A wrongful death is one that results from the negligence, recklessness, or inaction of another person or organization. The most common cause of wrongful death is medical malpractice, though accidents at the workplace, automobile accidents, and defective products also account for a large number of such deaths.
U.S. law allows immediate family members to file wrongful death personal injury lawsuits on behalf of the deceased. Immediate family members would include the parents, a spouse, or children, though a minor would require an adult guardian to act for him. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil lawsuits seeking compensation for emotional distress, loss of companionship, lost income or inheritance, lost benefits, medical costs, and funeral costs, among others.
Laws differ across states, and a wrongful death attorney can help you understand the law and put together a proper lawsuit. A statute of limitations applies to wrongful death lawsuits, and family members must file a suit within one to three years from the time of the victim's death. A wrongful death attorney must thus be consulted as soon as possible after the death. It will be his job to prove that the defendant's actions or inaction caused the death. He must also establish that family members are suffering as a result of the death and seek adequate financial compensation on their behalf.
Wrongful death attorneys have to deal with distraught and grieving families in addition to difficult legal issues. It is advisable to choose one who is experienced in such matters and is reputed to have the sensitivity to deal with emotional family members. Like most personal injury attorneys, a wrongful death attorney will work on a contingency basis, only charging a percentage after the compensation has been awarded. Compensatory damages are awarded after proper assessment of the loss incurred as a result of the death of the victim has been determined.
The death of a loved one can be traumatic enough without having to deal with complex legalities, and a good attorney will be a great help in seeking speedy redress for the victim of a wrongful death.
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