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Wrongful Death Lawsuit: What You Need to Know

There is nothing more devastating, traumatic, and painful than losing a loved one in a wrongful death incident.

Grief can quickly turn into anger if the circumstances of the death of your loved one involved gross negligence. 

If you are faced with this difficult situation, a wrongful death lawyer who can help explain what actions you can take.

What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death occurs when the death of someone is a result of someone’s negligence or misconduct.

If the death of a family member qualifies for a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need someone to handle your case.

Understand that different circumstances can qualify for a wrongful death case, including:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Toxic torts
  • Criminal activity
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Motor vehicle accidents

Wrongful death laws differ from state to state. You will be best advised by a wrongful death lawsuit attorney on the applicable statutes to your situation.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Generally, surviving family members of a wrongful death victim are the “real parties in interest” which means that they suffer from the decedent’s untimely death. 

The victim’s spouse or children, or the parents if the victim is unmarried, all qualify as representatives to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. This holds for all states.

However, each state has a set of statutes that define the procedures for filing for a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Your lawyer will walk you through the details of the state’s procedures in bringing wrongful death actions.

What Does A Wrongful Death Attorney Do?

Having to deal with the untimely death of a loved one is not only overwhelming, it is painful and traumatic. 

And if you are bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party, someone knowledgeable in medical malpractice will help you understand the legal process.  

A wrongful death attorney will handle the lawsuit and help establish and prove:

  • That there was negligence in the actions of the other party
  • That such negligence caused the deceased person’s death
  • The deceased person has surviving family members: a spouse, children, other dependents or beneficiaries
  • That the survivors suffered financial loss and damage as a result of the person’s death

Your wrongful death lawyer will also advise you on the value of your claim.

 A thorough assessment and review of your case and the surrounding circumstances will determine what wrongful death lawsuit damages or compensation you will demand from the other party.

The following information will help in determining the value of a wrongful death claim:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical expenses incurred before death
  • Pain and suffering (“survival” claim)
  • Loss of any inheritance because of the person’s death
  • Loss of care, nurturing, and guidance from the deceased
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Value of the services that the victim could have provided

Your lawyer will handle the intricate and tedious details of the legal process, allowing you to grieve and start the healing process without worrying about the court case paperwork.

Wrongful death claims are time-sensitive and there is a time limit for submitting a claim for wrongful death. 

Your lawyer will make sure that you comply with any applicable statute of limitations.

If you are not able to file for a wrongful death claim after the time limit, the courts will not have jurisdiction to offer compensation to the survivors of the deceased or punish the negligent party. 

It’s important to have a lawyer to guide you through the process and take care of you and your family’s interests.

How Do I Choose A Wrongful Death Lawyer?

If you are in a situation where you have to file for a wrongful death lawsuit, choosing the right lawyer may entail some important considerations.

Experience and Expertise in Wrongful Death Cases

You would prefer to talk to a lawyer who knows what they’re talking about. 

An experienced wrongful death lawsuit attorney will answer all your questions and concerns. You will get a clear picture of what you can expect from the legal process.


Track Record

You can ask around to know what the law firm’s track record is on settlements and trials of wrongful death lawsuits. 

You are taking legal action against the negligent party because you want the death of a loved one to have some meaningful impact. 

Legal Costs

Before signing up a lawyer to take on your case, you have should make sure you understand how your attorney bills and how much it will cost you to file a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Ask cost-relevant questions and demand for all the expected and unexpected costs.

Most Attorneys will work wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency basis, meaning they will take a percentage of the final payout of the lawsuit as their earnings. This approach allows law firms to front the costs of expensive litigation and help you maximize your recovery. 

How Long Does it Take to Get Paid In a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The resolution of wrongful death claims will depend on a lot of things (e.g., the time needed to investigate the cause of wrongful death). 

A thorough investigation usually takes a long time to establish who was responsible for someone’s death. The case may also require expert opinions which may delay the proceedings.

But when responsibility for death or neglect is established beyond reasonable doubt, the case may not even go to trial and may be settled out of court quickly. 

If your lawsuit ends up going to trial, it could take much longer to obtain a money judgement since appeals are quite common in these cases.

The average wrongful death lawsuit can take anywhere between one and four years.

Deakle-Johnson Law Firm is Here to Help

You need the help of an experienced, wrongful death lawyer to guide you through the process and help you to obtain the compensation you are entitled to. 

Give us a call today!