What to Know about Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough without having to deal with a wrongful death lawsuit. These take place due to someone’s death either caused by negligence or through intentional harm. Wrongful death claims allow the estate of the deceased person to file a lawsuit against the party who is legally liable for the death. Robinson, Seiler, Anderson & Fife, LC.’s personal injury attorneys in Provo can help walk you through the process of a wrongful death lawsuit. Below are some facts to help you to get a better understanding of what is involved in the process.
When you can file for a Wrongful Death Claim
There are specific instances in which you can file for a wrongful death claim. It usually occurs as the result of either negligence or an intentional harmful act on the part of the defendant. This can occur in a variety of situations, including:
- When the victim is intentionally killed
- When the victim dies as a result of medical malpractice
- Car accident fatalities involving negligence
These are just a few examples of what can qualify as a wrongful death claim. Talking with the personal injury attorneys at Robinson, Seiler, Anderson & Fife, LC. in Provo can help you to determine if you have a substantial case.
Evidence Needed in a Case
When it comes to proving negligence in a wrongful death case you must prove that the defendant owed the decedent a duty of “due care,” also meaning it is essentially a duty to do something to keep another person safe, or refrain from doing something that would harm another person. The plaintiff must next prove that the breach of duty actually caused the decedent’s harm. The plaintiff then must prove that the decedent actually suffered damages. In a wrongful death case, if breach of duty and causation exist, damages will be presumed for obvious reasons (i.e. the injured person was killed).
Damages in a wrongful death claim — categories of losses for which a survivor might be able to receive compensation — include:
- the deceased person’s pre-death pain and suffering – called a survival claim in a wrongful death case.
- the medical costs that the deceased victim incurred as a result of the injury prior to death
- funeral and burial costs
- loss of the deceased person’s expected income
- loss of any inheritance as a result of the death
- value of the services that the deceased would have provided
- loss of care, guidance, and nurturing that the deceased would have provided
- loss of love and companionship, and
- loss of consortium.