You might have heard the term “wrongful death” before, but what does it actually mean? In short, a wrongful death occurs when someone is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity. If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by someone else’s carelessness, you may be wondering if you have grounds for a wrongful death claim. Below is everything you need to know about wrongful death, including when you can file a claim and what types of damages may be available.
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When Can You File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In order for a death to be considered “wrongful,” it must fall under the definition of a “wrongful death.” Wrongful death is defined as a death that was caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person. It’s also good to know the definition of negligence. When it comes to wrongful death, negligence is usually defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care. This means that the person who caused the death did not act in a way that a reasonable person would have acted in the same situation.
Types of Wrongful Death
There are many different types of accidents that can fall under the category of “wrongful death.” One of the most common causes of wrongful death is car accidents. However, there are other types of wrongful death, including:
- Medical mistakes: If a doctor or other medical professional makes a mistake that results in a patient’s death, it may be considered wrongful death.
- Workplace accidents: If an employee is killed on the job due to the negligence of their employer, the death may be considered wrongful.
- Product liability: If a product is defective and causes someone’s death, the company that made the product may be liable for wrongful death.
What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Claim?
If you have lost a loved one in wrongful death, you may be wondering what types of damages are available to you. The answer depends on the state in which you live, whether you’re seeking damages for the death itself or for the loss of financial support, and who you are suing. In general, however, damages in a wrongful death claim may include:
- The victim’s medical expenses
- The victim’s funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer in your area. For instance, if you live in Chicago, you can contact Chicago wrongful death lawyers.
Why a Lawyer is Worth the Cost
No amount of money can bring back a lost loved one, but filing a wrongful death claim can help to ease the financial burden that has been placed on your family. If you’re thinking about filing a claim, you may be wondering if it’s worth the cost to hire a lawyer. Hiring an experienced wrongful death lawyer is worth the cost for many reasons, including:
- A lawyer can help you investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your claim.
- A lawyer will know how to navigate the legal system and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
- A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
- A lawyer will take care of all the legal paperwork and will represent you in court, if necessary.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, don’t try to handle the claim on your own. Contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer in your area to get started on your claim as soon as possible.