Wrongful Death Claims: Frequently Asked Questions
Negligence can often lead to unfortunate events like severe injuries or even death. While in the first situation victims can sue and recover for their damages, the latter often leads to what is known as a wrongful death case. Here are the most common questions associated with these claims.
What is a wrongful death claim?Wrongful death suits are legal actions brought against an individual or a company which caused the death of a person. The acts that lead to the victim's death might be qualified as negligent, reckless, or even deliberate.
Read more about wrongful death claims: https://www.seanclearypa.com/faqs/wrongful-death-lawsuit/
Who can bring a wrongful death claim?The victim's spouse usually brings wrongful death claims. If the husband or wife is no longer alive, the right to file the claim passes to the offspring or the other relative. If the couple didn't have any children than the victim's parents are also entitled to file. In legal terms, the person who files the claim becomes the personal representative of the deceased person. If all the cases mentioned above are not applicable, the wrongful death claim can also be filed by the victim's estate administrator.
Find out more: https://www.seanclearypa.com/faqs/wrongful-death/
How long can I wait before bringing a wrongful death claim?If a beloved one passes away due to circumstances that might allow you to file a wrongful death claim, it is recommended to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This expert will be able to give you all the accurate information regarding the statute of limitation that applies to your state. By the statute of limitations, we understand the period during which you are allowed to bring a claim on behalf of the decedent. This term varies a lot according to the circumstances that lead to the victim's death. You might have anywhere between one and eight years to file the claim, so it is important to talk to a specialist and find out what deadline applies to your case.
Learn more about the statute of limitations: https://www.seanclearypa.com/wrongful-death/statute/
What are the costs related to a wrongful death claim?Wrongful death claims are not free of charge. However, most lawyers apply contingency fees. This means that you will only have to pay them as soon as you start recovering. The fees can vary a lot according to the law firm you decide to work with. They can charge anywhere between 20% to 40% or even more, so make sure you are aware of these financial details before you ask them to represent you.
The legal firm might also cover other additional costs that can arise from the legal procedure such as the deposition expenses or expertise fees. These will also be recovered if the claim is settled successfully.
How much money can I get from a wrongful death claim?It's tough to come up with a right answer to this essential question because each wrongful death claim is evaluated according to a set of circumstances that differ. Some of the most common aspects that will influence the amount of money you can recover are:
o the type of relationship between the deceased and the persons who bring the claim
o the degree of fault that helps establish the liability
o the number of survivors that suffer due to the victim's death and that are ready to file the claim
o the costs that arise from the victim's death (medical treatment and hospitalization, funeral, etc.)
o the victim's income and the amount of money that person could have continued to earn and provide his family with if the wrongful death hadn't occurred
How long does a wrongful death claim normally last?There is no way of answering this question before the lawyers start working on your case. Each wrongful death case requires a different amount of time. In some circumstance, the claim might take two years while in others it might reach as far as five years or even more. It's very hard to anticipate a claim's timeline, especially if the case is complicated. Each lawyer needs to evaluate the exact circumstances that lead to the wrongful death claim before he or she can provide an approximate estimation of the resolution.
Many claims are settled before the actual lawsuit is filed, which makes it easier for the plaintiff to recover. Keep in mind however that this is not always possible and arm yourself with patience because it can be a matter of years before the whole process is completed.
Which damages can be recovered from a wrongful death lawsuit?The array of damages that can be recovered through a wrongful death claim is extensive. Some of the most common damages that are relevant in this situation include:
o financial loss
- the costs related to the funeral
- medical and hospitalization expenses correlated with the victim's disease or injuries
- loss of financial support: the income the deceased person might have continued to earn if he or she hadn't passed away
- household services costs
- loss of inheritance
o emotional loss:
- mental suffering and trauma caused by the loss of a beloved person
- companionship and affection loss
- especially in the case of minor children, loss of protection, guidance, and moral support
Read more about the types of damage compensation: https://www.seanclearypa.com/wrongful-death/compensation/
Is it necessary to go to trial for a wrongful death case?Wrongful death claims don't always imply going to court. If the person or company at fault is willing to pay a fair amount for the loss and damage they cause and you agree to accept their proposal, then a legal trial is no longer necessary.
There are however situations when the two parties are not able or willing to settle, and in this case, you are recommended to continue the legal action against the other party by going to court.
Wrongful death claims are often complex and lengthy legal procedures, that is why it's always better to work with a lawyer who is specialized in this niche.