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Losing a family member, loved one, or friend is an extremely tough time for any person. However, when the death is due to the carelessness or actions of somebody else, the pain is amplified and can make the entire situation ten times worse. When this happens you not only have the right to compensation but also the right to have closure on the situation. This won’t change what has happened but may help you process this terrible event. Below is how the wrongful death process is conducted.
What Is Wrongful Death?
To make matters marginally more complicated, wrongful death is defined differently by different states. This means that you need to seek out specialist wrongful death attorneys who will be able to navigate the twists and turns of this complicated legal matter. Importantly, it should be noted that in each state there is a statute of limitations on these claims and so if you believe that you have a case, you do need to act on it.
Wrongful death is often defined in quite general terms such as a wrongful act, negligence, carelessness, or lack of skills. This means that wrongful death can cover everything from car accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites, nursing home neglect, or even violent assaults. The best advice here is that you contact your local state wrongful death specialist and find out if your case is covered.
Who Can Claim?
Again, this will be determined by the state that you are in. Usually, the immediate family is the one that can make the claim. Normally, this would be the spouse, children (including formally adopted children), and parents (again including step-parents and adoptive parents). However, if none of the above can make a claim then a designated executor or personal representative can claim in their stead.
How To Make A Claim?
To claim a company or a person, you must prove that they were directly responsible for a person’s death. This can mean that if the person or company had acted differently then the deceased would still be alive. In the case of negligence for example you would have to prove that there was a duty of care owed to the deceased by the entity that you were accusing and that it was their action or inaction that led to death. This can obviously be quite tricky.
What Can You Claim For?
Claims of wrongful death are about more than just money. The justice of the claim may help in easing the passing of your loved one. However, numerous different claims can be made to aid you financially as well. Medical treatments, funeral costs, the income of the deceased are just some of the fiscal benefits of the claim whilst other more intangible claims can be made as well. For example, loss of companionship and care.
Wrongful Death Claims
This is not an easy process and can often lead to hurt as well as closure. You need to be sure that this is the action you would like to take. However, it may aid you in recovering from the loss if you are successful.