The death of a loved one is a profoundly sorrowful event, and it can be all the more tragic when he or she passed away due to an accident. When someone’s death results from another party’s negligence or intentional actions, you might have a wrongful death case. Hart & David’s attorneys represent the survivors of decedents who passed as the result of someone’s negligence.
A number of circumstances may surround the passing of a loved one, some of which may indicate a wrongful death case. Instances of negligence or willful acts may occur in the following ways:
- Medical malpractice, i.e. when a doctor fails to give proper care as per medical care standards
- Vehicle accidents in which another driver was at fault
- Product liability, such as when there is a defect in the product, or if it was poorly designed
- Premises liability, i.e. hazards on someone’s property that led to the accident
- Workplace accidents, including those involving machinery or construction hazards
The course a case takes will depend largely on its causes. An automobile accident will usually be more straightforward than a product liability case, for example, mainly due to the distance the responsible party has from the accident. In the case of a motor vehicle crash, defining who is at fault is usually quite simple. In a product liability case, however, more investigation is needed to pin down fault.
Statute of Limitations
A wrongful death claim should be filed as quickly as possible as there is a statute of limitations in place. The base limit is either within one year of the accident or within the time limits of the specific personal injury case type, whichever is longer. In other words, if it’s a malpractice claim, the limit is within four years of when the instance of malpractice occurred and within two years of discovering its effects.
The attorneys at Hart & David can consult you on the time limits in place on your claim and help you file it in a timely manner.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claims are civil cases, meaning they are filed by civilians. These are not criminal cases, which are handled by the government, and they do not result in imprisonment or jail time. However, both types of cases may be brought against a defendant for the same death.
A wrongful death claim must be pursued by a personal representative of the decedent, which may be a spouse, parent, or child. In a case where the deceased did not appoint a representative for his or her estate, the court chooses a personal representative.
Damages are intended to cover any losses resulting from the loss of the deceased. These include:
- Lost income
- Funeral expenses
- Grief, sorrow, and mental suffering
- Loss of care and guidance for children of the deceased
- Loss of services
Since damages are paid only in terms of dollar amounts, Hart & David uses the expertise of financial analysts to accurately determine how much you can recover in damages.
The passing of a loved one is a difficult time, but our attorneys can help you through the process by easing the legal burdens upon you. Call Hart & David today for a free consultation regarding your wrongful death claim.