When a person is injured because of someone’s negligence, that person can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for his or her injuries and pain and suffering. However, when a person is killed because of someone’s negligence, the surviving family members have the option of filing a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties.
When Can You File A Wrongful Death Claim? If your loved one is killed as a result of negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Many wrongful death claims involve:
When a loved one passes away because of a doctor’s medical mistake, the victim’s family is able to file a wrongful death claim. Medical malpractice can include failing to diagnose a condition, misdiagnosing a condition, prescribing or administering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, or making a fatal error during a treatment.
Drivers who are distracted by a cell phone, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving recklessly could be held liable in a wrongful death claim if their negligent behavior causes a fatality. Traffic accidents can involve motor vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, or trucks.
Construction workers know there are risks involved with working in this industry, but that doesn’t mean they should have to work in potentially fatal conditions. If a loved one is killed on a construction site, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the construction company, general contractor, property owner, or equipment manufacturer.
Other wrongful death claims arise after someone intentionally harms another person while committing a crime. In this case, the defendant may face both criminal and civil penalties that are completely independent of one another. The outcome of the criminal case would not affect the outcome of the civil case, and vice versa.
Filing A Wrongful Death Claim
Each state has its own laws regarding who is allowed to file a wrongful death claim. In all 50 states, the spouse and minor children of the deceased are able to file a claim. If a minor is wrongfully killed, the parents are able to file a claim in all 50 states as well. However, the states do not agree on whether adult children of the deceased should be able to file a wrongful death claim. Some states do not allow children of the deceased to file a wrongful death claim if they are above a certain age, which is usually set at 25 years old.
Compensation For Victims’ Families
Family members may be able to recover several types of compensation in a wrongful death claim, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses that were incurred as a result of an injury prior to victim’s death
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of expected income (awarded when the deceased was financially supporting members of his family)
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
Compensation is never guaranteed, but you have a much better chance of obtaining it when you have a skilled attorney on your side.
Help For Victims’ Families
A wrongful death claim cannot replace your loved one, but it can provide you with the financial resources you need to cover expenses and take care of your family as you all grieve together. To discuss your case and available legal options, contact the Trial Lawyers for Justice as soon as possible. Call 888-811-0844 today to schedule a free consultation.