Losing a loved one in a senseless death is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences a family can endure, and even though you’re grieving, you may have to give some thought to holding the responsible party accountable for negligent or reckless actions that caused your loved one’s death. No one wants to think about taking legal action after losing a loved one, but it’s a start reality that thousands of people die each year in what is a considered a wrongful death—a death caused by or due to someone’s behavior, action, or inaction.
It is your right and the right of the surviving loved one’s of the deceased to hold the party (or parties) responsible for taking their loved one away, and they can do so in civil court through a wrongful death action. You will hire a personal injury attorney who handles wrongful death cases, and you will have the burden of proving that the defendant was the cause of your loved one’s death.
Before taking on such a daunting task, it’s important to know that wrongful death claims are highly emotional, legally complex, and require an objective third party who is not emotionally tied to the death to be your voice. That’s where an experienced, knowledgeable wrongful death attorney comes in.
Rights in a Wrongful Death Claim
Surviving loved ones have many rights in wrongful death claims:
- The right to compensation for medical bills: You are entitled to money for medical costs right up until the time your loved one passed away. Even if health insurance paid some of these costs, you can request money for them and then pay back the health insurance company. You can also seek compensation for medical debts caused by your loved one’s medical bills.
- The right to compensation for lost wages or loss of earning capacity: You may seek compensation for any lost wages of your loved one while they were trying to recover, and you may recover future lost wages.
- The right to compensation for loss of benefits: When a spouse passes away prematurely, family might be left without access to benefits like a pension, retirement fund, or health insurance. You may seek compensation for these funds in a wrongful death claim.
- The right to compensation for funeral and burial expenses: You will be allowed compensation for burial and funeral costs up to a reasonable amount.
- The right to compensation for loss of companionship: In some cases, you may receive money for loss of companionship or nurture when a parent is taken away from young children.
If you’ve lost someone, get legal help today.