Wrongful Death: Should You File a Suit?
Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 at 8:21 am
When most people think about personal injury law, they envision car accidents, food poisoning, or other unfortunate things happening to them. However, this type of law also protects those who have lost loved ones due to injuries caused by the negligence of others. This is called “wrongful death,” and these types of lawsuits are designed to help the surviving families get justice for a preventable death, and to get the help they need to get back on their feet again.
Sometimes, the cause of someone’s death isn’t always easy to identify, and proving negligence of a third party can be even more challenging. Many families aren’t sure whether it’s worth filing a lawsuit to recover damages. It’s always a good idea to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Atlanta, before making decisions of this nature. However, here are a few questions to ask yourself, if you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Am I direct family or beneficiary?
While the laws vary by state, regarding who can file a wrongful death suit, generally speaking, the surviving family members may file. These include spouses, children, domestic partners, siblings, grandparents, and anyone who is a financial dependent. If you are directly related to the deceased, and are directly affected by their death, you probably are eligible to file.
- Was the death caused by negligence or an intentional act?
Broadly speaking, deaths that are caused by the negligence of someone else, or by acts of intentional harm, may be filed upon. For example, if your spouse was killed through an act of violence, or died on the operating table due to a surgeon’s mistake, you are eligible to seek damages. In cases where the death was due to natural causes, or happened despite proper safety precautions, it might not warrant a suit.
- Can you demonstrate significant loss?
There are many things that qualify as damages in a wrongful death case, but it’s important that you can demonstrate your own suffering due to the death- financially, emotionally, mentally, and/or physically. Some wrongful death damages include: medical costs (pre-death), funeral costs, loss of income, loss of inheritance or insurance coverage, loss of parenting assistance, loss of emotional/mental support, and loss of physical intimacy (consortium).
If you have recently suffered a loss of a loved one, and want to know more about your eligibility to file a wrongful death lawsuit, reach out to us at the law office of Jonathan R. Brockman. Ask for your free consultation to get started.