Wrongful death claims FAQ: Do you have a claim?
Wrongful death claims are typically made by family members against an organization or person following the death of a loved one. The claim is that the death was the result of malpractice, carelessness or even murder, with the compensation essentially covering the amount of money they have lost because of that death.
Wrongful death law can be a tricky thing to wrap your head around, so we’ll try and simplify it here with this FAQ.
Do I Have a Claim?
If you have lost someone that you relied on financially and their death was someone else’s fault, then you may have a claim. Many wrongful death claims are basically medical malpractice claims, but a large number are also taken out against major US pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers.
Who Can File a Claim?
Typically, the ones filing the claim will be the parents, spouses or children. But this may include other people connected to the deceased if they relied on them in some way.
How Much is a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are two types of a reward provided during a wrongful death suit. The first is economic and is compensation for monetary losses that have resulted from the death, and as a result of the actions of the defendant. It can also include expenses such as funeral costs and medical bills.
The other is non-economic, it covers the emotional pain and suffering that has resulted from the loss.
Does the Deceased’s Suffering Come Into It?
If the deceased suffered greatly prior to their death then this may be taken into account. The age of the deceased, and thus the length of time that they had to live and enjoy their life, may also be taken into account.
It is up to the lawyers to decide how much the life was worth and to file a claim based on this amount. It is then up tot he courts to decide if this is an agreeable amount.
Do I Need to be a Family Member?
You will need to be a family member to pursue a claim, but this can include emotional distress caused by witnessing the death of a fellow family member. So, even if you have not suffered financial loss as a result of the death, you may still be entitled to c aim if you witnessed and suffered emotionally.
The amount you can claim, however, will likely be a lot less than the amount a spouse or child may be able to claim, but it all depends on the individual case.
How Do I File a Claim?
Your first step, and really you only step should be to hire a good lawyer, specifically one that specializes in this area.
There are many legal experts in each state that can help you with this case and ensure you get what is owed to you. The process will not be quick, nor will it be cheap, but there are options available for family members who don’t have a great deal of money and most of the work required during the case will be undertaken by the legal team.