Recovering After a Loss: Your Guide to Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death form and stethoscope on a table.

The United States death rate as at 2017 was 863.8 per 100,000 population. The statistics include all causes of death from infant mortality to illnesses, suicides, and wrongful deaths.

Wrongful death occurs when one person murders another due to an intentional act or negligence. The estate of the deceased is within their rights to take up a lawsuit against the accused party. When the estate files a suit, they expect to get compensation from the liable party. 

When you lose a loved one in an unexpected way, you don’t think you’ll ever recover. You have options. Read on to learn about wrongful death lawsuits.

Incidents Classified Under the Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Such wrongful deaths are usually unexpected due to their way of occurrence. Not every death is wrongful; below are a few incidences.

  1. Death caused by water, rail, air or road accident
  2. Injury caused by someone else leading to one’s death
  3. Death caused by medical malpractice
  4. Occupational death

Prove the Accused Is at Fault

When it comes to filing the subject lawsuit, you should be able to prove that the act was pure negligence or done with intention; otherwise, you might lose the case. In case the incident was partly the deceased’s fault, then the compensation will be decreased according to that fault. It’s advisable to file the lawsuit at most three years after the death of your loved one.

However, some states give exceptions to that statute of limitation. Different cases take different duration to solve the ‘crime.’ Hence, if the crime is solved more than three years later, you may be allowed to start the lawsuit. 

Get more details on this from the experts at Hughey Law Firm, LLC.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

Once we lose a loved one, it affects us in ways we cannot explain. Giving others the bad news is even harder. This makes justice and compensation a necessity to the estate of the deceased.

There are several damages you can claim in this lawsuit;

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical bills the deceased incurred during treatment
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before his or her demise
  • Pain and suffering felt by the family due to the passing of their loved one
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of income that the deceased used to cater to his dependents

Who Can File The Lawsuit?

Again, it depends on the state. However, most states only allow financial dependents of the deceased to file for the suit. Adult children of the deceased – who have their jobs and families – may not be eligible to file for the lawsuit, as well as minors, relatives, or siblings to the deceased.

Contact a lawyer and find out your state’s limitations and privileges. If the deceased had a will in place, then the assigned representative will be in charge of filing the lawsuit.

Get Your Justice by Filing the Lawsuit

Do not shy away from getting justice and compensation for your loved one after a wrongful death. It might not bring them back, but it will make your grieving process more peaceful.

There are many ways to say goodbye to your loved one, but a well-written eulogy is the best way. Check out how to write a well thought of eulogy for a proper send-off.

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