Ways To Know If You Have A Valid Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Posted on: 23 February 2018

When someone close to you dies it is natural to feel deep grief, but the pain can be even more intense when death is the result of someone else's actions. While money can't replace a person or take away the pain of loss, family members may be entitled to a financial settlement on behalf of the deceased loved one. Continue reading to learn more about what is required to file a lawsuit for wrongful death: 

Proof of Death

This may seem obvious, but in order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to provide evidence, namely a death certificate, which proves that your loved one is deceased. Wrongful death cases typically do not involve claims where a loved one may be in a long-term coma or a persistent vegetative state. 

Eligibility to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The death of a loved one can impact an entire family, but in most states there are laws outlining who is legally able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, the only people who are eligible to bring forward a wrongful death lawsuit are: the legal executor of the victim's estate, a spouse, the victim's children, or the victim's parents. In the event that the victim's children are minors, the lawsuit can be filed on their behalf by an appointed person.

Generally, girlfriends, boyfriends, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, or nephews are not eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of a loved one. 

Determine if Death Was Caused by Negligence

One of the major keys of a wrongful death lawsuit is proving that the negligence of another person caused the death of your loved one. This involves two important details-- first, the defendant must owe a duty of care to the victim, which means that the defendant is legally bound to act in a reasonable and responsible manner. 

One example of negligence would be a person driving under the influence, speeding, and running a red light that causes a car accident that results in fatal injuries. Another example would be a doctor who made a mistake during surgery that violates expected standard of care that results in death; this could involve operating on the wrong part of the body, leaving something inside of the body cavity that causes a deadly infection, or failing to provide standard post-operative care. Proving negligence can be difficult, which is why it is highly recommended to hire a wrongful death lawyer.

For more information, contact a lawyer at firms like Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm.


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