How To File A Case In Wrongful Death Litigation
When someone dies due to the reckless, negligent, or deliberate act another, the victim’s surviving family members are entitled to claim a wrongful death case against that responsible party. This kind of lawsuit allows the surviving family to collect financial damages for their beloved’s premature death. The wrongful death suit is a civil court act that defines the compensatory damages or amount of damages that the members of victim’s should receive because of the wrongful death of their beloved member.
Grounds For Filing The Wrongful Death Case
Civil court cases requires grounds or a reason that is legally supportable for the claim. The principal behind the wrongful death case is that due to someone else’s intentional act or negligence the dead person not only lost his/her life, but also their family members were directly impacted financially and emotionally due to the death. To be successful in this kind of lawsuit the family members of the deceased person need to establish these two things:
- They have to prove that the death was caused by the deliberate act, recklessness, or negligence of the other party. And it did not happen due to the action or inaction of the dead one.
- The surviving members of the family must establish that the death of their beloved caused them measureable damages.
Common grounds for a wrongful death litigation include the death caused by the automobile accident, medical malpractice, a work-related accident, or the unlawful action that happened during the commission of the crime.
Who Can Take Legal Action Against Wrongful Death?
As dictated by the state laws, the wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the spouses and children of the deceased person. In some states, the extended family members which include siblings and grandparents can file as well.
Probate is Compulsory
Family members should open the probate estate so that they can take action on behalf of their deceased family member. In case if the minor children are involved, then the court requires that the guardian should be appointed to look after for the best interests of their grandchildren.
Types of Damages that Family Can Collect
Family members of the deceased person can collect different types of damages after establishing that the death of their loved one was the result of the wrongful act, including:
- Burial expenses
- Medical bills
- Compensatory damages for the lost wages that the deceased person would have earned in his/her normal life expectancy.
- Compensatory damages for the loss and harm endured by family members.
- Punitive damages are those that are imposed to punish the responsible person who caused death and to discourage the similar act in the future. Punitive damages are not allowed in all the states.
All states have a statutes of limitation that shows how long a victim can wait to file the case of a wrongful death. Waiting beyond the statute of limitation, the victim will be barred forever from doing so. Consult with the Percy Martinez Law Firm if the death was caused due to the deliberate act of the other party, to understand the legal rights and to find out whether or not pursue the claim.