Accidents occur, no matter how careful we are in everything we do. At times, we or the people we know fall victim to injuries caused by the negligence – intentional or not – of other people. Such accidents could be slip, trip, or fall and are usually classified as a tort incident.
In such cases, victims are advised to hire a reliable personal injury attorney in Salt Lake City or wherever the accident happened. By having such legal representation, victims of tort can file and claim for damages for the injuries that they incurred once the court finds the defendant liable under applicable tort law.
However, there are worst-case scenarios when individuals die as a result of other peoples’ direct or indirect tortious actions. These incidents usually fall under wrongful deaths that are typically filed by the deceased’s immediate family members, as well as administrators or executors.
If your relative happens to be a victim of wrongful death, it is upon you to file a civil lawsuit against the party that caused your loved one’s death. Here are some of the essential things that you must keep in mind:
You must establish that the demise falls under the wrongful death category
Either based on your discernment, the police investigation, or the determination of your lawyer, it’s critical to establish that the incident falls under the wrongful death category. Wrongful deaths may occur in any of the following circumstances:
- Medical malpractice
- Infliction of bodily harm
- Vehicle accidents as a result of the other party’s negligence
- Arrests made by law enforcers
- Workplace deaths with negligence on the part of employers
You must hire a competent lawyer
Notice that the operative word is ‘must,’ so it’s a non-negotiable aspect of your quest for justice for your deceased loved one. Be sure to hire a lawyer who is not only competent but also has a solid reputation and track record of handling wrongful death cases. A good lawyer could help build up your case and ensure that not only will you get justice for the deceased but also the appropriate damages due.
You may be entitled to a variety of compensations
As part of the immediate family, you are entitled to receive payments for any of the following damages:
- Pain and suffering before death
- Burial and funeral
- Inheritance loss
- Loss of expected income
- Consortium loss
Parties who may file a wrongful death claim
While the parties who may file wrongful death cases vary across states, here are the usual parties who may do so:
- Romantic partners
- Parents of a minor victim
- Minor children
- Executors/administrators of the deceased
- Extended relatives (aunts, uncles, grandparents)
Again, note that parties who are allowed by law to file for a wrongful death claim may vary from state to state. Check with your lawyer to determine if you are legally authorized to act as a plaintiff for the lawsuit.
Parties who may be sued for wrongful deaths
Finally, these are parties who may be held liable for wrongful death:
- The driver of the vehicle whose negligence caused the accident
- The employer who failed to exercise the duty of care that caused the employee’s death
- Any party who willfully or through negligence caused the bodily harm that led to the person’s death
- The medical practitioner who caused the death
- The law enforcer who made the arrest that led to the demise of the person under forceful means not warranted by law
With these guides, you should be able to navigate the legal maze of your wrongful death claim with the help of your chosen lawyer.