Studies have shown that the wrongful death of a loved one often leaves widows and widowers with a lifelong lowering of their overall happiness, even if they remarry. Additionally, children who suddenly lose a parent or sibling can carry long-lasting emotional scars.
If you have lost a loved one due to the intentional or unintentional acts of another, seeking justice by filing a wrongful death claim may give you the resources you need to move on in a healthier way.
What’s Considered a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs when a defendant causes death to another, either through negligence or as the result of some intentional action. Essentially, wrongful death claims can arise when a victim who would otherwise have had a valid personal injury claim was killed due to the defendant’s actions.
As such, wrongful deaths can occur in the following ways:
- When the victim is intentionally killed
- When the victim dies due to medical malpractice
- When the victim is killed in an accident involving negligence
How Do You File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Anyone who is a representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. These individuals typically include the decedent’s spouse, children, siblings, or parents. Who those individuals may be, however, varies from state to state.
Typically, the most distant the relationship between the decedent and the claimant, the more difficult it will be to get a legal remedy through a wrongful death claim.
In order to prove liability in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff and his or her attorney must demonstrate the following:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care, such as by acting responsibly in the situation in which the death occurred.
- The defendant breached this duty of care, such as by acting negligently in this situation.
- The breach of duty directly caused the victim’s death.
- The victim’s death caused the damages that the plaintiff is trying to recover.
In this situation, there is a certain burden of proof that the plaintiff must demonstrate in order to recover damages from the defendant.
As such, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you’re going through this process to ensure you have the best chance of recovering the compensation you and your family deserve.
What Damages Can You Recover for a Wrongful Death Claim?
The unexpected death of a family member can leave a family with emotional trauma and sudden financial burdens.
During this ordeal, the family may have had to pay for medical expenses while the victim had still been alive after the accident and funeral expenses after they passed away. And now that the victim is no longer with them, the family may now be left with a large financial hole, particularly if the victim had been the main breadwinner.
As such, the damages that a family may recover through a wrongful death claim include the following:
- The victim’s pain and suffering before their death
- The medical costs that the victim incurred as a result of the injury prior to death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of any inheritance as a result of the victim’s death
- Value of the services that the victim would have provided
- Loss of care and nurturing that the victim would have provided
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of consortium
Considering a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? We’re Here to Help
If someone close to you has passed away suddenly due to another’s negligence, it may feel overwhelming to take the steps necessary to hold responsible parties accountable. At Daniel Law Firm, our Memphis personal injury attorneys are here to take the process out of your hands.
We make it our mission to hold individuals and corporations responsible for their actions that led to an innocent person’s untimely death.
Contact us today at (901) 525-5555 to schedule a free case evaluation.