In the event of a wrongful death caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of a liable party, the estate of the individual has the right to file a personal injury claim on their behalf. Death is the ultimate personal injury. Anyone left behind who was financially dependent on the deceased can file a personal injury claim, or one can be filed on behalf of the estate. Proving a wrongful death occurred can take some work. If you believe a loved one has died because of bad medical care, or in an accident caused by someone else, you will want to talk to a wrongful death attorney about your options.
Wrongful Death in a Car Accident
In any car accident, fault is established by the authorities that respond to the scene of the accident. The details of the accident are documented by the responding officers, including any witness statements that saw what happened. If your loved one is killed in a car accident and they are not at fault for their own injuries, the other driver can be held responsible for the wrongful death. The estate of your loved one can be compensated to account for their pain, suffering, lost wages and your loss of enjoyment.
When Medical Malpractice is Suspected
Medical malpractice that results in death can lead to another potential wrongful death case. Proving medical malpractice can be a challenge. A wrongful death lawyer will want to look carefully at the medical records of the deceased in order to scrutinize the medical treatment provided. If treatment providers acted like any other treatment providers would given the same set of facts, medical malpractice is not indicated. On the other hand, if the treatment providers did not follow protocol, did not provide warnings, or were otherwise negligent, a wrongful death lawyer may be able to prove medical malpractice resulted in the death of your loved one.
Making the Decision to File a Claim
Losing a loved one is overwhelming. While your first thought probably won't be about a wrongful death claim, the reality of losing your loved one that was providing financial support sets in. When you know that someone else caused the death, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to protect your own financial future. A wrongful death attorney can talk to you about the details of the case, and discuss what a potential settlement would look like if you file a claim.