If a loved one died due to someone else's negligence or misconduct, you may be able to sue them for compensation. Contact the Kishish Law Group today for a free and confidential consultation by completing our contact form or calling us toll free at 1 (888) 402-5552.
When a loved one dies due to another person's action or failure to act responsibly, you can file a "wrongful death" lawsuit to recover damages suffered because of their death. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed in response to any misconduct resulting in the death of a family member. These kinds of claims can be filed against individuals, companies, or government agencies that acted intentionally or negligently to cause the death of your loved one. With a wrongful death lawsuit, you can recover lost wages and funeral expenses and be compensated for your suffering following the death of your loved one.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is claim made after a person dies due to the action or failure to act by another entity, like an individual person, company, or government agency. These actions or inactions can be intentional, meaning the defendant purposefully caused the death, or negligent, meaning the defendant failed to meet a legal standard of care. Common wrongful death suits can involve, but are not limited to:
- Transportation accidents, especially those involving drunk or distracted drivers
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous workplace conditions
- Using a defective or mislabeled product, including consumer products, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
The people that can sue after a wrongful death vary from state to state. Eligible people may include:
- Immediate family. Immediate family of the deceased, like spouses and children, can sue in all states.
- Distant family members. In some states, more distant relatives like siblings or grandparents may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Domestic partners or financial dependents. In some states, domestic partners or those financially dependent on the deceased may be able to file a lawsuit.
- Anyone financially affected by the death. A few states allow anyone who was affected financially by the wrongful death to make a claim.
It is important to speak to a lawyer to figure out whether you are eligible to file for a wrongful death lawsuit in your state.
Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit after a criminal case?
Yes. Civil wrongful death lawsuits commonly follow criminal trials. If the person or organization in question is found criminally responsible for causing your loved one's death, it is more likely that you will receive a favorable settlement or verdict in a civil wrongful death lawsuit.
However, a not guilty verdict in a criminal trial does not absolve the defendant of responsibility for your loved one's death. A criminal trial requires a high burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt) to show guilt and involves a different set of laws. A civil trial requires a much lower burden of proof (a "preponderance of evidence"), so you may receive compensation even if the defendant is found not guilty in a criminal trial.
Do I have a wrongful death case?
Working with a lawyer can help you determine whether you have a wrongful death case worth pursuing. Oftentimes wrongful death cases can involve many parties that had some responsibility in your loved one's death. We can help you identify all of the relevant defendants and make sure you receive the compensation that you deserve. In suits involving insurance companies, it is especially important to have a lawyer represent your interests. Insurance companies are businesses that want to settle lawsuits for as little as possible. We'll help you get the money you're entitled to.
The experienced lawyers at the Kishish Law Group can walk you through the legal process and guide your decision-making process following the death of your loved one. We offer free and confidential case evaluations, and we don't get paid until you do. Contact one of our lawyers today by completing our contact form or calling us toll free at 1 (888) 402-5552.