You have probably heard stories of patients who died after a surgeon left surgical instruments in their bodies or of pedestrians who met their unfortunate end because a drunk driver ran them down. Perhaps the tragedies in question hit closer home and resulted in the death of someone you held so dear. Losing a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence can be devastating. It is especially hard when the loved one you lost was a breadwinner.
The impact of such a death on your family is unmatched. Fortunately, the law requires the guilty party to compensate your losses if you file a wrongful death claim against them. Filing such a claim for the first time can be devastatingly hectic. However, the results are often worth it. Here is what you need to know before filing a wrongful death claim.
Critical Things You Need to Know Before Filing a Claim
1. Are You Eligible to File One?
If you are a parent, spouse, or child of the deceased, you are qualified to file the wrongful death claim. However, it is important to note that minors cannot represent themselves in this kind of claim. Their legal guardian can represent them. In some states, stepparents, grandparents, and other next of kin are eligible to file a lawsuit.
2. The Requirements
Once you have established that your loved one died due to negligence and you are eligible to file a case, you should reach out to an experienced wrongful death attorney within your locality. Discuss the case specifics with them, and they will advise you on what evidence may help build up your case. Your attorney will break down all the legal jargon surrounding the case and help you understand all that is required of you to build up a strong case.
3. What Reimbursements Can You Receive
To get all the compensations you rightfully deserve, you need to understand the various categories of reimbursement that you are entitled to. As part of the claim, you may be paid for suffering and pain, loss of income, future income, hospital bills, funeral costs, collective damages, and even lost companionship.
All this is also subject to a vast array of factors. Speaking to your attorney will help you understand.
4. Statute of Limitations
Depending on your state, you need to file the wrongful death claim within a specific period. Filing your wrongful death claim later than the specified period will not be beneficial to you since your claim will not be considered. This is known as the statute of limitations, and they vary from state to state. Therefore, you need to file your case as soon as you can after the wrongful death or within the specified time in your statutes of limitation.
What You Need to Remember
Even as you file your claim and work towards getting compensated for your loved one’s wrongful death, it is imperative to remember that getting compensated will not bring them back. Having this in mind throughout the entire court battle will help you deal with your grief appropriately.
You will also need to remember that wrongful death cases are not easy. They may take plenty of your time and resources, but at the end of it all, you will be glad you held on and pushed through.
So, no matter how tough things get, do not give up. Come to think of it, one of the benefits of having an experienced wrongful death claim attorney by your side is that they will keep you motivated till the end.