Wrongful deaths are a result of someone or some company being negligent. For the death to be considered “wrongful” something had too be done that a reasonable person would not have done under the same circumstances. A wrongful death can also be the result of someone's failure to do something in a situation that a reasonable person would have done.
As with many legal cases, wrongful death lawsuits are often confusing and difficult to prove. Besides seeking out representation that is experienced in this type of case, you will want to become as familiar on the subject as you can.
Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about wrongful death lawsuits:
1. Who can file a wrongful death case?
In most instances, only the surviving spouse and children are eligible to seek wrongful death damages. However, if there are extended family members, such as parents, who depended upon the deceased for financial survival, the courts may allow them to also file as part of the suit.
2. Do all states have the same wrongful death laws?
No. Every state has its own sets of laws regarding what constitutes a wrongful death and what the statute of limitations is regarding filing a suit. This is one of the reasons it is important to find someone who knows the laws in the state you plan to file a case. In some cases, you can decide between two states and it is important to know the laws in both to best cover your interests.
3. What types of damages are covered in a wrongful death suit?
The list of damages you can include in your claim are:
*Loss of future income
*Mental and emotional duress
*Loss of companionship/security
*Medical and funeral expenses
4. Is there a time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit?
Yes. Every state has a different schedule that they follow so it is important that a case be filed as soon as possible. While some states may take into account certain circumstances that delay the filing, your chances of filing a successful case is better served with an early filing.
5. What are the main qualities I should look for in representation for a wrongful death lawsuit?
There are four main qualities you should make sure any legal representative you hire possesses.
*Resources – Does he have what he needs to present your case in the best possible light. Does he have the information he needs, or at least the contacts to get the information he needs?
*Experience – Wrongful death suits can be tricky. A lawyer who has experience in, or specializes in, this type of litigation is important.
*Positive Results – Experience is only half the equation. Look for a lawyer that has a history of successful cases behind him or her. This is a good indication of the kind of skills available to the lawyer.
*Dedication – You don't want to be “just a case.” Look for a lawyer who will take the time and effort to understand your circumstances and is willing to work hard for you.
Recently lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence? Contact a wrongful death attorney Orange County today for a free consultation. Call (800) 838-6644 to get help now.