It is a sobering fact that sometimes deaths can be caused by negligence on someone’s part. Sometimes the victim themselves is the negligent one, but other times it can be the fault of someone else. When that happens, the family of the person who has died may be interested in recouping their losses. What qualifies as a wrongful death lawsuit is when someone has died, and someone else is at fault.
There are some basic things to know about a wrongful death case before pursuing one. It is important to know what costs can be sought after with a lawsuit, how the statute of limitations applies, and more. A conversation with a lawyer can lend even more clarity to the legal world and to your case in particular. Continue reading to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits.
Rules About Wrongful Death Lawsuits Vary by State
In order for a party to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to the court, they will need to prove that someone acted negligently. That can mean a driver was not paying attention while behind the wheel and caused an accident, an employer failed to provide proper safety equipment or training, or a product manufacturer did not follow safety regulations. If a person died as a result of any of these or another negligent action, it could warrant a wrongful death lawsuit.
Lawsuits are subject to what is called the statute of limitations. That means there is a timeframe that must be adhered to in order to file a case. The statute of limitations begins to run when the victim dies or when it is discovered that the negligent action is what caused the death. In most states, the statute of limitations is between one and three years.
A lawsuit can be filed against an individual, an employer, a company, a product manufacturer, and others. There are restrictions regarding who can be sued for wrongful death. There may also be other avenues to seek compensation before a lawsuit is warranted, such as workers’ compensation and insurance. Speak with a lawyer to find out more about whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit in your case.
Every state has different rules about who can file wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of a deceased person. According to the Legal Information Institute (LII), lawmakers can decide when writing the statute to suit whatever they feel is warranted. That means that depending on where you are filing, a child, sibling, spouse, parent, or another relative of the deceased individual may be able to file the lawsuit. A lawyer can answer your questions and tell you whether you are eligible to file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A lawsuit is meant to make a person whole again after a loss. It is impossible to completely make up for the loss of a loved one, of course. But that does not mean that the family members left behind should have to bear the financial burden of their accident. A person can require thousands of dollars in medical care before they die, and after their death, there are costs as well.
Some of the losses that a family can pursue in a wrongful death case include:
● Medical bills that were accumulated to treat the victim before they died
● Funeral and burial costs
● Loss of consortium, or the loss of the relationship with that person and what they brought to their family members’ lives
● Loss of parental guidance
According to the New York City Bar, the salary that would have been earned by the person who has died could also be pursued. It is right that the family of a victim who died as a result of negligence should be compensated for their losses. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is one way to accomplish that.
Call Us to See What We Could Do for You
There are always caveats to the general rules about wrongful death lawsuits. An attorney can explain these rules as to what qualifies as a wrongful death lawsuit.
We want to help you with your wrongful death action. It can be overwhelming to pursue legal action after the loss of a loved one. A lawyer from Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can be on your side to fight for you. Call a team member today at (631) 600-0000 to get the process started or ask your questions. We can offer a free consultation about your case.