Did you know that unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the US? Nearly 201,000 people die as a result of accidental injuries each year. These accidents could be the result of car accidents, workplace injuries, defective products, or construction accidents.
If your loved one died as a result of the negligence or unlawful act of another person, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit. However, these suits can often be difficult to win, especially without the help of an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Read on to learn more about wrongful death suits and their challenges.
What Are Your Chances?
Before you even consider a wrongful death suit, you need to make sure that you are eligible to file one. Every state has its own rules as to who is eligible to file a wrongful death suit. In general, people who are eligible include:
- Minor children (including step-children in some states)
- Adult children if there is no spouse
- Parents of a minor child
- Parents if no spouse or minor children exist
If you are eligible, you need to understand your chances of winning. Wrongful death suits are often difficult to prove because you are typically bringing suit against the insurance company of the person or entity you are suing. Insurance companies often have many resources to fight these types of suits.
What Do You Need to Win?
Ultimately, your attorney will need to show that another person or entity was responsible for the death of your loved one and that responsibility falls within your particular state’s laws. Proving a wrongful death case can be difficult.
In general, your attorney must find that there was a duty of care between the negligent party (the defendant) and the person who died. They must also show that the duty of care was breached in some way (for example, that a company knew a product was defective and did not issue a recall).
Once you show duty and a breach of duty, your attorney will need to demonstrate causation. This means that they have to show that the breach of duty actually caused the death.
Finally, your attorney will ask for damages. Damages are monetary payments based on the following factors:
- Lost wages and future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship (for spouses)
- Loss of guidance and support (for children)
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses related to the incident that caused the death of your loved one
You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney
Now that you have a better understanding of how wrongful death suits work, it should be clear that an experienced attorney is necessary to increase the chances that your case is successful. Don’t try to take on an insurance company alone. Choose a lawyer who has years of experience representing families of lost loved ones.
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