Wrongful death occurs when a life is lost as a result of negligence or carelessness on behalf of another person or organization.
If you feel that a family member was lost as a result of carelessness or negligence, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel. You may be able to receive a free consultation, and if a strong case can be made, you may be rewarded just compensation for your emotional pain and suffering.
Before taking the case to trial, the defense attorney will most likely be willing to settle, to avoid a large award. If an agreement can’t be settled upon, then a trial is the next step, once the plaintiff files a complaint. This complaint addresses the reason why the plaintiff is suing the defendant.
Also included in this document is the list of laws that have been broken that would support the plaintiff’s argument, and a dollar amount the plaintiff is seeking for compensation. After the complaint is submitted, the defendant has a chance to review and respond to it. They can look to dismiss it, or take it to court to seek a result in their own favor.
If the plaintiff wins the trial he/she may be awarded compensation in the form of:
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages are sought in order to set an example and attempt to prevent the action from taking place again. They are usually much more than the amount would be required to compensate for the loss.
- Damages for the mental side effects and suffering of the survivors: The survivors may become traumatized and require medical or physiological assistance to overcome the effects of the same incident.
- Removal of inheritance: Loss of money or other items that were to be left behind by a deceased relative. If the relative was the primary bread winner for a family, this award will serve to replace the income that was lost.
- Medical expenses: Any medical costs incurred during treatment and care will be left to the defendant to cover.
- Funeral expenses: The casket and service will be left up to the defendant to cover.
If you wish to seek legal aid in deciding whether or not to file a wrongful death suit, do not wait too long to do so, because the ability to file the suit expires. It is best to take the necessary legal steps immediately after you have given yourself some time to grieve and mourn the loss.