If you have recently lost a loved one as a result of a third party’s actions, you may be considering your legal options. Before you go through the troubles of filing a lawsuit, it’s important to determine whether you have a case and whether you have the opportunity of winning compensation for the damages you have suffered. In the long run, evaluating your situation before moving forward with a suit will save you time, money, and further grievances. So before filing, ask yourself the following questions:
Did the death of a human being occur as a result of a “wrongful act” by another person?
A “wrongful act” by another person can mean any of the following:
- Negligence (such as a pharmaceutical error)
- An intentional attack such as assault and/or battery
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Manslaughter or murder
What is my connection to the deceased?
Who is able to sue in a wrongful death suit varies by state, but generally it is limited to children, spouses, and family members. Even then, there are limits. Some states only allow a child to sue for the wrongful death of their parent if the child is a minor. Depending on the state, a spouse may not be able to sue for the death of their deceased husband or wife if they failed to provide support.
In some cases, even those who were not blood related to the victim may file suit. This would include anyone who suffered financially as a result of the victim’s death by losing care or support.
What damages have you suffered as a result of your loved one’s death?
In order to win compensation in court, you must demonstrate that you suffered significantly as a result of your loved one’s death. In some cases, you will be compensated for the loss of the companionship of your loved one, as well as the loss of financial support you would have received from them during your lifetime. For example, a child may seek compensation for both the loss of companionship and the loss of financial support from a deceased parent. On the other hand, however, a parent can only seek compensation for the loss of companionship if their child dies, as they would not be able to demonstrate that their child provided them with any financial support.
Who can be sued for wrongful death?
The party responsible for the victim’s death is whom you want to bring the case against. Depending on how the victim died, the responsible party will vary. It could be a drunk driver, a pesticide manufacturer, a medical practitioner, a government authority, or any number of responsible persons. It all depends on the individual circumstances.
Hopefully, by answering these questions, you now have a better idea about whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek compensation. If you are unsure about any of the questions, or believe you do have a case and are seeking legal counsel, contact the McAleer Law team at 404-MCALEER.