An action for wrongful death is what?
In a nutshell, a wrongful death lawsuit is a form of personal injury claim that can be made by the estate of a person who passed away as a result of another party’s careless or illegal behavior. An appointed representative of the decedent’s estate, who is often either one of the victim’s children or their spouse, files wrongful death cases on behalf of the estate.
In addition to suing specific people, wrongful death claims may also be made against businesses, producers, governments, or other entities that may be held legally responsible for the victim’s passing.
A wrongful death case seeks damages for the deceased person’s or their remaining beneficiaries’ varied losses. The loss of that person’s company, past and future salary loss, burial expenses, pain and suffering, punitive damages, or any relevant legal damages are examples of these.
What Kinds of Cases Invoke Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death cases can result from a variety of circumstances and include a large number of parties since they are based on another party’s negligence. Typical wrongful death claims are:
deadly work-related accidents, fatal vehicle accidents, fatal medical misconduct, fatal product defects, or fatal work-related accidents.
However, wrongful death claims may also be filed based on criminal activity by a person or company, as well as other deliberate torts.
How Do You Bring a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case, as was already said. This implies that you must abide by all of the civil procedural regulations of your local jurisdiction in order to initiate a wrongful death claim. It is crucial to remember that there is a statute of limitations, or a deadline, during which you must file a wrongful death claim, failing to do so will result in the action being dismissed.
Unless the cause of death or the person responsible was not obvious at the time, the deadline to initiate a wrongful death claim often starts from the time the victim passed away. In these situations, the statute normally starts to run when a reasonable person would have learned the cause of the individual’s death and the culpable party.
The following are some frequent statutes of limitations, although depending on the circumstances of the death, the court may accept an exception:
- California: Los Angeles wrongful death must be filed no later than two years after the decedent’s demise;
- Texas: Claims for wrongful death must be brought within two years of the victim’s passing;
- Florida: Two years from the date of death, a wrongful death action must be brought;
- In New York, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years after the decedent’s passing; and
- Illinois: Claims for wrongful death must be filed within two years after the death.
You should draft and file a complaint against the person accountable for the wrongful death with the clerk of the court in which you have chosen to file your complaint if it has been less than two years since the date of the death or if you meet one of your jurisdiction’s exceptions to the statute of limitations.
Notifying the person or company referenced in your complaint legally is the next step after submitting your complaint. Following the formal filing of your case, you will normally start the civil discovery process, engage in settlement talks, and then, if required, proceed to court.
Who May Bring a Case for Wrongful Death?
The spouse or child of the deceased individual is typically the one to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, as was already noted. However, any of the following people may also bring a wrongful death claim:
siblings, grandparents, or anybody else who has suffered financial loss as a result of the wrongful death. Partners of the spouse, including potential spouses, domestic partners, and life partners.
What Makes a Wrongful Death Claim Compelling?
The executor of the decedent’s estate must show the following things in order to initiate and win a wrongful death claim:
Unjustly, the individual passed away;
The defendant was strictly accountable for the victim’s death or the victim’s death was directly caused by the defendant’s careless, reckless, or deliberate conduct;
There is a living relative or another qualified person who was harmed financially as a result of the death.
Hiring an accident reconstructionist or another expert witness is frequently necessary to establish the above-mentioned components of a wrongful death lawsuit in order to establish the defendant’s responsibility. An expert economist may also be required to accurately estimate the decedent’s past, current, and future lost wages while demonstrating damages.
Should I Get Legal Assistance for a Wrongful Death Claim?
It is in your best interests to get in touch with a skilled and nearby wrongful death attorney right away if your loved one passed away as a result of the conduct of another party. You can get assistance from a qualified wrongful death lawyer to assess your case, make sure you don’t miss any deadlines, and submit your claim against the at-fault party. If required, they can even act as your legal representative in court.