Wrongful death suits have certain legal intricacies that can be difficult to navigate. Learn why seeking expert legal guidance is essential to your rights.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a form of legal action that seeks to hold individuals or entities accountable for their part in the untimely loss of a loved one due to their negligence, misconduct, or any wrongful acts.
Beyond the legal complexities, such lawsuits inflict a heavy emotional toll on families. This is only amplified with the challenges of pursuing justice in an already financially uncertain and expensive time.
The financial repercussions of losing a family member can be overwhelming, often including medical bills and expenses, funeral expenses and burial expenses, and the loss of financial support. Different types of damages and complex legal proceedings may further complicate the process, making it all the more stressful. That’s where the experienced legal guidance of Frantz Law Group comes into play.
At Frantz Law Group, we fully understand the multifaceted nature of wrongful death lawsuits. With over 44 years of experience, we have provided compassionate support and expert representation for families navigating the complexities of wrongful death claims.
In this article, we will review the essential aspects of wrongful death lawsuits, including who can sue, who can be sued, the types of damages involved, and the critical role of seeking professional help.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal claim and action brought forth by the surviving family members or beneficiaries of a deceased individual who lost their life due to an incident steeped in negligence or sometimes even intentional harm of another person or entity.
This type of lawsuit aims to seek justice and compensation for the emotional, financial, and practical losses suffered by the surviving family members as a result of the victim’s death.
Wrongful death lawsuits often pursue compensation beyond financial losses but also for intangible damages like emotional pain, grief, loss of companionship, and the void left behind by the loved one’s passing.
Different Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Let’s go into more detail about areas where wrongful death lawsuits can apply:
- Medical Malpractice: If a medical professional’s negligence leads to a patient’s death, the family can seek legal action. In fact, an estimated 98,000 Americans die a year from medical malpractice.
- Automobile Accidents: If a loved one dies in a car accident or motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, the surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the responsible party accountable. This accounts for around 45,000 deaths a year.
- Workplace Accidents: This applies in cases where a person’s death is the result of unsafe working conditions or employer negligence. For example, construction accidents at the workplace.
- Product Liability: If a defective product causes fatal injuries, the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may be held accountable in a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Criminal Behavior: In some instances, a criminal act may result in the victim’s death. While criminal charges are pursued separately, surviving family members may also file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation from the responsible party.
- Other Specific Cases: Depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances, wrongful death lawsuits may arise from specific scenarios such as nursing home negligence, construction accidents, aviation incidents, and more.
Wrongful death cases are complex and require a thorough understanding of legal nuances. At Frantz Law Group, our experienced wrongful death lawyers are well-versed in various types of cases and are dedicated to providing the best support to families seeking justice.
Who Can Sue in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The concept of standing refers to the individuals who have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to court. Not everyone has the legal standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit claim.
Generally, the following parties may have the legal standing to sue in a wrongful death case:
- Spouses: The surviving spouse of the deceased victim is usually the primary individual with the right to bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Children: If the deceased had children, they also have the legal standing to file a lawsuit. They often seek compensation for the loss of parental guidance, financial support, and emotional distress.
- Parents: This applies in cases where the deceased was a minor or financially supporting their parents.
- Dependents and Beneficiaries: Individuals who were financially dependent on the deceased person, including stepchildren, may also have a standing to file a wrongful death claim.
- Personal Representatives: In certain situations, a personal representative or executor may already be named for the decedent’s estate. They could also be tasked with filing the lawsuit on behalf of surviving family members, pursuing the case, and distributing the damages awarded.
Remember that state law can vary, making who can sue change from state to state. If you’re unsure about your eligibility to file a claim, seek legal advice from an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Who Can Be Sued in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Depending on the specific circumstances, the following entities may be subject to legal action:
- Individuals: This refers to any member of the general public whose negligence or intentional actions contributed to the victim’s death. For example, property owners or drunk drivers, or any other individuals whose actions or omissions led to the fatal incident.
- Companies and Corporations: Businesses and corporations can be held liable in cases where their products, services, or actions played a role in causing the victim’s death. They are often involved in cases of product liability claims and even premises liability.
- Government Entities: In specific situations, government entities can be sued for wrongful death. These cases could involve government hospitals or other agencies contributing to the victim’s death.
- Healthcare Providers: This includes doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Medical malpractice cases are complex and require a high standard of proof, but with the right lawyer on your side, can be tackled and compensated for the medical expenses, personal injuries, and deaths incurred.
Keep in mind that the standard of proof in civil lawsuits is generally lower than in criminal cases. With the former, you require a preponderance of evidence rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Importance of Hiring an Attorney
Wrongful death cases can be a maze to navigate through and demand a thorough understanding of the law, comprehensive evidence gathering, and effective negotiation skills.
Hiring the right lawyer is crucial for these reasons because:
- Wrongful death cases involve intricate legal procedures, evidentiary requirements, and nuanced laws. An attorney with expertise in this area can better guide you through the process, ensuring your rights are protected every step of the way.
- Building a strong case requires collecting and presenting compelling evidence that establishes the liability of the accused and the extent of the damages caused. Only an experienced attorney can effectively collect these, from medical records to witness statements.
- Wrongful death cases often involve negotiations with insurance companies, opposing attorneys, and defendants. An experienced attorney can negotiate on your behalf to secure you the best possible wrongful death settlement.
At Frantz Law Group, we have a proven track record of successfully handling wrongful death cases. Our dedicated legal team understands the emotional toll these cases take on involved families and is committed to aggressively pursuing the financial compensation you deserve and the punitive damages to be inflicted.
If you or someone you know is facing the pain of losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, we’re here to help.
Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or intentional fault is an unimaginable hardship to bear. If you find yourself in this heart-wrenching situation, know that you don’t have to navigate it alone.
Our team of lawyers is here to provide the guidance and support you need during this difficult time. If you’re grappling with the aftermath of a wrongful death in your family or another loved one, we encourage you to take action and seek the legal representation you deserve.
You can do this by:
- Scheduling a free consultation and case evaluation
- Seeking the guidance of Frantz Law Group’s experienced wrongful death attorneys
- Securing the justice and financial support your family deserves
Ready to get started on your wrongful death action? Give us a call at our toll-free number, 855-735-5945. You can also fill out our online form to request a callback.