Any loss of a loved one is devastating. When the loss comes about due to a tragic and unexpected accident, it can be even harder to bear. If the death results from an act of negligence or intentional action, the grief becomes far greater.
In such situations, certain parties may be able to bring a wrongful death claim for compensation for the loss of their loved one. While money certainly will not bring back the loved one that was lost, a monetary award can help the surviving family members feel a sense of closure and justice. More importantly, the compensation can provide for the financial future of the family.
What are wrongful death claims?
A wrongful death claim is a civil action in common law jurisdiction, in which a person or party may be held liable for a death. The claim is usually brought forward by close relatives or dependents of the individual.
A wrongful death claim is separate from the criminal prosecution brought against the person or party responsible for the death, which is an action brought forth by the state. The two actions are not mutually exclusive; a person may be prosecuted criminally for a person’s death (whether due to murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or other variations of criminal guilt) and may also be sued in a wrongful death action.
In the case of companies that have caused the death or fatal injury of an individual, the civil action of wrongful death is the only recourse of the family members. An example of this are those families that have sued tobacco companies for wrongful deaths of their customers.
What types of death may qualify as wrongful death?
Wrongful death claims may arise from a variety of accidents. The most common wrongful death suits are those involving medical malpractice, automobile accidents, intentional torts or acts, premises liability, and product liability.
Who files the wrongful death action?
Most wrongful death actions are brought by the family members of the victim, though this may vary from case to case. The injured parties most commonly include spouse, any children or dependents of the deceased, or the action may also be made by the estate of the deceased.
What evidence must be provided?
The party bringing the action must provide evidence that death was the result of negligence, malpractice, or other crimes. They will also be required to show the effect of the death on their future life quality or expectancy and loss of future earnings, as these will be factors in the award of damages.
We can help…
Losing a loved one is painful, but a drawn out difficult trial following that death in order to obtain justice is even more draining. A knowledgeable and compassionate attorney is needed to help protect you during the trial, and his expertise can provide for you the compensation needed for medical and burial expenses and for your lost income and the pain suffered.
At The Jones Firm, we specialize in such cases because we have a heart and desire to help families undergoing this struggle see the compensation and justice they deserve. Our expertise in this area has allowed us to become experts in this area of the law. If you’ve lost a loved one due to wrongful death, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we may help you to receive the compensation you deserve.