The term ‘wrongful death’ applies to all fatalities caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another entity. The laws applicable to this kind of cases vary from one US state to another. Each state has one or more statutes regarding such fatality cases.
The death of a loved one is a terrible shock for all. If it happens because of the carelessness or intentional misconduct of another individual or organization it becomes all the more difficult to handle.
There are a number of circumstances that can give rise to a wrongful death claim. Some of these are medical malpractice, criminal behavior, airplane or auto accident, workplace accident, exposure to hazardous substances and so on.
It is difficult for people to think of legalities when a death occurs in the family. But if a member of your family is the victim you need to act as soon as possible. This is the only way to claim compensation from the one responsible for the fatality.
The wrongful death law regarding the time period within which you can file a lawsuit varies from state to state. For example, the state of New York allows the victim’s family to file a case within two years from the death of the person.
There are a number of damages that could be claimed as compensation in this type of cases. Some of these are as follows:
- Medical and funeral costs
- Lost benefits
- Lost wages, including future earnings
- Mental anguish
- Lost inheritance
- General damages
- Loss of support or companionship
- Punitive damages
- Pain and suffering
The wrongful death claim case may be filed by the victim’s spouse and/or children and in some cases, the victim’s parents.
It is always advisable that you opt for professional help in filing a wrongful death case. The attorneys specializing in these cases know how to present it at a court of law, how to prove that the negligence or misconduct of another is the cause of the death, and how to get you an increased compensation.