There are unfortunate situations where someone gets killed because of another person’s negligence. If the person who has been killed would have had a personal injury lawsuit if they did not die, then there’s a very good chance the deceased’s loved ones can sue the at-fault party for wrongful death. However, there are many aspects of these cases that people need to be aware of before they pursue them in court. Who can file these claims, how long they have to file, what determines a wrongful death case, and other information like this can be beneficial to someone who is thinking about hiring a lawyer. Being properly compensated for the death of a loved one can make a world of difference in someone’s life.
Who Is Able to File For Wrongful Death?
The law varies from state to state, but there are certain people who are generally accepted as able to file for wrongful death. First and foremost, immediate family members are able to sue the at-fault party without question. If someone’s father died as a result of his employer’s negligence, then they can sue that company for the death of their father. This is especially true if the father was providing financial support to his family; the people who are left without their family member are going to suffer because of that person’s death. This gives the child a focus when they are taking the case to court–they can attempt to sue the at-fault party for the amount of money their father would have provided them with until they retired.
Other people who can file for wrongful death are those who were financially dependent upon the deceased person. For example, if a friend was living with someone and being financially supported by them while they went to school, then the student can likely sue the at-fault party for the death of the friend they were living with. Without that person around, the student would not be able to continue attending school or have a place to live, so it’s plausible that they will be able to sue.
In some states, distant family members can also file for wrongful death. You will have to speak with a lawyer in your state about the particular wrongful death laws there, but you may be able to sue the at-fault party if your brother, sister, or even cousin has died because of another’s negligence.
Proving Fault and Winning Your Case
When taking a wrongful death case to court, you and your lawyer must prove that the at-fault party had a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and also caused the death of your loved one with a specific mistake. You may not know everything that was going on in a certain situation, which is why it’s a good idea to hire a reputable lawyer who has experience with wrongful death claims. A good lawyer will be able to find out all of the information they need to know regarding the at-fault party.
A “duty of care” is something like when a driver hits another person on the road and kills them. The defendant’s lawyer is going to have to prove that the driver had a duty of care to obey the traffic laws, and also that they breached the law. The action they took will be the proof that they caused the death of your loved one, therefore providing enough evidence that they can be held responsible.
In many wrongful death cases, especially auto accidents, the case will go to trial. Wrongful death cases are mostly considered civil, though, so even if the at-fault party loses, they will likely not go to prison. They will be ordered to pay the plaintiff a certain amount of money, and then the case will be over. Sometimes, though, the at-fault party will simply offer a settlement check to the plaintiff so they can avoid a trial. This is especially true if the at-fault party knows that they really did cause the death of the person in question, and also if they feel like they won’t be able to win a trial.
Be Positive That You Can File a Lawsuit
Before spending any money and putting too much time and effort into your case, it’s best to make sure that you will be able to pursue it in court at all. In some states, there are certain individuals who have immunity from wrongful death cases. In most situations, these are government agencies and their employees. However, there are instances where a certain family member may be immune from a wrongful death case because of their particular situation. Take advantage of a free consultation with a reputable law office to find out if your case is eligible for court and what you can do to increase your chances of winning.
What Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Case?
Those who are thinking about hiring a lawyer to take a wrongful death case to court are probably wondering what they can receive compensation for. While each case varies, there are some general things that a lawyer will try to get in a wrongful death case. A few of the things your lawyer will seek compensation for are the survival claim (or pain the deceased person was in before they died), the medical bills accumulated by the deceased before they passed away, funeral costs, the loss of the expected income from the deceased person, loss of inheritance, loss of love and companionship, and the loss of the services the deceased person would have provided. If the person who died was providing ample support to someone before they passed away, then the person who is still alive may be eligible to receive a large settlement from the at-fault party.
If you believe that you may have a wrongful death case in the state of Arizona, then give Tobler Law a call. We are a team of experienced lawyers that have extensive knowledge on wrongful death suits. Don’t trust a settlement check that can change your life to a law firm that doesn’t know the law surrounding wrongful death inside and out–choose a law firm that has a good track record and is going to give you the best chance of winning.