When a person passes away, it can be very difficult for their loved ones that are left behind. If his or her death was caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person, the remaining family members may want to file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive compensation for their loss.
Wrongful death may occur in serious motor vehicle accidents, bicycle, truck and motorcycle accidents and other similar situations.
There are several elements that must be demonstrated to prove wrongful death. There must have been a death of a human being, caused by another person’s negligence or his or her intent to cause harm, there must be surviving family members who are suffering monetary harm because of the death and there must be a personal representative appointed to the deceased person’s estate.
A wrongful death lawsuit may only be brought by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.
Financial injury is the main measure of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. These injuries may include loss of support, medical expenses and funeral expenses, among others.
In determining the amount to award, the court will consider several factors about the deceased person. This includes his or her age, earning capacity, life expectancy and health condition. The court may also consider loss of income and loss of parental guidance if the deceased person had dependents.
Damages may also be available in a wrongful death action that involves an elderly person or a child, however the recovery may be limited in these circumstances.
If family members have questions about wrongful death and would like to pursue a claim, an experienced attorney can help.