Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death is a difficult subject for any family to deal with. Whether the death occurred as the result of a workplace injury, medical malpractice or unforeseen accident, bringing the right people to justice and getting the results you deserve can be a complicated matter.
If someone you love has suffered a wrongful death, it is important to get the right legal representation from the start. Finding an attorney who specializes in wrongful death litigation is essential. This part of the law is highly specialized, and most general practice attorneys will not have the expertise needed to help you and your family.
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about wrongful death lawsuits.
What Should I Do If I Believe Someone I Love Has Suffered a Wrongful Death?
The most important thing to do is contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. The attorney will be able to gather the necessary documents, including accident reports, medical records expert statements. That information will make it possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if necessary. Just as important, having the right information can make settling the claim easier, allowing you to recover things like funeral expenses, medical bills and pain and suffering.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In most cases a wrongful death action will be brought by the loved ones of the deceased. This include the surviving spouse, the children or other family members. In some unique circumstances, other individuals may bring a wrongful death action, but in most cases the lawsuit will be initiated by a close family member.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Generally speaking, the surviving spouse or family members will be able to recover actual expenses like funeral costs, medical expenses and the loss of future earning capacity. If the breadwinner dies, the surviving spouse may be able to recover money equal to the amount of earnings the deceased would have earned. In addition to the actual damages, the family member bringing the suit may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.
How Can I Preserve My Rights Following a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death is a traumatic experience – one of the most difficult you will ever go through. Even so, it is important to gather as much information as you can as quickly as possible. One of the most important pieces of information is the full name, address and insurance company information of the individual or entity that caused the accident. If the wrongful death is the result of a workplace injury, you will also want to get the name of the company, the immediate supervisor and the exact location of the accident. You will want to pass all this information on to the wrongful death attorney as soon as possible so the firm can start preparing the lawsuit or negotiating a settlement.
Do not sign anything until you have had a chance to consult with your attorney. If you sign the wrong document, you could give up important rights and severely limit the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Dealing with a wrongful death is always difficult, but you want to make sure you protect your rights every step along the way.
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