How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Work?

How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Work

The wrongful death claim gives the loved ones of the victim the right to sue for damages where the victim’s death is the result of someone else’s carelessness. You should know who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit and how it works before you file one.

The plaintiff in a wrongful death case may, as in a personal injury claim, attempt to compensate for the decedent’s past and future medical bills, lost income, and emotional distress. What sets this claim apart is that a relative or executor of the decedent’s estate is submitting the paperwork on their behalf.

When to File a Claim for Wrongful Death?

If the decedent might have received compensation for their injuries sustained as a result of another party’s carelessness, they may have grounds to sue for wrongful death. A successor or agent of the decedent’s estate might file an insurance claim in their stead as the decedent is no longer able to do it themselves.

You need to establish four things to launch a wrongful death claim on someone else’s behalf:

Breach of Duty

A person’s legal duty of care includes taking reasonable precautions to avoid causing injury to another person. You need to show that the defendant had a responsibility to take reasonable care of the deceased to win a wrongful death lawsuit.

A duty of care may look like this:

  • Everyone behind the wheel of a vehicle or truck must pay attention to the road and adhere to all traffic regulations.
  • Medical professionals are morally obligated to protect their patients from harm while treating them.
  • Proprietors must ensure their premises are well-maintained and free of hazards that may harm visitors.
  • The onus is on goods makers to do thorough safety tests on their wares.
  • It is not enough to prove that the defendant had a duty of care.
  • You should also verify that they failed to uphold that duty. To win a wrongful death suit after a loved one died in a vehicle crash, for instance, you’d have to prove that the at-fault driver was negligent because they were careless with the road and failed to observe safety protocols, such as not paying attention.

Causation and Negligence

The plaintiff in a wrongful death suit must additionally prove that the defendant was careless, reckless, or negligent in the circumstances surrounding the decedent’s death. That is to say, the victim’s death was directly caused by their failure to uphold their duty of care.

The defendant is legally liable for the victim’s damages if they are determined to be negligent in the death of the dead.

Losses from Enlisting

The wrongful death claim’s final component is harm. The demise of the victim must have resulted in harm similar to the following:

  • Costs associated with medical care
  • Medical bills
  • Income loss
  • Memorial and casket expenses
  • Separation from friends
  • Compensation for emotional distress

Punitive damages, which aim to penalize the perpetrator and discourage future offenses, can potentially be granted to the plaintiffs under certain circumstances. This is a common component in drunk driving cases.

It is common for a wrongful death lawsuit to need substantial proof to establish each of these factors. A witness or the opinion of an expert witness may be necessary in certain cases. Because of this, many families use the services of an Atlanta wrongful death attorney, and they get a lot out of it.

To have a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s death need not have been deliberate. The reason need not be evil, but this is not always the case. It is sufficient that the defendant was careless or negligent in performing their duties. Car accidents in which the driver was careless led to several wrongful death claims.

Except in cases when the victim’s death occurs on the job, this rule does not apply. Workers’ compensation claims are often the ones that deal with this.

Need For A Wrongful Death Attorney

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, you don’t need an attorney. But it’s a good idea in most instances involving wrongful death. Grieving and attempting to put their lives back together are already too much for most of the remaining family members. There is sometimes a significant financial burden after paying for the funeral and other expenses associated with the tragedy. When you retain legal representation, you have an expert who can deal with your issue while you focus on living your life.

Furthermore, most wrongful death attorneys (including John Foy & Associates) do not demand money until your case is resolved since they operate on a contingency fee basis. They are not compensated unless they generate a profit for you.

At  Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we have extensive experience assisting families in pursuing wrongful death lawsuits. Because we understand how difficult it is to move on after suffering a loss, we are prepared to help you navigate the legal system with ease. Call the best Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath – West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney today for a FREE consultation.

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