If one of your family members has been a victim of wrongful death, you may feel overwhelmed by where to turn. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you understand your rights and alleviate some of your stress so that you can focus on getting through your time of grief.
This brief guide will help you gain a working knowledge of what parameters are needed for wrongful death to be present, what hiring a wrongful death lawyer entails and what you might expect if you ultimately file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death is a civil cause of action brought about by family members and dependents against individuals or organizations that knowingly or negligently caused the death of their relative. A wrongful death action can still be filed against a person also facing criminal charges for the same event, even if the person is not found guilty of a criminal charge. A wrongful death case comes with a lower burden of proof.
What does a wrongful death lawyer do?
An experienced wrongful death lawyer will guide the client to recover the losses they have experienced due to the wrongful death of their loved one. With experience and knowledge of the laws, the wrongful death lawyer will take the pressure off the grieving parties and work hard to ensure that compensation is received if deserved. Your wrongful death lawyer will typically meet with you to get to know the details of your situation and then, once hired, guide you as to whether a wrongful death lawsuit is your best avenue.
What factors must be present for wrongful death?
There are some essential factors that need to be present before you hire a wrongful death lawyer to file a case:
- Death of a loved one
- The death caused by another person’s negligence or failure to perform a specific duty
- The death caused personal and financial suffering for the surviving family members.
The people who are eligible to file a wrongful death suit are:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- Blood or adopted relatives of the deceased
What are the types of damages that a wrongful death lawyer might help you recover?
Your wrongful death lawyer will help you outline what damages you may be entitled to in your case. These damages may or may not include:
- Damages your deceased loved one was entitled to for his or her personal injury claim
- Medical bills and expenses of treating the personal injury
- Wages your loved one would have earned
- Lost benefits, such as health insurance, Social Security or veterans’ benefits
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost companionship, friendship, support, guidance, advice, love and affection
- Loss of services, including childcare, accounting, housekeeping, landscaping and security
- Your pain and suffering over your loss
- Your lost wages as you cared for your loved one and grieved
How do I choose a wrongful death lawyer?
Choosing a wrongful death lawyer is essential to ensuring that you receive all the recovery you deserve. Following are some criteria to help you make your decision:
- Experience – Your choice of wrongful death attorney should have specific experience in the area of your case.
- Track Record – Look into the track record of your potential wrongful death lawyer. This will demonstrate that the attorney not only has experience, but has success.
- Testimonials – Another important piece of the research to find a wrongful death lawyer is to look into what his or her patients have to say. Online testimonials are an easy place to start, looking for trends in both positive and negative comments.
If you believe you or a family member has a wrongful death claim, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Call Bonner Law at 1-800-4MEDMAL for a free consultation.
Michael P. Bonner has over 30 years of experience representing clients in medical malpractice litigation.