When a person is at-fault and their negligence causes someone’s death, the law allows for recovery of money damages. This is sometimes referred to as a wrongful death claim. While many of the legal elements involved with a wrongful death claim are similar to those in a personal injury claim, the types of damages that may be claimed are different. If you have a loved one who was killed as a result of someone’s negligence, you should contact a personal injury attorney to learn what options are available.
In a wrongful death claim, you may be able to recover financial compensation for a variety of damages. While it is difficult to place a money value on a person’s life, the law allows for money damages to compensate for the loss of life. The amount of damages you may receive depends on a variety of factors, including the deceased person’s age, earning capacity, skills, occupation, and net worth. Sometimes it may be necessary to employ economic experts to determine the amount of money damages that may be claimed. A personal injury attorney will know how to determine the amount of damages to pursue.
The types of damages that may apply in each case vary. Some common examples of damages for which compensation may be recovered include:
- Medical expense reimbursement
- Funeral expense reimbursement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Lost wages & earnings
- Loss of support
An experienced personal injury attorney can review your situation and help you determine what types of damages may be available.
In order to recover money damages in a wrongful death case, you must be able to prove that the at-fault party was negligent. You must also be able to show that their negligence was the cause of your loved one’s death. In some situations, this may be obvious, but in others it will require evidence. Because of this, it is important that you preserve as much information as possible about the incident.
If your loved one was killed as a result of another’s negligence, there are some things you should do to preserve evidence. This includes the following:
- If police did not respond to the scene, you should request that they report and investigate. The police may complete their own investigation and discover important information.
- Keep detailed records of all medical reports. Ask for an autopsy, so you can have evidence of what caused the death.
- Maintain all expense information about medical bills, funeral expenses, property damages, etc. Make sure to request invoices and receipts for all expenses incurred.
- Identify any eye witnesses to the incident and obtain their contact information. If possible, ask them to write or record what they saw.
- Take photographs and video recordings of anything that may be relevant. If the incident occurred near a business, ask for copies of any surveillance video.
As soon as possible after the incident, contact a personal injury attorney for legal advice. A personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through the claims process. By consulting with a personal injury attorney early on, you will be more informed about what is needed to pursue a claim. A personal injury attorney can help you make informed decisions.
When you work with a personal injury attorney, they will advocate on your behalf and protect your interests. They will handle the complex aspects of the case and explain the process to you in a way that makes sense. Many people become overwhelmed by the process, due to its complexity and the emotions involved. A personal injury attorney will make sure you are not taken advantage of and they will fight for your cause. A personal injury attorney will ensure that your case complies with the requirements of the law, so it is not dismissed on a technicality.
Losing a loved one is never an easy event. When the death resulted from someone’s wrongful or negligent conduct, it is important to take action to hold them responsible so it does not happen again. Contact a personal injury attorney to learn what legal options are available.