Being involved in a wrongful death case is no easy task, especially if you are the one that has recently lost a loved one. Now the one you love isn’t around to seek justice for the wrong that was done to them. Now, the surviving family is left to make things right with whoever was negligent or responsible for the death of their family member.
Wrongful Death Case Explained
When someone acts wrongly, causing someone else’s death, the family members left behind can bring a wrongful death case forward. They do this to recover financial compensation from the person or company that wrongly caused their loved one to pass away.
An example of a wrongful death situation could be a company not providing their employees proper safety equipment or safety training required to run the heavy equipment assigned to them in their job. This leads to injuries and even death while on the job. The surviving family is entitled to seek compensation for the death of their loved one because of the lack of safety precautions and training.
A wrongful death case does not have to be brought on by someone doing something intentionally to cause a death. The death can be caused by a mistake or accident, but it still leaves the person that did wrong liable. Not all deaths will automatically meet the criteria necessary for a wrongful death claim, though.
Wrongful Death Action Requirements
As part of wrongful death actions, the deceased loved ones need to prove that their loved one was killed because of negligent, careless actions on the part of a certain person, group of people, or company. Negligence is defined as failing to act in the way a reasonable person would act if put in the same situation.
For your case to be considered a wrongful death case, you need to be able to prove the following negligence:
Did the person that caused harm to the deceased owe a “duty of care” to that person? Did that duty to keep your loved one safe not happen, causing harm or death to them?
Duty is determined by what a “reasonable person” would do under comparable circumstances or situations. If the individual owed a duty but did not follow through with that duty and caused harm because of it, there can be a breach of duty found, and negligence is proven.
An example of this is if your loved one is involved in a car accident where the person at fault didn’t wear their required glasses while driving, causing a fatal accident. A reasonable person would know they had a duty to other drivers to wear their glasses so they could see properly while driving, keeping themselves and others safe.
Causation or Fault
It’s one thing for someone to have been negligent or not hold up their end of the duty, but that negligence and breach of duty need to also be the cause of the individual’s death. Therefore, to win a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to prove that it was the Individual or company’s fault that your loved one died.
Going back to the example above, if it wasn’t for the defendant’s actions, there would not have been an accident, and your loved one would not have died. In this case, the defendant would be found at fault because they could not see clearly, so this can be proven as the reason for the accident.
Damages are pretty easy to prove in a wrongful death case. Obviously, the tragedy of losing your loved one too soon is the “damage” that families must live with for the rest of their lives. However, compensation is a whole other ball game.
Liability Determined and Compensation Received
When all the basics of negligence are met – duty, breach, causation, and damages- the person or entity at fault for your loved one’s death can be found guilty in a wrongful death lawsuit.
There are all sorts of damages that you can receive financial compensation for. These can include:
- Medical expenses – After your loved one was involved in the accident, a stack of medical costs could be piling up if they were taken to the hospital and received treatment before passing.
- Funeral expenses – When a loved one is suddenly taken, funeral expenses can be unexpected and unplanned. Compensation can be collected for what would be reasonable funeral and burial expenses.
- Loss of income and future income – If your loved one provided income to help support your family, it could be a struggle to make up the difference. Compensation can help make up for the loss of income as well as the lost future income your loved one would have made if they hadn’t been killed.
- Loss of consortium or companionship – It may seem impossible to come up with an amount of compensation to make up for losing your loved one and the pain and suffering that comes with that. However, a wrongful death case will try to take this loss into account and provide compensation for the hurt and devastation the family is feeling.
- Punitive damages – If the court finds the individual’s actions at fault so terrible that they feel they should be punished for their deeds, punitive damages can be given to the family of the deceased.
Seek Legal Help Today
If you are dealing with the aftermath of wrongly losing a family member much too soon, don’t wait to seek advice from an attorney. Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. are professional experts in getting the compensation deserved for the family in a wrongful death case. We know that a wrongful death lawsuit is a difficult process, unearthing many sensitive feelings. But it is important to ensure no future harm happens to others.
We will take care of the legal aspects of your loved one’s death so you and your family can work on healing and recovering. Call us at (504) 522-2304 for more information on your wrongful death case today.