What Does a Wrongful Death Lawyer Do?

Duluth Wrongful Death Lawyer handles a lot of things, including researching and finding liability, filing lawsuits, and negotiating with insurance companies to get the family a fair settlement. They also help ease the pain of grieving family members.

A wrongful death suit can be brought by the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate. A surviving spouse, child or parent can also bring it.

The loss of a loved one can cause emotional trauma and financial losses for survivors. A wrongful death claim seeks compensation for these damages.

A variety of events, including motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and workplace injuries, can cause wrongful deaths. Our wrongful death lawyers can help you pursue compensation regardless of the circumstances.

Our team will investigate your case and gather evidence to support your claims. This can include eyewitness testimony, photographs or video recordings, and expert testimony. Experts in accident reconstruction or other fields may be able to provide insight into what happened and why. We can also use experts to help you calculate your losses.

Economic damages may be awarded to surviving family members for funeral and burial expenses, lost income, the value of household services that the deceased person would have provided, and more. These are called pecuniary damages and are the main component of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Noneconomic damages may also be awarded for the loss of companionship, love, guidance, and care that a deceased person provided to their loved ones. For example, a 77-year-old woman who died after spending 13 days in a nursing home was awarded $1 million for her death due to the negligence of the nursing staff who allowed a whole clam to be stuck in her throat.

Wrongful death suits can also include punitive damages, which are intended to punish the wrongdoer for their egregious conduct. Punitive damages are rare and are generally limited by state law.

A jury will decide the amount of damages to award in a wrongful death case. However, a judge can adjust the jury’s decision for various reasons. For example, if the decedent regularly squandered their earnings, the court may reduce the amount of economic damages awarded to surviving family members.

Wrongful death cases are complicated and require the attention of an experienced attorney. An attorney who has experience in handling wrongful death cases will have the skills and knowledge needed to obtain fair compensation for your loss. In addition, a knowledgeable attorney will have a track record of successful client outcomes and will communicate clearly and frequently with clients about the progress of their cases.

Statute of Limitations

Each state sets its own statute of limitations for different types of lawsuits, including wrongful death claims. This time limit, called the statute of limitations, is designed to ensure that legal proceedings are not brought too long after a tragedy occurs and that witness testimony and other evidence does not become stale. It also protects defendants from the burden of having to defend a case years after an incident has occurred.

For wrongful death claims, the standard statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. However, it is important to consult a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible so that they can review the specific laws and exceptions that may apply to your situation.

If you miss this deadline, you will forever forfeit your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive monetary compensation for your loss. Our wrongful death attorneys understand the statutory timelines that apply to your case and will ensure that your claim is filed within the appropriate window.

Typically, survivors of a wrongful death can recover economic damages such as medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, and other financial losses and costs. They can also seek non-economic damages such as grief, mental distress, and loss of companionship. Our wrongful death lawyers can help you calculate all of the relevant damages and submit proof that supports your claim for fair compensation.

In addition to establishing the legal elements of your claim, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing caused your loved one’s death. We have an in-depth understanding of the standards for causation and can establish a strong connection between the victim’s death and the defendant’s actions or lack thereof.

If your wrongful death claim involves a public entity or government employee, you must comply with special requirements and shorter deadlines. Our wrongful death attorneys are familiar with the rules and regulations that apply to these cases and can help you navigate the complex process.

Gathering Evidence

The death of a loved one is an incredibly emotional time, especially when their untimely passing was caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness. The wrongful death law allows surviving family members to recover damages from the party responsible for their loss by filing a civil lawsuit against them. While money can never make up for the death of a loved one, a successful wrongful death claim can help ease some of the financial hardships that are unavoidable.

When it comes to proving the cause of someone’s wrongful death, attorneys must gather a wide range of evidence. This can include physical proof, eyewitness testimonies, medical records, and more. A Houston wrongful death lawyer will also work with expert witnesses to compare the defendant’s actions to industry standards, regulations, and best practices. This is an important step to prove that the defendant’s actions fell short of this standard and directly contributed to your loved one’s death.

Witness testimonies are particularly powerful in wrongful death cases. These statements can provide crucial details that the victim’s family may not have thought about. For example, an eyewitness who witnessed the accident from a different angle may be able to provide a new perspective of the incident that was missed by the plaintiff’s legal team.

Other forms of physical proof can be just as vital, such as photographs and videos. These can show the exact moment when your loved one was injured and even show how they died.

Finally, a wrongful death case requires establishing the claimant’s entitlement to damages. This usually involves establishing their relation to the deceased and showing that they suffered financial hardship due to their loved one’s death. Some of the most common types of damages are funeral expenses, lost income, and emotional distress.

However, it is important to note that not all family members can file a wrongful death claim. The survivors must have a close relationship to the deceased and be dependent on them for support, such as domestic or life partners, children, putative spouses, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and more.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Wrongful death lawsuits allow survivors to recover financial damages in the event of an accident that caused a loved one’s untimely and unnecessary death. Although no amount of money can take away the grief and loss that accompanies the unexpected death of a family member, these payments help to alleviate the unforeseen costs that may arise in the aftermath of the tragic incident.

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action, not a criminal prosecution, and the standard of proof is lower than that required in a criminal case for murder or manslaughter. A successful wrongful death claim can compensate the victim’s survivors for their losses, and it can also send a message to those who were negligent in the tragedy that they will be held accountable.

When determining the value of a wrongful death case, an attorney will take into account a variety of factors. These include the financial loss of the victim to the surviving family members, such as funeral expenses and medical bills. The lawyer will also consider the loss of love, companionship, and comfort that a victim’s absence has caused to their family members. In addition to these economic damages, the deceased’s surviving family may be entitled to compensation for mental pain and anguish.

Depending on the laws in a particular state, a wrongful death claim can be filed by certain surviving family members or by a representative of the deceased’s estate. The representative is typically the executor of the deceased person’s estate.

While a wrongful death suit can be filed against any individual or company that has negligently or recklessly contributed to a person’s death, some types of defendants are more likely to be found liable than others. This includes individuals who are employed by governmental agencies or entities that operate commercial or private businesses, as well as doctors and nurses who work at hospitals.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help victims to understand their rights and identify those who should be held accountable. They will review the facts of the case and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that a fair settlement is reached. If no settlement is reached, a wrongful death attorney can fight to have the case tried in court to obtain justice for their clients.