If you get injured because of someone else's negligence, you can usually file a personal injury lawsuit. However, if that negligence led to someone's death, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you would like to know more, keep reading.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Although death is involved, wrongful death cases are civil cases. You file one if someone's negligence led to the death of a loved one. To win the case, you need to prove the defendant had a duty of care to your loved one, they breached that duty, and your loved one died because of a result.
Wrongful death cases often involve automobile accidents or medical malpractice, but they also include:
- Dog attacks
- Slip and falls
- Defective products
- Work accidents
Wrongful death cases can also involve intentional killings and killings resulting from a crime. If this is the case, you may have to wait until the defendant finishes their criminal trial. If they are found guilty, it may help your wrongful death case because it helps prove they breached the duty of care. If they are found innocent, you may still win your lawsuit.
What Benefits Can You Receive?
If you win your wrongful death case, you may receive many types of benefits. In most cases, you get money for any related medical bills and funeral expenses. However, you'll also be awarded money for lost income, including future lost income, based on how much your loved one would have made if they hadn't passed.
If your loved one didn't have a traditional job, you can get money for lost services, such as childcare, housekeeping, and even companionship. To determine your settlement, the courts will also consider your loved one's lifestyle and health to better judge how long they would have lived if not for the accident.
Who Can Receive Benefits?
Not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim, but the rules vary from state to state. Naturally, in every state, immediate family members like spouses, kids, and parents of unmarried kids can file wrongful death cases.
In some states, life partners, grandparents, and siblings can also file a claim. Similarly, in some states, anyone who suffers financially from the death can file a wrongful death claim.
No one wants to lose a loved one, especially when it happens without warning. However, if your loved one has been taken from you, you may be able to file a lawsuit. If you would like to know more, contact a wrongful death attorney in your area today.