Bringing a wrongful death lawsuit can be a stressful, long process. If you are a survivor of someone who has died, it may be your only option to recover damages and get out of debt. Understanding what this kind of lawsuit entails, if you are eligible, what damages you can recover, and what the process involves is important before you jump in. Take time to get a full grasp of your situation before talking to a lawyer and beginning to build your case. Here are the answers to the most common questions about wrongful death lawsuits.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death occurs when someone’s negligence directly causes the death of another person. This can be through intent or an accident, and it can apply to numerous parties. To make a wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove that the other party was negligent.
Who Can Bring a Lawsuit?
Lawsuits are brought by the survivors of the deceased. They can be children, parents, spouses, relatives or anyone who was dependent on the person who has passed away. After the death, consider if you have endured pain and suffering, emotional trauma or the loss of care, financial support, love, companionship, advice and comfort. If you have, you may be entitled to compensation through a lawsuit.
What Damages Can Be Claimed?
Damages include both economic and non-economic factors. Medical bills, funeral expenses and future wages of the deceased count as economic. Pain and suffering and loss of emotional support and guidance fall under non-economic, though how much you can recover in this category may be limited.
Will You Go to Court?
The term “lawsuit” often brings a courtroom to mind, but most cases never make it to court. Instead, a settlement out of court is reached by the two parties and their lawyers. Never count a trial out, however, as it is always a possibility.
Do You Have to File by a Certain Time?
Every state has a statute of limitations on when you can file a lawsuit by. You must meet this deadline or forfeit your right to compensation. Check your state laws to see exactly when you need to file by. The average time is between one to six years. The clock starts ticking at the time of your loved one’s death.
If you have more questions about wrongful death lawsuits that are specific to your situation, talk to a wrongful death lawyer in Buffalo, NY, like from Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy, LLP. They can navigate any tricky obstacles and tell you how to handle insurance companies.