A wrongful death occurs when a person’s death is caused by another person’s negligence or misconduct. Common wrongful death situations are medical malpractice or emergency room errors, or a vehicle accident. Coping with the death of a loved one is a difficult time. When the death was premature, it can be even worse. You’ve lost your family members and probably are facing uncertain economic loss. You may be entitled to monetary compensation. Talk to a wrongful death lawyer about your case.
How Does a Wrongful Death Case Work?
A wrongful death lawyer can help you determine if you even have a case for wrongful death based on the laws in your state. In most places, only parents, surviving spouses or dependent children can file a wrongful death claim, but it may also depend on the circumstances of your situation. You may need to file the claim through the decedent’s estate, naming a personal representative to sue the other party. When and if the claim is settled, the beneficiaries divide the settlement.
What Type of Damages Can You Receive?
Most wrongful death claims involve both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses are the expenses that were incurred, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and any medical bills associated with the injuries that led to the death. Non-economic damages are harder to quantify. It can be difficult to put into numbers what the loss of a parent is valued at. Spouses can sue for loss of consortium or company. You may also be able to sue for pain and suffering of the deceased or emotional distress of a person who had to watch the person die.
There Is a Timeline
Most wrongful death cases have to be filed within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. That timeline is usually within two years of the date of harm, but there are other factors that influence the time limits. Minor children, for instance, can usually bring a claim within two years after they become an adult at 18. When a government agency is involved, the case may need to be filed within 60 days instead of two years.
Do You Really Need a Lawyer?
Technically, you don’t need a wrongful death lawyer to file a wrongful death claim. But the law is very complex. You can be sure that the insurance company of the party you sue will have lawyers to fight your claim. Wrongful death cases are not a DIY project. Talk to an experienced wrongful death lawyer, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer Minneapolis, MN, about your case.
Thank you to the experts at JOHNSTON | MARTINEAU PLLP, for their insight into wrongful death and the law.