Losing a loved one can be an immensely painful ordeal. During this trying time, most people get overwhelmed by multiple responsibilities and emotions. The wrongful death of a person is usually the result of the negligence or intentional action of some other party. Even though filing a claim for wrongful death must be the last thing on your mind, it’s important to know about the options you have at your disposal.
The various expenses that are incurred at such an unfortunate time range from medical bills to funerals. Even the earning capacity of the deceased gets compromised, which leads to a greater financial strain on the already grieving family members. You need to know how to proceed in a situation like this which is why we will be looking at everything that you need to know about filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
1. Be Aware of Local Laws
Every part of the world is different and the laws applicable are not universally the same. Who can sue and who can’t largely depend on the laws that prevail in your area. While some states in the USA like Texas might allow an adult child to file a claim in the event of their parent’s death, some other states do not have any such provision for children above 18-years of age. This is why you need to be familiar with the local laws before proceeding to take action.
If you do the necessary research then it saves a lot of your valuable time as well, the time that you could be investing in the ceremonies or grieving. It’s also good to know the time period during which your claims will be entertained, some states like Texas entertain such claims up until 2 years from the date of death, while in your state it might be lower or higher.
2. Get Professional Help
We realize that losing a loved one can take its toll on the mentality of a person. This means that you will already be exhausted from various feelings and emotions, planning a proper course of action for filing a lawsuit might become a herculean task. This is why it is often advised to seek professionals who can help you out.
A good law firm or a well-established advocate will be able to help you make better decisions. The lawyers at https://www.herrmanandherrman.com/san-antonio-personal-injury-lawyer/wrongful-death-attorney/ are well-versed with similar wrongful death lawsuits and the knowledge of an expert is very useful in these cases. You might not know what paperwork is needed or even how to lodge a case, but if you take some outside help from experts then it will make this painful time a little bit easier for you.
3. Identify the Damages
One of the most important steps in filing a claim against the defendant is to identify the damages that you might be eligible to receive the compensation for. There are generally 2 types of damages that you can file for.
The first one covers all the damages owed to the deceased from the time of death. This includes physical pain, mental anguish, medical expenditure, funeral expenditure, and much more.
The second one covers all the losses borne by the surviving family members due to the wrongful death. These encompass the loss of earning capacity, loss of support, loss of companionship, loss of inheritance, and mental and emotional angst.
Some places like Texas also offer exemplary damages which are intended to set an example for others to remember. These damages are offered to warn others of not repeating the same action that resulted in the death of the victim.
4. Proving Negligence
One of the main components of the claim that you’ll be making for wrongful death is negligence by the defendant. The negligent action means that some action was taken by the defendant that was inappropriate and led to the demise of the victim. The plaintiff is usually burdened with the same burden of proof that the victim would have if they were still alive.
This means that the plaintiff will have to prove the defendant was directly responsible for the death of the victim. This can even include the duty of care that the defendant owed to the deceased and the failure to carry it out led to the victim’s early death.
These are some of the basics that you will need to know about while going in for a wrongful death claim. Even though this is probably the most difficult time of your life, you still need to go through with the legal action to ensure your family’s sustenance. The damages that you will be able to recover from this lawsuit will go a long way in ensuring that your family does not face a financial crisis due to the loss of your loved one. If the defendant is found to be at fault then you can have one less thing to worry about so that you can focus on your goodbyes and emotional recovery.