If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligent or intentional actions of another, you have the ability to hold that individual or organization responsible for your loss by filing a wrongful death claim. While nothing can replace your loved one or bring them back, you must be concerned with your future, including your finances. The loss of earnings, accumulation of medical bills, and other kinds of economic damages you’ve suffered can be included in a wrongful death claim.
Financial Liability for Wrongful Death
The specific circumstances that resulted in the death of your loved one will determine who can be held financially liable for wrongful death. If death resulted due to a defective product, for example, then the developer, designer, manufacturer, distributor or vendor of the faulty product can be named in your claim. Or, if death occurred due to medical malpractice, then the physician, healthcare facility or other medical practitioner responsible for your loved one’s care can be held liable in a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Initial Consultation for a Wrongful Death Claim
Consulting with a personal injury attorney is the first step necessary for filing a wrongful death claim. Initial consultations are usually offered free of charge and give you and the attorney the chance to review the merits of your case and discuss the details of how to proceed. During the initial consultation, the attorney will review your claim, including any documentation you have supporting your case. He or she will evaluate the viability of the claim and determine if you can win a lawsuit under wrongful death statutes in your jurisdiction and given the specific circumstances of your case.
The attorney will additionally educate you on the normal processes seen in wrongful death claims and give you an idea of how long the case may take, what damages you may be able to recover, and the legal fees you would incur in the process. Many wrongful death attorneys work on contingency, which will allow you to file your claim without concern for how you’ll pay legal fees. Under a contingency agreement, the attorney is paid when you receive compensation for damages in your case, and the lawyer would receive a certain percentages of the damages awarded to you.
What Help can a Wrongful Death Attorney Provide?
A personal injury lawyer can assist you in determining who should be named in your claim and what damages you should seek. They will additionally help you decide what amount of damages you should include in your personal injury claim and will assist you in collecting the necessary documentation for supporting your claim.
A wrongful death suit may be settled out of court or may proceed to trial. Your attorney will help you determine which course of action is best given your personal circumstances and the merits of your case. Either way, your attorney will act as your legal advocate and representative throughout the legal proceedings. He or she will negotiate a settlement or will represent you in court, and will always work with your best interests in mind and in an effort to win you the best and most fair compensation for damages possible.