A wrongful death attorney can provide invaluable assistance when grieving the loss of a loved one. The emotional turmoil is amplified when this loss is due to the negligence or intentional actions of another. In these heart-wrenching moments, our experienced TorkLaw attorneys are there to support you, guiding you through the intricacies of the legal system and ensuring that justice is delivered.
When Should You Consult a Wrongful death Attorney?
As a bereaved family member, you should contact a wrongful death attorney if you believe your loved one’s death was due to the misconduct or negligence of another party.
Wrongful deaths arise from two main scenarios:
- Intentional actions leading to death.
- Deaths resulting from negligence.
These tragedies occur when a deliberate act causes your loved one’s demise, such as an assault. While these acts often involve criminal charges like murder or manslaughter, it’s crucial to understand that wrongful death claims are pursued in civil courts, independent of any criminal proceedings. A party can be acquitted criminally but still found liable civilly, with the O.J. Simpson case being a notable example.
Death Due to Negligence
Not all wrongful deaths are intentional. Some arise from negligence, where one’s carelessness leads to another’s death. This category includes situations like car accidents due to reckless driving, medical malpractice, dangerous premises, defective products, and more.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Usually, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate initiates the claim. Immediate family members, such as spouses, children, or parents, are the primary beneficiaries. However, depending on the state, others like grandparents, siblings, or domestic partners might also be eligible. Consulting with wrongful death attorneys will clarify eligibility criteria in your jurisdiction.
Potential Compensation in Wrongful death Claims
Claims cover both tangible and intangible losses:
- Economic damages: Funeral costs, lost inheritance, lost income, etc.
- Non-economic damages: Loss of companionship, guidance, and consortium.
While grief itself isn’t typically compensable, in some jurisdictions, punitive damages can be pursued to punish egregious behavior.
Wrongful death damages also gather interest as time passes from the date of the death. However, you shouldn’t wait to file a wrongful death lawsuit because of this, because your case may be subject to a statute of limitations which limits your ability to file after a certain period (typically around two years).
A survival action is intended to recover damages that were suffered by the decedent in the period between their injury and death. This differs from a wrongful death lawsuit, which aims to collect damages incurred by the survivors, and not the decedent themselves.
For instance, the decedent may have experienced a certain degree of pain and suffering in the period before their death, or may have lost wages during this time. The damages in a survival action, of course, will vary significantly depending on how much, and in what ways, the decedent suffered before dying.
Like a wrongful death lawsuit, a survival action is filed by the representative of the decedent’s estate. However, it is filed on behalf of the decedent rather than the survivors, and the damages will go directly to the decedent’s estate rather than to the survivors.
Although survival actions are separate from wrongful death lawsuits, the two may be consolidated under some circumstances.
Facing the Challenge of a Wrongful Death Case
These cases are emotionally and legally challenging. While compensation cannot replace your loved one, it can offer financial relief and a sense of justice. Trust is paramount; hence, ensure you collaborate with an attorney genuinely invested in your best interests.
If you believe a loved one’s death resulted from another’s negligence or intentional act, contact our dedicated wrongful death attorneys at TorkLaw. We commit to guiding you toward the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve.
Q: What kind of lawyer handles wrongful death?A personal injury lawyer specializing in wrongful death cases handles such claims. At TorkLaw, our experienced attorneys are skilled in navigating the complexities of wrongful death litigation, ensuring compassionate and effective representation for families seeking justice and fair compensation.
Q: What does a wrongful death lawyer do?A wrongful death lawyer at TorkLaw provides comprehensive legal services, including investigating the circumstances of the death, gathering evidence, filing a lawsuit, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing families in court to seek justice and fair compensation for their loss.
Q: Why hire a wrongful death lawyer?Hiring a wrongful death lawyer is essential for navigating the complex legal process and ensuring your rights are protected. At TorkLaw, our skilled lawyers bring expertise in wrongful death cases, helping to secure fair compensation, handle legal procedures, and provide emotional support during this challenging time. Their guidance can be invaluable in achieving a just outcome for your family.
Q: Who can file a wrongful death claim?In a wrongful death claim, immediate family members such as spouses, children, and parents of the deceased are typically eligible to file. At TorkLaw, we can help determine if you're eligible to bring a wrongful death claim and guide you through the legal process.
Q: When should you file a wrongful death claim?You should file a wrongful death claim as soon as possible within the statute of limitations, which varies by state. At TorkLaw, we recommend consulting with our attorneys promptly to ensure timely filing and protect your rights in seeking justice and compensation.
Q: How long does a wrongful death lawsuit take?The duration of a wrongful death lawsuit varies, often taking months to years, depending on the case's complexity, the evidence available, and the legal process in your jurisdiction. At TorkLaw, our experienced attorneys work diligently to resolve your case as efficiently as possible while striving for the justice and compensation you deserve.