A wrongful death lawsuit is filed against a person or a party responsible for the death of another individual. Either the death of the person is intentional or not, the person’s family or decedent is entitled to file a wrongful death claim. A criminal trial will be held by the court which will determine if the family will receive damages or compensation for their loss of companionship, pain and suffering, lost wages, inheritance, and other expenses needed during the death.
Assess the impact of the death
First, the family must prove that the decedent died because of someone else’s negligence or intention. To back this up, they should assess how they are impacted by the loss. Proofs are needed to have a solid case. The impact can be measured by how the family is affected by the loss – financial instability, pain and suffering because of the loss, etc.
Statute of limitation of wrongful death cases
The court will disregard a claim that is filed way beyond the statute of limitation. Statute of limitation varies depending on your state or country. The cause of the wrongful death can also be a factor for the statute of limitations in some US states. Maine, for example, has a statute of limitation of 2 years after the loss except in cases of death caused by medical malpractice which bring the limitation to 3 years. In Alabama, the statute of limitation for wrongful death is also 2 years. Filing a lawsuit right after the loss is the best way to not lose any more evidence that can back the case up,
Authorized person to file the lawsuit
Only an authorized person can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. If the decedent was married, his or her spouse should file the lawsuit. If the spouse was out of the picture, his or her children are the next to be authorized. In case the decedent isn’t married and has no children, the closest blood-related kin is the one who can file the claim.
The compensation that you can collect
The amount of compensation that the family can receive depends on the damages caused by the wrongful death. This is mostly financial compensation in return for the pain and suffering the family has to endure and the financial loss they had after the death.
Filing the wrongful death lawsuit
Although it is legal for an individual to file a lawsuit on his own, it is still advisable for anyone to get a lawyer to assist you. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is a tedious process – not to mention the litigation. Letting a lawyer handle everything for you help you focus on grieving and moving on from your loss. A lawyer can handle the negotiation for you, making sure that you’re settling with the amount of compensation that you deserve. All you need to do now is find the right lawyer for you. If you’re from Oklahoma, Cain Law Office has attorneys that could assist you in filing a wrongful death claim.