When a loved one’s death is the result of another person’s negligence, your life is turned upside down. As you grieve, it’s critical to revisit the cause of the death with a focus on the steps you can take to hold the negligent party responsible.
You’re not alone if you don’t have much (or any) knowledge of wrongful death laws. This isn’t something most people learn about until they find themselves in position to take legal action.
Here are several frequently asked questions pertaining to a wrongful death lawsuit:
- What’s the difference between a civil and criminal case? A criminal case is when the government takes action to punish an individual for criminal behavior, such as drinking and driving, which caused harm to another individual. A civil case, however, is when a person or entity brings a claim against the negligent party with the goal of receiving compensation.
- Is it possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased individual was never employed? It’s a common misconception that you’re not able to file a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased was unemployed or never generated income for their family. For example, consider the loss of a homemaker who spent their time caring for their children and keeping a good home. It’s possible to quantify these contributions as pecuniary losses in a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Can you file a lawsuit for pain and suffering? Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, it may be possible to recover damages for pain and suffering. For instance, the deceased may have dealt with serious injuries, such as severe burns, before their passing.
- Can you file a wrongful death lawsuit based on the death of an elderly individual or child? While the award may be modest, it’s not out of the question to receive compensation for the death of a young child or elderly person. The other party will attempt to reduce its financial responsibility, such as by focusing on an elderly person’s life expectancy.
Upon answering these wrongful death questions, you’ll better understand your legal rights and what to do next. It’s a difficult time in your life, but it’s important to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions.