What if a death occurs before bringing a personal injury lawsuit?
In most situations, if the person filing the Personal Injury lawsuit dies, the case may continue. Their Personal Injury attorney will assist in making the appropriate changes to complete the suit, as often it is the heirs of the deceased's estate that receive the amount awarded through a wrongful death action.
Are the parents of unborn children able to file suit in a wrongful death?
In many states, children must be born alive for its death to be considered eligible in a wrongful death action in most states. A competent wrongful death attorney will be able to explain the relevant laws that apply in your state.
May punitive damages be requested in wrongful death cases?
Most states do not allow punitive damages in a wrongful death suits. Each state's laws are unique.
Do all states have the same laws for wrongful death suits?
No, differences between each state's wrongful death laws are substantial. Your wrongful death attorney will assist you in determining the state where you should start your wrongful death action. Some states do not allow specific types of damages and may have dissimilar statutes of limitations within which you must file suit.
What if the deceased person never held a job?
There are many ways a person may have contributed to the family unit. Stay-at-home individuals are good examples. A stay-at-home individual provides numerous services that will now have to be taken over by others, such as cleaning, cooking, maintaining a household, as well as the loss of guidance and nurturing of the family. These are considered “pecuniary losses” and are a significant element of damages in a wrongful death action.
Can you recover for pain and suffering of the deceased person?
Usually, damages for the pain and suffering experienced by the person prior to death, in addition to the other elements of damages, may also be recovered.
May wrongful death actions be filed in cases of children or the elderly?
Yes, each person is unique and the losses sustained by the heirs is also unique.
How do they determine if the death may be punishable by criminal action? What is the difference between the civil and criminal cases that can be filed?
If the death was caused by the commission of a crime, the government will bring criminal charges against the defendant in an attempt to prove that the defendant was guilty of the crimes. Punishment for commission of a crime may involve for example, the loss of driving privileges, incarceration and/or monetary fines. Civil cases arise when the person who caused the death failed to exercise ordinary care and the state's laws permit the survivors to seek compensation for the pecuniary value of the loss of means of support and the loss of aid, comfort, society and companionship.