Wrongful Death and Surviving Family Members

The death of someone you love is one of the most traumatic experiences that anybody can go through. And the grief can become unbearable if you realize that someone may have been at fault for what happened, and that your loved one would still be here if not for another’s misconduct. There are certain family members who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, in which the intention is to provide compensation for surviving family members who relied on the deceased financially and emotionally. 

The definition of a wrongful death refers to any person’s passing that was caused by another’s recklessness, negligence, or purposeful misconduct. A wrongful death case is much like a personal injury claim, the only difference is that since the victim has passed, the surviving family members have to file a lawsuit in which the damages are designed to compensate them instead of the victim. A wrongful death lawsuit works by allowing survivors to pursue compensation in court for what happened. A successful claim can hold the offender responsible for their wrongful act, provide monetary support for the deceased victim’s family, and deter others from repeating the offender’s wrongful conduct in the future.

There are many events that can trigger wrongful death lawsuits being filed, such as criminal assaults, road accidents, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, birth injuries, and more. Most wrongful death claims are resolved and settled before trial, but that doesn’t mean a lawsuit does not have to be filed. Wrongful death settlements can be reached after legal action is taken as evidence can be uncovered during the pretrial discovery. 

The process of a wrongful death lawsuit entails investigation, negotiation, and the phases of trial. To increase your chances of a verdict that you want out of the wrongful death suit, your legal team has to investigate further to gather evidence that supports your claims about what happened. There are elements that must be proven in the wrongful death case, which have been listed as follows:

  • The offender caused the victim’s death through misconduct (recklessness, negligence, or intentional misconduct)
  • The offender’s wrongful act would have entitled the victim to a personal injury lawsuit against them
  • The victim left behind dependents, children, or surviving beneficiaries
  • The victim’s fatality resulted in monetary damages 

Many people wonder how long a wrongful death lawsuit will take to conclude. But as an Indianapolis, IN wrongful death lawyer from Ward & Ward Law Firm explains, the answer to that will depend on the nature of the offense, the contributing factors of the death, and other variables. Instead of wondering whether you have a case for a loved one taken too soon, consider speaking with a lawyer near you who can answer your questions and finally get you the information you need to decide how to move forward.