Any time a person dies, grief and bereavement are a natural part of the experience for loved ones. However, when an unexpected or untimely death occurs as a result of negligence or intent to harm, the grief is compounded by anger, injustice, and shock.
Legal Grounds for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
There are two main factors that go into a wrongful death lawsuit. In addition to the deceased individual losing their life from someone else’s negligence, it must be proved that the family members have been negatively impacted. This can be from either an emotional or financial standpoint. In further detail, a successful wrongful death lawsuit must:
- Prove the deceased individual’s death was caused by recklessness, negligence, or a deliberate act, and not by the loved one’s own ignorance, action, or inaction.
- Prove the family members of the deceased are emotionally or financially affected, usually resulting in excessive grief, stress, depression, debt, or financial hardship.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit can’t be filed by anyone, even if they are in fact related to the deceased. State laws dictate who can file, and it usually includes surviving spouses, children, and sometimes grandparents or siblings.
What Damages Can be Collected?
Before filing a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s important to have an accurate understanding of what can and cannot be collected. Usually, things like medical bills, burial expenses, compensatory damages for pain and suffering, compensatory damages for lost wages and future lost earnings, and punitive damages are able to be recovered.
It’s also important to remember that you cannot wait indefinitely to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Most states have statutes of limitations that restrict the timeframe for filing.
Brock & Stout Personal Injury Law Firm
The laws and regulations regarding wrongful death lawsuits usually require legal assistance. For help in your time of need, please contact Brock and Stout Attorneys at Law for more information.