When a family member is lost to a tragic accident, it creates more than just an emotional loss for the remaining family member. Family members trying to cope with this loss are also often forced to face financial hardships. To protect these family members, laws have been passed allowing them to seek compensation when a wrongful death occurs.
Of course, with the confusion and chaos that follows the loss of a loved one, many family members may want to file a wrongful death claim but are unsure if they qualify. To help, we have answered the five most common questions about wrongful death claims.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?
Not everyone can file a wrongful death claim. In most cases, the only people who qualify are the surviving spouse and dependent children of the deceased. However, exceptions may be made for the parents or siblings of the deceased if more than half of their financial support came from the deceased. Speak with an attorney to determine if you can qualify to file a wrongful death suit.
What If The Death Was A Result Of A Work Related Injury?
Workers’ compensation insurance covers the expenses of an injured worker when an accident occurs on the job. This type of insurance protects the employee from lost wages and ensures medical coverage. At the same time, this type of coverage protects the employer from being sued for the injury. However, wrongful death suits, depending on state law, may or may not be covered by this policy. This does not alleviate the employer from responsibility. You can still seek compensation whether or not workers comp is involved.
What If The Death Was Not Immediate?
If the injuries that were sustained in the accident still lead to the untimely death of a person, the case is still considered wrongful death. Speak to an attorney to confirm the details of the case.
What Damages Are Awarded in This Type Of Claim?
Most claims include medical expenses related to the accident, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and other forms of support, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship. In some instances, punitive damages may also be awarded.
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim?
There is a Statute of Limitations that applies to these types of cases. The time you have to file a claim will depend on your state. Time limits range from six months to two years after the death occurred. It is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after the death of your loved one to avoid having your case dismissed due to the Statute of Limitations.
Any auto accident may cause catastrophic or fatal injuries. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal auto accident, an experienced attorney in your area may be able to help you. With his/her assistance, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the driver or other party that caused the accident to occur. In this way, you can seek justice and have the opportunity of recovering monetary damages for your loss.
Personal injury attorneys who are knowledgeable about auto accidents and specialize in these types of cases can provide guided expertise in helping victims to get the compensation that they deserve. These accident lawyers are experts in the laws and regulations that involve personal injury and auto accident liability in the state where the accident happened. The attorney can examine all the facts and circumstances of the case and make an accurate assessment of responsibility in the case. More