Wrongful Death Attorneys – Personal Injury Law
While some people may consider a wrongful death to be a criminal act, or at the very least, the result of a criminal act, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case and is tried in civil court. When the death of someone is caused by the negligence of another, this is usually when the survivors choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most instances, the person or persons filing the lawsuit are the parents, children, or spouse of the deceased. The survivors may also be referred to as distributees, next of kin, or heirs.
When accidental death may come calling it can be in many ways, usually as a result of an auto accident, motorcycle accident, truck crash, sustained brain injury, medical malpractice, or as the result of a defective/dangerous product. These areas are often referred to as personal injury law because the victim suffered harm to their “person.” This means that those who were negligent or blatantly reckless and caused harm, are the people named in the wrongful death lawsuit.
Depending on how the death happened, this may involve naming defendants that are employers, doctors, another driver, or a manufacturer. The key here is that the person(s) named by the wrongful death attorney is considered to be the responsible party or parties that caused the death.
These kinds of cases are not something that people can handle on their own. You need a competent and highly skilled wrongful death attorney who has extensive experience in this area of the law. It is vitally important to be able to recover wrongful death damages for pain and suffering, funeral costs, and the burial, medical expenses, and other costs associated with the death. In some wrongful death lawsuit settlements, the heirs or distributees are able to claim for a loss of an expected inheritance.
In some instances, a surviving spouse and children may have been solely relying on the deceased’s wages in order to live. The sudden death of the sole breadwinner in the family has the potential to leave them without enough money to live on. This means the wrongful death attorney would also make a claim for lost income.
There is another option that a wrongful death attorney may utilize, and that would be a survival action. This means surviving family members ask for additional wrongful death damages for the pain and suffering of the person who died. This is one method of helping to provide healing to a family grieving over the death of their loved one. It helps them feel that justice was done on behalf of their lost family member.
While this is not a common action, it has been done in the past. You need to speak to your wrongful death attorney about the viability of using such an option in your case. Generally speaking, survivors must be in financial dire straits due to the death of their family member in order to get a wrongful death lawsuit settlement.
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that many people thought that a wrongful death action was a criminal case. It is true that in some instances the person responsible for wrongful death may be prosecuted criminally. However, in a criminal case, the family is not entitled to compensation and this is why, in order to obtain wrongful death damages, they must file their action in civil court.
When a wrongful death attorney files a lawsuit, they generally begin by attempting to negotiate a settlement. If that doesn’t work, the case proceeds to trial. At trial, a judge or a judge and jury will have the final say about what kind of wrongful death damages the family will be awarded. How does the court decide that? Among other things, they determine how much the defendant is responsible for the death. While you might think this ought to be pretty clear, it often isn’t.
Some courts may feel a family is not entitled to a large wrongful death lawsuit settlement if the person at fault could not possibly have anticipated what happened to cause the death. In some cases, the deceased may have been negligent as well and contributed to the cause of the accident.
There are many other things that a court takes into consideration when trying to determine wrongful death damages, and this is something you really need to discuss with your attorney to understand what may happen in your case.
This Blog was posted By The Carabin & Shaw Law Firm. principle Office in San Antonio, Texas