If a loved one has died under the wrong circumstances, you can bring the responsible parties to justice. To make a wrongful death claim, you'll need to consult a lawyer. Before you hire a wrongful death attorney, here are some answers to the frequently asked questions about these claims.
When Is a Wrongful Death Claim Applicable?
You can pursue a wrongful death claim if a person dies resulting from another person's wrongful action. First, you can pursue this claim for intentional incidences. This means where the defendant kills the victim intentionally.
A wrongful death claim can also arise in a case of medical malpractice, for example, if a doctor fails to diagnose a condition. It can also arise if a doctor offers a sub-standard level of care resulting in a patient's death.
Car accidents resulting in fatalities also qualify for wrongful death claims. If a victim dies in a car accident because of another person's negligence, you can make a wrongful death claim. Generally, wrongful death claims can arise in any personal injury situation except work-related injuries. These types of injuries fall under a worker's compensation claim.
Who Can Claim Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are many factors used to determine the types of damages that a court will award in a wrongful death claim. The court will be keen on the relationship between the deceased and different surviving family members. In many cases, the surviving spouse can claim lost companionship because of the deceased's death. The surviving spouse can also claim emotional trauma resulting from the deceased's death.
Children can also claim damages for the benefits they have lost owing to the death of their parent. Additionally, parents of a deceased minor can also claim lost relationship and emotional trauma caused by their child's death.
What Are the Requirements for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
The first document you must file in a wrongful death claim is a petition. This document notifies the defendant about the facts of the case. You must also file a summons that informs the defendant that you're suing them and where to appear for the hearing.
After filing the lawsuit, you must submit certain documents to the defendants. This is called the service of process. It's an official notice to the defendant that you're filing a lawsuit against them. You must follow these steps within the statutory limitation period in your state. To help you navigate these complex legal processes, it's advisable to hire a wrongful death attorney.