Coping with the loss of a loved one is a trying experience. It is more difficult when you discover that the cause of death was someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. In this case, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death claims are civil actions taken by the survivors of an individual who has passed away because of the negligence or misconduct of another. In these cases, the law allows the family members of the decedent (called “distributees”) to file a wrongful death suit, seeking monetary damages. The wrongful death action is designed to provide compensation for relatives who depended upon the deceased for financial and emotional support.
In most cases, only close family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one. It is always smart to speak with a wrongful death attorney to find out if you are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Causes of Wrongful Death
You can file a wrongful death lawsuit if your family member died because a party acted negligently, recklessly, in complete disregard for others’ safety, or with intent to harm or kill. Wrongful deaths are caused by several events and accidents. The most common ones are:
- Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice causes a significant number of wrongful deaths in the United States every year. If a medical practitioner fails to perform his or her duties in keeping with the accepted standard of care, and thus, causes injury or death to a patient, the liable party can be held accountable.
- Car Accidents
It is the responsibility of every car driver to keep in mind the safety of others on the road. They are required to obey the rules of the road and drive safely according to the conditions. When they fail to do so, lives are lost in road accidents. If you have lost a loved one to a road accident, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the party at fault.
- Truck Accidents
Commercial truck accidents are more catastrophic than an accident between two personal use vehicles. Because of the size and weight difference between a truck and other vehicles, a truck accident often ends up fatally hurting people.
- Defective products
The product liability law mandates that manufacturers, distributors, and product designers ensure that the products they make and sell are safe for the public. However, product designers and distributors occasionally neglect to rigorously test their products to see that they are acceptable for consumer sale. If a product suffers from a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a marketing defect, and you lose someone as a result, it is possible to hold the liable party accountable, regardless of whether or not the party acted negligently.
- Construction Accidents
Employers have a legal obligation to meet OSHA standards, provide a safe work environment, and take reasonable measures to protect the employees under their care. If an employee is killed on a work site as a result of an employer’s negligence or disregard for employee safety, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against the negligent party.
Claims in a Wrongful Death
In a wrongful death lawsuit, you can claim financial compensation and file for punitive damages against the defendant party.
- Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are financial compensation awarded by a judge or jury to the victim’s family for the costs of medical care, funeral, burial and other expenses incurred as the direct result of the wrongful death.
Compensatory damages are also awarded to compensate a deceased party’s relatives for work income the victim would have earned had they lived. Lost income can be projected out for decades, depending on the age of the victim at the time of their death. Courts have also awarded compensatory damages for the worth of an individual’s housekeeping and child-care services. Also, a damages award might be justified on the basis of grief and loss of companionship.
- Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are a form of punishment intended to reform or deter the defendant and others from repeating the reckless or negligent acts which led them to the wrongful death case. They are meant to discourage similar acts in the future.
We can help you
The lawyers at The Reinkein Law Firm have thirty years of experience in dealing with wrongful death cases. For a free consultation to discuss your wrongful death case. Call 203-541-0090/ 203-491-4404/ 203-418-7037/ 203-489-2825.