Losing a loved one is devastating. There’s a lot of emotional damages if the death could have been avoided or prevented. If you lost someone because of another entity’s negligence, recklessness, or unlawful acts, that’s a wrongful death. The law allows you to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation and justice for your loved one.
Who can file the claim?
Any surviving family member can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you win the case, you will recover both financial and non-economic damages associated with the death of your loved one. Sure, there’s nothing that could replace the loss of your child, parent, spouse, or any other person in your family. But it’s recommended to seek justice and get compensated for your loss.
Survival action or wrongful death?
Most people still don’t know the difference between a survival action and a wrongful death lawsuit. You can file for a survival action if your family member suffered through severe injuries before death. The main difference between survival action and wrongful death is that the former focuses on the deceased’s suffering before death. On the other hand, the wrongful death claim focuses on the financial loss and grief of the deceased’s family.
Different states have statutes of limitations regarding the recovery of damages in a survival action. It is best to consult with an attorney to handle the lawsuit. This matter might be more complicated than you think, and having an expert on your side is a huge plus.
Today’s justice system uses financial or pecuniary as the primary measure of losses or damages suffered in wrongful death. ‘Pecuniary’ is a fancy term that refers to losses measured in terms of finances. These losses stand for both the specific losses the victim suffered and to his or her family.
These damages also include loss of support, services, loss of prospect of inheritance, healthcare-related expenses, and funeral bills. In many states, the law provides that all pecuniary losses will be awarded accordingly and fairly to the deceased’s heirs or family. If the family of the deceased paid for healthcare and funeral, they should get reimbursements.
Settlement vs. a lawsuit
The accused may want to avoid the court proceedings and choose to pay you through a settlement. You need a lawyer to do a thorough sweep on all corners of your case and ensure that you get the amount of compensation you deserve.
Note that the defendant’s insurer will try to lower the value of your claim. Having an experienced attorney is essential. He or she can negotiate the amount of compensation you deserve, and you don’t have to go through the court processes to get compensated. Most defendants who choose to settle wrongful death claims do so to avoid the lengthy court processes and the public trails associated with handling these cases in court.
One good thing about working with an experienced lawyer is that he or she can help you navigate the complex process of negotiating with the insurance adjusters. Besides, the lawyer isn’t afraid of taking your case to court. Therefore, if the defendant really wants to settle the matter outside the court, they will make a reasonable offer.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is challenging. Things are likely to get more complicated if you firmly believe that the primary cause of death was someone’s negligence. Have experienced attorneys on your side, contact us today for a free consultation.