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How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works?

January 18, 2019

A wrongful death lawsuit attorney litigates cases involving individuals who have died due to someone else’s reckless or negligent actions. The goal of a wrongful death claim is to obtain compensation for the emotional and financial hardship inflicted on family members by the death. Automobile accidents, medical malpractice and workplace accidents are often at the core of a wrongful death case.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?

Family members considered “heirs” can file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawsuit attorney must prove the defendant (the person responsible for the unintentional death of a loved one) exhibited extremely reckless and negligent behavior at the time of the fatal incident. For example, a mother may file a wrongful death claim against a drunk driver who hit and killed her 17 year old son. A husband may file a wrongful death claim against a hospital for allowing his wife to succumb to an infectious disease as a result of poor hygiene practices. In both cases, however, an attorney must show the drunk driver and hospital engaged in such egregious behavior that they were directly responsible for the deaths.

What Kind of Damages Can You Receive If You Win a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Lost wages, financial support provided by the deceased, funeral expenses and other expenditures that could be reasonably anticipated by family members of the deceased are damages that could be awarded in a wrongful death suit. In some cases, damages may include denial of emotional support (loss of consortium) where immediately family members or spouses are deprived of companionship.

Can You File a Wrongful Death Claim Over Defective Products?

If a wrongful death lawsuit attorney can prove the product caused a death (an electric hand drill exploding due to faulty wiring, for example), then a litigant could rightfully file. In the case of defective prescription or nonprescription medications, a lawyer will need to prove the deceased individual taking the medications did not have a pre-existing condition that may have contributed to their death.

If you think you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim, call Decker Law Office today to schedule a consultation appointment.