There are many situations in life that can throw us into an emotional tailspin. But losing a loved one unexpectedly may be the most difficult event we could ever have to endure. And if that loss was due to the negligence or wrongful act of another, we are right to expect answers and accountability. One way to hold a responsible party accountable is by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death action arises when your loved one’s death was caused by the wrongful action of another person. This wrongful action does not need to be criminal. Remember, O.J. Simpson succeeded at criminal trial but lost in civil court. A wrongful death suit can arise under any number of situations including car accidents, medical malpractice, products liability and criminal acts.
One of the caveats is that only the personal representative of the deceased may bring the action. An attorney can help you file the paperwork with the court so that you or a loved one may be appointed the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. It is also important to bear in mind that the damages you may collect are limited.
Think of a wrongful death action as your deceased loved one arguing in court for damages for causing their death. This means that you can recover pain and suffering for your deceased loved one but you cannot recover for your self. You may also recover for economic loss like lost income, support and additional expenses.
If you are dealing with a loss of a loved one and are considering a wrongful death suit, an experienced tort lawyer may be able to determine the best way to proceed with your claim. Wrongful death claims are difficult cases to litigate but that does not mean that your family does not deserve compensation for their loss. Money cannot fix your pain but it can help get you on to the important road to healing.