Losing a loved one is always a difficult experience, but when that death occurs due to an accident or the negligence of others, it can be absolutely devastating. If you have lost a family member under these circumstances, you may be able to recover damages for your loss through a wrongful death lawsuit.
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of the negligence or wrongful act of another person. For a wrongful death claim to be successful, the plaintiff must prove that the death was caused by the negligence or wrongful act of the defendant and that the plaintiff has suffered damages as a result of the death. The most common type of wrongful death claim is filed against a doctor or other medical professional for medical malpractice. Other common types of wrongful death claims include car accidents, workplace accidents, and defective products.
Wrongful death claim
A wrongful death claim is a civil action that can be brought against someone who has caused the death of another person through negligence or an intentional wrongful act. The purpose of wrongful death claims is to provide compensation to the victim’s family for their losses, such as loss of companionship, financial support, and funeral expenses. In some cases, multiple parties may be held liable for wrongful death. For example, if a drunk driver hits and kills a pedestrian, both the driver and the bar that served him alcohol may be held liable.
What is the average settlement for a wrongful death lawsuit?
One of the most sensitive issues in a wrongful death lawsuit is how much money should be awarded. The average settlement amount ranges from $500,000 to 1 million dollars, but this can vary depending on several factors, including state law and evidence presented during trial preparation. Plaintiffs should consider the following facts before filing a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Some states prevent distant relatives from filing and carefully investigate those who do.
- Most states — absent a will — place the proceeds of a wrongful death lawsuit into the victim’s estate.
- State law determines how the estate is divided in the absence of a will.
- Relatives could be ineligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit or recover any money from the estate.
- Most people carry some burden of debt, and the legal debts must be paid first from any wrongful death settlement.
- Satisfying all the victim’s debts and medical bills might not leave much money for legitimate heirs.
Hiring a wrongful death attorney
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be a complicated process, so it’s important to seek out experienced legal help if you are considering taking this step. An experienced attorney will be able to assess your case and help you understand your options. Your attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you on whether filing a lawsuit is likely to be successful.
When your family has suffered an unimaginable loss, it’s essential to have an attorney on your side whom you can trust. Our attorneys are successful in 99% of the cases they handle, and we do not collect any fees until we recover compensation for you. At the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, P.C., we understand that no amount of money can truly make up for the loss of a loved one, but pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit can help to hold the responsible party accountable and obtain some measure of justice for your family.