Wrongful death means taking the life of a person as a result of negligence or by will. If a person is killed due to these reasons, the victim’s family (heirs and beneficiaries) can file a wrongful death case against those responsible for the death. Although the rules differ from state to state, the one thing that remains common is that the responsible person can be sued. According to personal injury attorney Lake Charles an action for wrongful death can be taken for both intentional and unintentional deaths.
A blow to the head with an intention to cause a deadly injury, an automobile accident due to negligence, and even if a person keeps his pool open when it’s not permitted leading to a child drowning in it can all be considered wrongful deaths. And the blame for wrongful death can only be put if the victim was alive— no one can be sued for the death of an unborn fetus. However, that same person can be sued if the child dies a little while after being born due to negligence.
Here are some most important facts about wrongful death:
- The person who can sue someone for wrongful death differs according to state statutes. Some states provide recovery for surviving spouses, children, or next of kin. Some states only allow minor children to sue for the wrongful death of their parents. On the other hand, some states preclude parents from suing if their child was financially independent.
- No family member can sue another family member in any case. This doctrine is known as ‘family immunity’ and was introduced to protect and promote family harmony. Another important aspect is to prevent family members from defrauding an insurance company. Some states allow an adult child to sue a parent but do not allow a minor to do so and vice versa.
- If you want to sue the state or the government, it can only be done if the state has suspended the sovereign immunity (a doctrine that prevents lawsuits fronting the government). Many states scrapped this rule but even today if someone dies due to negligence at a government-owned area (such as a municipality pool), the family members can sue the city.
- There is a particular time period (30, 60, or 90 days) depending on the state and if a claim is made after that, it precludes the possibility to file a lawsuit. However, you can take the help of a personal injury attorney Lake Charles based for further help.
- If you are suing someone for wrongful death, you must be able to prove that their actions and/or omissions were the main reason behind the decedent’s death. This should prove that the defendant’s wrong and negligent actions created a series of events that led to the decedent’s death.
- Determining the amount to pay in damages in cases of wrongful death takes into account various things. The salary earned by the decedent is multiplied by the number of years he/she could have worked for, while also keeping in mind other factors is a very important factor. Other attributes such as life expectancy, age, gender, and mental & physical health are all taken into consideration. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering are also taken care of.
A wrongful death claim can be made only if a person has a valid personal injury claim and is killed as a result of wrongful acts and this can appear in cases where:
- A person is intentionally killed
- If a victim dies due to medical malpractice/negligence
- Car accidents involving negligence
In case of the death of a loved one which was caused by negligence or malpractice of someone else, you are entitled to file a lawsuit against those responsible. According to personal injury attorney Lake Charles, there is a time crunch and an increasing number of deadlines during the pandemic. Thus, it is best to discuss your legal rights with an attorney as soon as possible!