When a loved one or family member is lost due to the carelessness or negligence of another, the effects can be devastating. Often, families and concerned loved ones do not know where to turn to get the legal help they need in order to fully recover from such fatal occurrences.
Wrongful death represents a series of legal issues similar in essential nature to personal injury. Wrongful death statutes are designed to protect bereaved families, and sometimes anyone financially affected, by the death of another due to the negligence, or legal fault, of another. Most states employ wrongful death statutes to provide adequate compensation and assign liability to those responsible for wrongful death claims.
Who Can Recover?
This means that a number of individuals may recover for wrongful death claims. Relatives, life partners and even distant relatives may all have claims. In some states, parents may also recover from emotional losses incurred from the death of a fetus. Similarly, wrongful death actions can also be brought against a number of defendants including individuals, businesses, and manufacturers of defective products and machinery.
Additionally, wrongful death claims can be a result of a number of illegal mishaps. Medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, construction accidents and more could all result in a wrongful death claim against a liable defendant.
Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
One of the main subjects involved in wrongful death claims is damages. Damages can be economic, non-economic and punitive in wrongful death claims.
Economic damages involve compensating a survivor or group of survivors for financial losses due to the death of the victim. These include income from lost wages and benefits as well as funeral expenses. Noneconomic damages are less tangible. These may include compensation for mental anguish, pain and suffering and emotional losses that result from the victim’s death.
Spouses, children and parents are usually the first to receive damages recovered from a wrongful death law suit. Also, some states allow plaintiffs to recover interest on damages incurred as well as reimbursement for attorney’s costs and fees.
Though punitive damages in a wrongful death claim are rare, they are not impossible to recover in some instances. For instance, nursing home negligence and elder abuse has sometimes resulted in triple punitive damages awarded to bereaved families.
Getting the Justice You Deserve in a Wrongful Death Case
Dealing with a wrongful death issue can be difficult. From deciding the best legal strategies to calculating the precise amount of damages, a wrongful death claim can be one of the most complicated causes of action to handle.
That is why only a competent attorney, well-versed in personal injury and wrongful death actions should address the unique issues of a wrongful death case. Hiring a highly skilled attorney who will devote the time and resources necessary for the successful conclusion of such claims is critical to getting the justice a bereaved family deserves.
Skilled Advocacy Available
If you or a loved one are facing a wrongful death claim and need help, contact Shegerian & Associates as soon as possible to discuss the details of your situation. Our attorneys are standing by to offer the skilled advocacy necessary to bring your claim to a successful conclusion.