An Overview of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

An Overview of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

While the death of a loved one is always a difficult and emotionally charged experience, losing a loved one at the hands of a negligent party or entity is especially painful. Nothing can compensate for the pain caused by the passing of a loved one. However, if the death was a result of the negligence of another party or entity, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim to potentially win compensation for the damages you suffered. 

It can be especially difficult to imagine that the death of your loved one could have been avoided due to the direct or indirect negligence of a person or another entity. However, if you believe that is the case and want to seek justice for your loved one, we are here to help you begin and understand the process behind filing a wrongful death lawsuit. 

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

A successful wrongful lawsuit cannot provide closure to the grieving family members or erase the tragedy. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can be invaluable in helping surviving family members win compensation for the grievous damages they suffered on behalf of the wrongful death of their loved one. By obtaining monetary help on behalf of grievous damages and any financial burdens they suffered as a result of losing their loved one to a wrongful death, they can redirect their focus on grieving the loss of their loved one and finding peace of mind, rather than facing financial burdens.

While every state has varying wrongful death laws, wrongful death lawsuits are typically filed on behalf of the surviving family members and/or by representatives of the deceased person’s estate. 

Possible situations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit

Wrongful death lawsuits can be messy, especially in determining what kinds of situations qualify to bring a lawsuit against another person or entity. Here are a few situations in which a wrongful death lawsuit can rightfully filed: 

Car Accidents

If the death was a result of an accident due to the negligence of another party such as if the loved one was killed due to another driver’s negligence or their employer’s negligence, the other driver’s liability insurance coverage or the company’s insurance policy may be responsible for paying financial compensation.

Medical malpractice

There is no doubt that doctors do their best to take care of their patients. However, at times doctors may show negligence in incorrectly diagnosing or treating a patient and if their patient died at the hands of their negligence, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor and his or her medical practice. In such cases, the deceased’s family may be able to receive compensation from the doctor’s/hospital insurance policy.

Slips & Falls

Sometimes, employers make neglectful mistakes that can put their customers or employees at risk. For example, if an employer forgets to put up a wet floor sign and a customer or employee slips and falls leading to their death, the surviving family members of the customer or employee may be entitled to receive financial help via the business’s insurance policy. 

Product Liability

There may be times in which a company’s negligence leads to wrongful death of a customer due to its negligence regarding the safety of their products.. For example, if a customer tried a product from the company that had not been properly tested for safety and died as a result of some harmful or toxic chemical present in the product, the customer’s surviving family members may able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the company, and may be able to receive monetary compensation via the company’s insurance policy.

Pre-litigation process

Pre-litigation is the process of taking legal action while preparing for a lawsuit. There are various tasks that need to be completed in order to prepare to file for the suit.

Setting Up the Estate – The estate must be set up in the deceased’s residential state’s courtroom because it is the estate that will file the suit.

Investigation – To make a strong and credible case to support the wrongful death claim,, the cases’ facts need to be thoroughly assessed and investigated by the attorney.

Identifying & notifying responsible parties – The parties believed to be responsible for the death are to be identified and notified by the attorney.

Negotiation

While this step doesn’t occur in every case, in many of them the supposed responsible party will try to settle the matter outside court. This is a good option as it can eliminate the risk of losing a lawsuit.

The attorney will manage the entire negotiation while consulting with the surviving family members about important decisions. 

Filing the Suit

In the event that the case does not reach the negotiation level or if negotiations aren’t successful, your attorney will advise you to go ahead and file a wrongful death lawsuit. Once you start this process by filing a Complaint through the courthouse, all defendants are served with this information. 

Litigation 

The litigation phase is a back-and-forth process that includes various steps and phases such as the discovery phase, interrogations, pre-trial, trial, and/or arbitration. It is possible for both parties to seek a settlement throughout this phase. However, if no settlement can be made, litigation is continued until the trial is complete. After its completion, either a judge or jury issues their verdict based on which an award is assigned.

Why is it important to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Those who died at the wrongful hands of another party or entity deserve justice. There is no more important reason to go through the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit than to seek justice for your loved one. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit may also help you win compensation on behalf of the damages you suffered as a result of the wrongful death of your loved one, helping to ease your pain and financial burdens..  

While monetary assistance cannot fully ease your grieving or bring back your lost loved one, it’s important for you to be aware of your legal rights and seek justice for your loved ones. Financial compensation won from a wrongful death lawsuit can help support the surviving families of the deceased, and serve as a lesson for the negligent party. 

We hope this article was of help as you get ready to face the emotionally complex and exhausting process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Our group of attorneys at the IPG Law Group have years of experience working on personal injury and wrongful death cases in and out of the courtroom and are committed to serving you with the compassion and care needed to help you successfully seek justice for your loved one. 

Reach out to us today for a consultation

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