If your loved one has been killed because of the negligence of someone else, you can pursue a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is much like a personal injury claim that is filed by an estate or the next of kin of an individual who has suffered injuries in an accident and that is unable to file their own claim.
The laws regarding a wrongful death suit vary significantly from one state to another, so you should consult with a personal injury attorney.
Personal injury lawyers will be able to determine the losses that were caused by your loved one’s loss of life and will calculate a fair value for the claim. For example, you can recover compensation for your loved one’s lost wages and future loss of earnings.
That would be based on your family size, how much your family depends on that income, and the kind of job and income of your loved one.
Damages You Can Recover Through A Wrongful Death Claim
The next of kin or a representative of the decedent’s estate has the right to pursue a personal injury claim. You will need to provide medical bills, if applicable, copies of the funeral expenses, proof of the earnings and the lost wages, and how the decedent contributed to the family.
Here are some damages that you might want to pursue:
- Pain and suffering – some states allow you to claim pain and suffering for the loved one from the time of the injury or accident until the time of death
- Medical expenses – hospital bills, ambulance bills, and so forth
- Lost wages and the future loss of earnings
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish and trauma suffered by the family
Of course, the laws do vary from one state to another, so you want a lawyer who is licensed in your state and familiar with the local laws. Your attorney will be able to determine how to proceed with your claim and will know which damages you can recover.
Negotiating A Settlement
The insurance company will not be willing to offer you the full value of your claim right away, so you will need a lawyer who has negotiating skills.
Remember, your family will struggle financially without your loved one, so you need to make sure finances are in order to cover the mortgage payments, utilities, children’s education expenses, and so forth. An attorney can determine those losses and come up with a fair value for the wrongful death claim.
Consult With A Personal Injury Attorney
With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you are much more likely to get the compensation you deserve for the loss of your loved one so your family will not struggle financially. Personal injury attorney are paid contingency fees, meaning they only receive payment if you win your claim.