Today, most plaintiffs can recover compensation from the party(ies) responsible for the wrongful death of their loved one. However, historically, there often was no recourse for people who lost loved ones in accidents or because of another person’s negligence.
Although state legislators have enacted laws to offer recourse for family members who have lost a loved one, these protections vary greatly from state to state. A wrongful death lawyer can help you understand the laws that are applicable in each state.
Requirements for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The vast majority of states share some common requirements to bring a lawsuit, which include:
- The wrongful act of another person or entity must have caused the death.
- A person with legal standing must file a lawsuit as a result. Spouses, children, and parents are most often eligible to make a claim.
When pursuing a wrongful death claim, the amount and type of compensation received depends largely on the details of the case and the state in which the claim was filed.
Damages (awarded compensation) can be calculated in a variety of ways. Some states require the defendant to pay the plaintiff (the person bringing the case) money that the loved one would have earned had they not passed away. Other states try to calculate the monetary value of the love, companionship and other intangible benefits the lost loved one provided. In some special cases, further damages may be awarded to the plaintiff in order to punish the defendant for particularly bad conduct.
No one should have to go through the burden of a lawsuit alone. Reaching out to a skilled personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience with wrongful death cases can provide much needed help and support. Contact a wrongful death attorney at The Perecman Firm, PLLC today to begin talking about your situation and ensure that your rights are protected.