Wrongful Death Case 101: 3 Things You Should Know
Losing a loved one unexpectedly due to an accident or someone's negligent actions can often leave you struggling not only with grief from the loss but also with the process of moving forward. This is especially true if the loved one who passed was contributing significantly to your household finances. If you have thought about a wrongful death claim, it's important that you know the facts about this type of case to truly decide if it's right for you. Here are some things your wrongful death lawyer wants you to understand.
You Don't Have To Be A Spouse To File A Claim
You have probably heard that the only person eligible to file a wrongful death claim is the surviving spouse of the deceased. However, this isn't necessarily true. In many states, you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim as the child, surviving spouse, parent, and even sibling of the deceased. Some states will even allow domestic partners to file a claim. The laws vary by state regarding who is legally eligible to file a wrongful death suit, so you'll want to talk with a wrongful death lawyer to find out the specifics of your state's wrongful death laws.
You Can File A Claim Even If The Death Wasn't Intentional
Some people disregard the possibility of filing a wrongful death claim because they mistakenly believe that wrongful death only applies when that death is deliberate and intentional. The truth is that a wrongful death can, in fact, be deliberate and intentional, but it can also be accidental. If your loved one was killed in an accident or due to accidental actions by someone else, you may still have a wrongful death claim. Your attorney can help you understand the specifics of the law as it applies to your loved one's death.
You Don't Have To Pay An Attorney Up Front
If you have considered a wrongful death claim, but you decided against it because you don't have the money to pay an attorney's retainer fee, you should reach out to an attorney for a free initial consultation anyway. The fact is that most wrongful death lawyers will take the case on contingency, which means that you don't pay anything upfront. Your lawyer will be compensated from the settlement you receive. The percentage that your lawyer will receive is determined at the time that you retain the lawyer's services, so you'll know clearly how much you'll have to pay from your settlement money.
Contact a local wrongful death lawyer to learn more.