4 Important Things To Know About A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When someone you love dies in a manner where someone else may be held responsible for their death through negligence, that can be a big blow to deal with. In those types of situations, you are going to want to file a wrongful death lawsuit by working with a personal injury attorney. Before you begin this line of legal pursual, there are a few things you need to know and understand about this process.
#1: Your Relationships Matter
With a wrongful death lawsuit, your relationships matter. Who you are to the person who died will impact if you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Not anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit, as most states regulate who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most states, only people directly relate with the deceased, such as one's spouse, children, parents, or siblings. Basically, you have to stand to inherit from the deceased or who the deceased took care of.
#2: Time Matters
With a wrongful death lawsuit, you can't just wait to file when you feel like it. You need to file the lawsuit in a timely manner, as most states have a statute of limitations that only lasts for a few years. The statute of limitation starts on the date of death, which is why you are going to want to ensure that you move forward with the lawsuit as soon as possible, as you don't want to miss your window of opportunity.
#3: Damages Matter
With a wrongful death lawsuit, there is a wide range of damages that you can claim in your lawsuit. You can file a lawsuit for economic damages, which are basic damages that are easy to put a money number with. For example, one can easily figure out what your loved one's medical expenses were or their funeral or burial expenses. It can take a little more work, but your loved one's loss of future earnings can also be calculated based on their salary before they died, their career path, and their age. If they lost wages before their death due to whatever lead to their death, those could be compensated as well.
You can sue for non-economic damages as well. For example, you can get compensated for the loss of consortium, which means losing your partner if you were romantically involved. You could get compensated for the loss of companionship if they were a close personal relation to you. You can also file for pain and suffering, as well as mental distress.
An attorney can advise you on what type of compensation to pursue based on the details of your case.
#4: Settlement Is Common
Finally, with a wrongful death lawsuit, it is common for there to be a settlement at some point. Most attorneys will go back and forth with settlement offers, as neither side really wants to go to trial. Going to the trial is expensive and time-consuming, so don't be surprised if you end up with a settlement and not a court trial verdict.
If a loved one died, and you think someone else can be held responsible through negligence for their death, reach out to an attorney. A personal injury attorney who works with wrongful death lawsuits is the type of attorney you want to reach out to. Time is essential, as your lawyer needs to build a case, and you need to file on that case before the time runs out.