When you lose a loved one to the negligent actions of another person or entity, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death suit against the offending party. These cases can be very complicated however, and it is important that anyone seeking to file this type of claim understand the following ten tips.
1. Hire The Right Type of Lawyer.
If you intend to file this type of suit, you will need to hire an attorney that is experienced in this type of case. These cases can be very complicated to prove, and you will want someone who is practiced in this type of law.
2. Not Everyone Can File This Type of Suit.
Eligible parties that can file this type of suit are often regulated at the state level. In most cases, the spouse and minor children can file this type of case. Parents of a deceased individual may have rights under special circumstances. Other family members may qualify, but this is determined by state law.
3. Suing For Burial Expenses.
You are allowed to file for compensation for all expenses related to the burial of your loved one.
4. Medical Expenses.
Final medical expenses that are associated with the event that led to the death may be sued for under this type of case.
5. Loss of Future Income.
If your loved one earned an income, you are eligible to sue for all their potential future earnings. This figure will be determined by their pay rate, profession and how many years they would have left in the workforce.
6. Loss of Companionship.
Many states will allow you to file a claim for the loss of companionship when your spouse is the victim of this type of event.
7. Statute of Limitations.
Each state has a specific amount of time that you can file a lawsuit for this type of case. In most states the limit is one year from the time of the event. This is not necessarily from the date they died, but from the time the accident took place that caused the eventual demise.
8. Awards May Be Issued To The Estate.
In some cases, the awards that are received in this type of case are paid to the estate of the deceased and later distributed to the beneficiaries. This will all depend on the state regulations.
9. These Cases Take Time.
Do not expect this type of case to settle quickly. Cases may take several years to work their way through the legal system. This is why it is especially important to contact a lawyer as quickly as possible after the event occurs.
10. No Up-Front Fees.
Most people who file this type of lawsuit are not required to pay any up-front fees or retainers to the attorney that is representing them. The attorney will receive payment for their services once the case has been settled. This method of payment allows everyone, regardless of income level, to receive fair representation in this type of case.
When you’ve experienced a loss, the last thing you want to think about is the steps for filing a law suit. Consult a wrongful death attorney for guidance and more information on the processes.