Wrongful deaths happen more often than we may realize. Until we’re in the position of filing a wrongful death claim, however, we also may not realize how difficult they can be to win.
For example, a recent study found that medical errors are the third-leading cause of deaths in America. Yet, you won’t see all of those families successfully proving wrongful death.
How do wrongful death claims work? How can you boost your odds of receiving a wrongful death settlement?
Read on to find out everything you need to know about filing a wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Can anyone who knew the victim file a wrongful death claim? The simple answer is no.
Each state has its own laws regarding who can file a wrongful death claim. However, most states do require a direct relative to take care of this step. For example, the adult child of a parent, the spouse, or the parent is most likely to be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?
How you prove wrongful death can vary based on the types of wrongful death that are recognized by law. For example, a wrongful death caused by medical error will require proof that the medical professional owed the victim duty of care. A wrongful death caused by a car accident, however, does not require this same proof.
In any case, you must demonstrate that the defendant’s negligence or misconduct led to the death of your loved one. You must also prove that the loss of your loved one has led to undue financial strain for you and other family members. This can relate to things like funeral expenses but also to the loss of income your loved one was bringing in.
Should You Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Some people assume that in civil court, it’s reasonable to self-represent. Is this actually reasonable?
When you’re filing a wrongful death claim, your first step should always be to hire a wrongful death lawyer. This is in part due to the fact that wrongful death laws aren’t always intuitive. Having an expert in your corner is crucial.
Another reason that you should always work with a wrongful death lawyer is that the defendant most likely will, too. During the discovery process, the defendant’s team will compile evidence that their client isn’t at fault. Without your own lawyer to counteract that evidence, it’s hard to win the lawsuit.
Get the Help You Need to Receive a Wrongful Death Settlement
When you’ve lost a loved one to wrongful death, the natural next step is to file a wrongful death claim. Working with an experienced lawyer is always the way to go in these situations. Get the help and guidance you need to win a wrongful death settlement.
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