Frequently Asked Questions about Wrongful Death
It’s important to know more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit after someone you love dies because of another’s careless or reckless behavior. These are the 10 most common questions and answers from those who lost someone and are considering filing and wrongful death lawsuit.
What is a wrongful death claim?
Personal injury and wrongful death are very closely related. They both allow someone to demand compensation when someone else is negligent or omit results in another person’s injury.
When it comes to personal injury law, the law allows the injured victim to ask for compensation for his or her losses. The compensation is demanded by the responsible party. However, with wrongful death lawsuits, the victim who would normally file a personal injury claim is no longer alive. So accordingly, the wrongful death law, allows someone else to step into the deceased victim’s place, in order to seek compensation.
Am I eligible to file a wrongful death claim?
The answer to these questions depends on the specific law of the state. In most cases, in order to file a claim, you must be a personal representative to the deceased. This is usually the spouse, children or parent.
Do I have a wrongful death claim?
This all depends. Since the facts for each case are not identical, it’s hard to draw a line of what case is a wrongful death claim and what isn’t. That’s why it’s important to speak to a lawyer because he/she can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a wrongful death claim or not.
How can I file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Filing a wrongful death claim usually begins by determining if you’re eligible for a claim. In the event that you are eligible, you should start working with a wrongful death lawyer. There’s only a limited time in which you can file a wrongful death lawsuit set by the state’s statute of limitations. And because a skilled wrongful death lawyer should know the process inside and out, he will help you finalize and submit the claim within a given time frame.
How can I prove wrongful death?
- The plaintiff generally has to prove the following:
- That the defendant wed a duty of care to the deceased
- That the defendant breached the same duty of care
- That the death occurred as a result of breaching the duty of care
- Resulted damages.
What’s the time frame on filing a wrongful death claim?
As mentioned before, every state has its own definition of wrongful death law, and by such, every state determines the time frame within which you have to file a wrongful death claim. Like in many other states, Arizona Wrongful Death law has a statute of limitations of two years. This means that you have two years (from the moment the deceased has died) to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
For how much can I sue for in a wrongful death suit?
As a plaintiff, you can seek compensatory damages. These can include non-economic and economic damages. These damages have the goal to compensate the party for losses and are usually comprised of:
- Medical bills prior to the death of the deceased
- Lost wages during hospitalization
- Potential future wages
- Compensation for the deceased pain and suffering before death occurred
- Expenses that covered the funeral and burial
- Loss of companionship for the loved ones.
Seeking punitive images is not an uncommon practice. The aim of all these compensations is to compensate the party for all possible losses.
Is there an average in wrongful death settlements?
There are not two identical wrongful death lawsuits. And since every case has a unique set of factors and parameters, calculating the average amount of a wrongful death claim is impossible. But if you hire a skilled and experienced wrongful death lawyer, upon looking at the file and all the facts, he/she should be able to give you a rough estimate on how of the damages are you eligible for.
How high are the wrongful death attorney’s fees?
Every lawyer has his/her own set of rules and fees. However, with a wrongful death attorney, you can discuss to have your case on a contingency basis. This way, the lawyer only gets paid if they recover money for your lawsuit, either through a settlement or via jury verdict.
Do I need a wrongful death attorney?
Wrongful death lawsuits can be very complicated. At Schenk Podolsky recommend that you hire a skilled lawyer, who already did a number of wrongful death lawsuits and knows the system and the process inside and out.
For additional questions about wrongful death lawsuits or personal injury claims, make sure to contact us.