The grief that comes with the sudden demise of a loved one is overwhelming in all circumstances, and it can be even more troubling where the death was possibly preventable. Along with the emotional and mental trauma, wrongful death in the family can also bring financial chaos. Hence, it can be a challenge for most people to deal with the final expenses of their loved ones.
The situation can be even worse for anyone who had financially relied on the lost family member, as they can find themselves in dire financial condition. Fortunately, you can seek legal action known as a wrongful death lawsuit. It is a civil lawsuit that enables the surviving family to seek compensation from the party that caused the death of their loved one due to negligence.
Therefore, if you think that your family is entitled to compensation, you can contact a wrongful death lawyer. However, before going to an attorney, you must have significant knowledge about this civil lawsuit and how to file a case. So, let’s discuss what a wrongful death lawsuit is, why you need an experienced lawyer, and how to file the case.
What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit rather than a criminal prosecution. Therefore, it does not result in prison or fines. Instead, it results in financial compensation from the party that has been found at fault. These claims can result from the death that has been caused due to the negligence of another person.
Wrongful death claims can occur from negligence due to a wide range of acts. For instance, it can occur due to sporting accidents, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, etc. These claims can often lead to wrongful death lawsuits that can be filed against the party at fault.
Another important thing that needs to be remembered is that a wrongful death attorney can help determine if the lawsuit is valid, and the state allows the individual to file such a lawsuit.
Reasons That Can Lead to Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Vehicular accidents caused by cars and trucks are the most common causes of wrongful deaths. Vehicular accidents are often caused due to the following reasons: –
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Drunk or impaired drivers, and
- Road construction
Let’s discuss some other most common causes of wrongful death.
Medical malpractices can occur due to negligence on the part of the hospital or the physician. In addition, a healthcare provider’s fault in prescriptions, diagnosis, or treatment can cause wrongful death. Some other medical malpractice errors can be any of the following:
- Incorrect medication
- Defective medical devices
- Birth injury
Workplace accidents happen due to Improper training, exposure to dangerous chemicals, malfunctioning equipment, or falling debris can cause serious injuries and lead to loss of life.
Death caused due to product malfunction
In such cases, the manufacturer, suppliers, distributors, or sellers are held responsible if any product causes a death. Some of the product liabilities that can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit are – manufacturing issues, failure to warn customers about defects, and defects in product design.
Pharmaceutical drugs are manufactured to heal people with a wide range of medical conditions. However, unfortunately, drugs can also cause serious injuries or death. Hence, if your family member has been hurt due to a dangerous drug, you can hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer to file the case.
Additionally, there are several other reasons for which you can contact a reliable wrongful death law firm to discuss the case. For instance, an experienced lawyer can help bring closure to the family, including financial aid to cover costs related to the funeral rites and other important tasks that remain to be done.
Reasons to Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer
As we know that the field of law is very fast. It encompasses all the cases ranging from murders to real estate to civil liability and murder to forgery. Hence, different attorneys find focus on different niches. Therefore, to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you should choose a lawyer who has expertise in this niche as they will have a robust understanding of this legal area.
However, it can be difficult to figure out how much compensation to seek in a wrongful death case. The surviving relatives can be entitled to a financial award to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of inheritance, or loss of the services that the deceased person would have provided.
A few of these losses can be particularly difficult to quantify. However, an experienced wrongful death attorney who has handled such cases before understands how to approach such cases.
How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Here are the steps to filing a lawsuit with the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer.
Preparing a litigation
Filing a lawsuit begins with preparing litigation, also known as pre-litigation. In this step, the personal representative of the deceased needs to fulfill the following tasks: –
- Set up the estate
- Identification and notifying of responsible parties
Negotiation and settling
Often the other party will want to settle the filed case outside the court, but it does not happen at all times. Therefore, negotiating and settling is the best option. However, if they do not agree to a settlement, you have to go ahead with the wrongful death lawsuit, and the wrongful death attorneys will do a major portion of the negotiation.
Filing the suit
If negotiations fail, a wrongful death lawsuit is the only way ahead. A Writ of Summons or Complaint is filed through the courthouse with named defendants in this information.
The litigation will include discovery, interrogations, documentation requests, and other important tasks at this stage of the wrongful death lawsuit. It is also when a pre-trial, trial, or arbitration is done. Negotiation is possible at this stage to seek a settlement that may or may not be accepted by either party.
In case of zero settlement, litigation continues till the trial concludes. When it is finished, the jury or judge will announce the verdict. Then, as per the verdict, an award is allocated.
Finding a Wrongful Death Lawyer
When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to find a competent wrongful death attorney or a law firm that can help you file a valid lawsuit. To do so, you can search for a “wrongful death lawyer near me” on the internet. Apart from this, you can also get in touch with friends and relatives who can help you get the best wrongful death lawyers.
All the information provided here should help you find a reputed and professional wrongful death law firm. They will follow due process and help you gain some solace and closure in such cases.