Wrongful Death Claim

Coping with the loss of a loved one can be one of the most trying times of your life. When your family member’s death was caused by another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, the grieving process only intensifies. In these instances, you may have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive the closure and financial compensation in which you and your family are entitled.

How Wrongful Deaths Occur

By definition, a wrongful death is when a person is killed or death is caused due to the negligence or misconduct of another party. Those who were dependent on, or a beneficiary of or next of kin, may be entitled to monetary damages. In the majority of states, immediate family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes spouses and legal partners, children (including stepchildren and adopted children), and parents. Under certain circumstances, grandparents, siblings, and other family members that relied on the victim for support are eligible to file suit as well. 

While states across America have passed wrongful death statutes in order to compel manufacturing companies, negligent motor vehicle operators, hospitals, and doctors to act carefully in their professional responsibilities, wrongful deaths do occur in situations such as the following examples:

  • Vehicle Accidents: Negligent drivers causing death by running red lights, stop signs, crossing the centerline, and other negligent violations of rules of the road. Automobile companies may be held responsible for defective products in their automobile, while trucking companies may be held accountable for truck accidents if their employee breaks trucking regulations and are negligent in causing death to other motorists or other pedestrians.  
  • Emergency Room Medical Malpractice: Wrongful death lawsuits can stem from hospital workers negligence in the emergency room, such as performing surgical errors, misdiagnosing a health condition, or prematurely discharging a patient
  • Anesthesia Malpractice: If an anesthesiologist fails in their professional responsibilities and administers a fatal, anesthetic dosage or fails to properly monitor a patient 
  • Workplace Death: When an employee is killed on the job site due to machine-related incidents, motor vehicle accidents, electrocution, falling objects, or slip and fall accidents. Although transportation and construction jobs are at the highest risk, on-the-job deaths can happen to any employee at any type of company.
  • Aviation Accidents: If an aviation accident occurs, it often results in the fatality of a large number of people. These types of accidents are typically the result of mechanical issues and pilot errors. 
  • Defective Products: A manufacturer has the legal obligation to make sure their products are free of hazards to ensure consumers can safely utilize them. Some common examples of defective products that have led to death are defective pharmaceutical products, dangerous drugs, defective automobiles, toxic foods, and defective children’s products.

Compensation for Wrongful Death

Each state allows the next of kin, heirs, representative of estate or legal actions of a deceased individual to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the event of another party’s negligence causing the death of someone. Factors that courts consider when determining wrongful death damages one may receive include:

  • Full value of the life of the deceased
  • The amount of money earned by the deceased through their life
  • Loss of companionship of a survivor 
  • The savings of the deceased
  • The degree to which survivors were financially dependent on the deceased or damaged by the death
  • Expenses incurred by survivors for medical and funeral costs
  • Punitive Damages

While no amount of financial payment can ever compensate for the loss or death of a loved one, being financially secure in your future and the comfort of responsible parties being brought to justice can provide a sense of closure and security to survivors. In some cases and states, it is important to deter others from engaging in the kind of action or conduct which will cause death to another.

The laws involved in wrongful death lawsuits are complicated and vary in each state. During your grieving period, consideration of a wrongful death lawsuit may not seem urgent-however, wrongful death cases must be filed within a specific time period or you risk losing your right to financial compensation. Also, the need for getting a lawyer as early as possible is important.

You need the help of an experienced, wrongful death lawyer who has proven successful results in other similar cases to guide you through the process and help you to receive the monetary damages you are entitled to under the law. At The Cochran Firm, we have the offices, the experience, the results, and the resources to aid clients throughout the United States. Please contact the wrongful death attorneys at The Cochran Firm today for your free case evaluation.