who has died.
● This means one can file a wrongful death when a victim that should've had a personal injury claim was instead killed because of intentionally being harmed or as a result of a negligent act because of the actions of the defendant.
● This can happen when a victim was killed intentionally.
● This can happen when a victim dies because of a medical malpractice.
● This can happen because of a car accident fatality that involves some form of negligence.
Wrongful Death: The Proof of Burden, Who Can File
Of course, given the heavy nature of wrongful death, you should also consider the kind of proof that could hold the defendant liable in this claim. In the case of negligence, for instance, the defendant owes the victim something called a "duty of care." Meaning the defendant should not have been negligent in the first place, and that this breach of duty has in fact caused the death of the person.
● This might be confusing for a while, but having a lawyer explain the nature of this proof can actually help you understand just how proof of burden works in these incidents.
● When it comes to who can file a wrongful death claim, this is usually done by someone who represents a estate of the individual who was a victim of the claim. This is usually done on behalf of the ones the victim was survived by. In some states, the spouse may actually be the ones to file a wrongful death claim in the name of the spouse who passed away. If a minor was the victim of a wrongful death, parents can be the ones to file the claim for them.
● There are of course instances where states tend to have differences in opinion when it comes to who gets to sue for their parents, for their children, for their extended relatives, and other persons as well. Be sure to discuss these differences with an attorney who’s familiar with your state laws.
Wrongful Death: The Damages
When filing a wrongful death claim, it's important to also consider the kind of damages you may be able to file a claim for. These can at least help you determine the kind of compensation you may get on behalf of the one who passed away.
● Medical costs that the victim had incurred given the injury they've gotten prior to their untimely death can be filed in this claim.
● Burial costs and funeral costs can be filed to be compensated for this claim.
● If the deceased person has lost some form of expected income, or the kind of services they would've had provided, then this can be included when you file the claim.
● If the deceased person would have provided nurturing, guidance, and caring attitude and services to other people, then these can be included in the claim.
● If there was any form of loss of companionship, consortium, and love when the victim died, then you may be able to file a wrongful death claim for these losses.
● If there is a circumstance where a deceased person has felt a kind of suffering and pain prior to their death, these can be filed in the claim. This is often called a "survival claim" when included in these cases.
Grieving for a loved one can surely take its toll on you, especially if you know if it's a wrongful death that caused their passing. However, this doesn't mean there aren't any options available for you to take. Carefully understanding how legal options work when it comes to wrongful death can at least help you have some semblance of the course of action you and your family or friends can take when a wrongful death has occurred to someone you know. Do remember however that the advice of a legal counsel in these situations is extremely necessary in order to make sure that your next move is something appropriate for you.
Disclaimer: Please remember that this article shouldn't be treated as any form of legal advice. It's advised you speak with a lawyer or a legal counsel in order to learn about the specifics of wrongful death in your state and how it can be applied to your situation.
Adeline Robinson is one of most promising young law writers. She writes pieces on law topics for common readers. She is an avid sports fan and loves watching games if she has free time.