When a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, it is considered a wrongful death. If a person has lost a loved one in such a manner, one has to wonder what legal options are available to remedy their pain. The first step is to contact a wrongful death lawyer to discuss the case. The lawyer will be able to tell the client whether there is a valid claim and what the next steps should be.
To prove that someone is responsible for wrongful death, the client must show that the defendant was negligent. It could be as simple as texting while driving and causing a car accident. It could also be more serious, like a doctor prescribing the wrong medication. Once the client gathers all the evidence, the wrongful death lawyer will file a lawsuit on the plaintiff’s behalf. It will allow them to collect damages from the responsible party. These damages can include items such as funeral expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If a person has lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, it is only fair that the aggrieved should not have to bear the financial burden alone. Contact a wrongful death lawyer today to discuss the case and get started on the road to justice.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
There are four main types of wrongful death cases: medical malpractice; car accidents; product liability; and workplace accidents. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical professional negligently treats a patient, causing the patient’s death. To succeed in a medical malpractice wrongful death case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant deviated from the standard of care, that the deviation was the cause of the decedent’s death, and that the death resulted in damages.
Car accidents are the leading cause of wrongful death in Illinois. To succeed in a car accident wrongful death case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was negligent in operating the vehicle, that the negligence was the cause of the decedent’s death, and that the death resulted in damages. Product liability occurs when a defective product causes the death of a consumer. To succeed in a product liability wrongful death case, the plaintiff must show that the product was defective, that the defect was the cause of the decedent’s death, and that the death resulted in damages.
Workplace accidents occur when an employee is killed on the job due to the employer’s negligence. To succeed in a workplace accident wrongful death case, the plaintiff must show that the employer was negligent in providing a safe work environment, that the negligence was the cause of the decedent’s death, and that the death resulted in damages. Selecting a good wrongful death lawyer sets the precedent that ultimately decides the probability of success of the client’s case.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
In a wrongful death case, damages are typically awarded to the surviving family members of the deceased victim. These damages are meant to compensate the family for their loss and can include economic and non-economic damages.
The economic damage has a specific monetary value, such as funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and benefits, and medical expenses. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify but can include loss of companionship, pain, suffering, and emotional distress. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are designed to punish the wrongdoer and discourage similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages can be substantial but are rarely awarded in wrongful death cases unless the client has an excellent wrongful death lawyer who can leverage such a judgment from the judges.
The number of damages awarded in a wrongful death case will depend on several factors, including the age of the deceased, their relationship to the surviving family members, the financial impact of the death, and the circumstances surrounding the death.
Choosing a Wrongful Death Lawyer
When a client loses a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, one feels a range of emotions, including shock, sadness, and anger. The client might want to pursue a wrongful death claim if the death was caused by another person’s recklessness or intentional actions. This type of lawsuit can be complex and choosing a wrongful death lawyer with the experience and resources to help the client navigate the legal process is essential.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a wrongful death lawyer. First, the client wants to ensure the lawyer has experience handling similar cases, as historically, these cases have proven to be difficult. It is thus crucial to ask about the lawyer’s success rate in wrongful death lawsuits and whether they have experience with the specific type of death the client is seeking compensation for, such as medical malpractice or a car accident.
Choosing a lawyer who makes the client feel comfortable is also important. It is a difficult time, and the client needs to be able to trust the lawyer. Ensure the client feels like they can communicate openly with the lawyer and are responsive to the client’s questions and concerns. Finally, consider the resources of the law firm. If the plaintiff’s case is complex or requires a lot of resources, the client may want to choose a more prominent law firm. A larger law firm will likely have more resources to devote to the client’s case, such as investigators and expert witnesses.
No one ever wants to face the loss of a loved one. It is not suitable for the client to suffer both the loss of a loved one resulting from an individual’s recklessness and the pain of losing a case to the same negligent individual. But if someone else’s negligence caused the death, an individual may get to pursue a wrongful death claim. When choosing a wrongful death lawyer, it’s essential to consider the lawyer’s experience, the client’s comfort level with the lawyer, and the law firm’s resources.