Filing a wrongful death claim can be a time consuming, complex, and stressful process. Thankfully, the more you know about this process, the more likely you will be to succeed in your mission. Taking the time to review the facts outlined below can help you to develop a better understanding of how these cases work.
One Death Equals One Case
While many people may be impacted by the wrongful death of one individual, the law currently only allows one of these individuals to file a wrongful death claim. In most cases, this right will be reserved for the spouse, child, or parent of the deceased. However, extended family members may be eligible to file a claim if no immediate family is available.
In cases where more than one person is equally impacted by the wrongful death of their loved one, the court may require that any proceeds from the case are shared amongst these individuals. For instance, in a case where the deceased had multiple children, all of the children may be required to share the settlement funds despite the fact that only one child can legally file suit.
Proving Real Damages
As with all personal injury claims, wrongful death claims will require you to prove the presence of real damages in order to collect compensation in your case. This can be an extremely difficult task when dealing with the premature death of a loved one, since it is virtually impossible to determine the exact monetary value of this loss.
Medical bills and funeral costs are the easiest types of real damages to prove in a wrongful death case. However, the loss of future income can also be listed as real damages because this loss of income qualifies as lost wages under the current personal injury statutes.
While you may feel as though an individual or company is to blame for your loved one’s death, this is not enough for you to successfully pursue a wrongful death claim. This is because in addition to demonstrating the individual’s involvement in your loved one’s death, you will need to prove that this involvement constitutes negligence. If you are unable to prove that the individual acted in a negligent manner, they cannot be held legally liable and your case will be dead in the water. In many cases, the use of expert testimony can prove quite useful in showing that the individual deviated from the reasonable standard of care that your loved one was entitled to.
A Final Thought
Wrongful death claims are among the most complex personal injury cases. This is because in addition to the burden of proving negligence in these cases, you will need to effectively assign a value to the loss that you suffered. In many ways, this requirement equates to putting a monetary value on the life of your loved one. Not only can this task be legally difficult, it can also be emotionally taxing. That is why it is so important for you to always have the expertise of a qualified wrongful death attorney like Law Offices of Anthony L Coviello LLC on your side when filing this type of claim.